Susana Loureiro, a researcher at CESAM/DBio and a member of the Global Soil Interest Group of SETAC – Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, is a co-author of the text “A Pathway to Effective Soil Protection in Europe.” This text resulted from the soil session held during the 33rd Annual Meeting of SETAC Europe in Dublin, Ireland, along with Pia Kotschik and Silvia Pieper (German Environment Agency) and Claudia Lima from Wageningen University. The full text can be read here.
This meeting highlighted the need for better soil protection, given its crucial role in food production, the supply of drinking water, and support for biodiversity. Additionally, the Soil Monitoring and Resilience Directive was mentioned as an important step toward soil protection, setting the goal of achieving 100% healthy soils by 2050. However, the current proposal for soil pollution assessment does not consider the effects of the presence of multiple contaminants on soil communities, posing an unknown threat to soil biodiversity.
Participants in the 33rd SETAC annual meeting discussed the importance of setting values for multiple contaminants and recognizing the effects and toxicity of chemical mixtures in the soil. However, there are still challenges in risk assessment due to the complexity of chemical mixtures and a lack of data. It was also established that, for these goals to be achieved, the collaboration of various stakeholders is necessary, including the agricultural sector and the implementation of sustainable practices to reduce chemical pollution of the soil.
In this context, at the next SETAC Europe conference to be held in May 2024 in Seville, Spain, Susana Loureiro will be responsible for a session on Soil Functions and Biodiversity: Impacts and Resilience under Environmental Stress, along with Chioma Chikere (University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria) and Maria Nazaret González (Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Spain). The call for abstracts is open until November 29, 2023.