1. Learning Outcomes

    After completing the modules in this eLearning course, you will be able to:

    Module 1: natural background and essentiality

    • Recognise that metals are naturally occurring substances that warrant a specific approach to take this into account
    • Distinguish the differences between essential and non-essential metals
    • Describe how processes, such as adaptation and acclimation, work and may affect the environmental risk assessment  of metals
    • Explain how essentiality affect the shape of the dose-response for human health risk assessment

    Module 2: bioavailability

    • Explain that metals are naturally occurring substances that warrant a specific approach to take these metal specificities into account
    • Define the key concepts governing the bioavailability of metals in the environment
    • Describe how bioavailability data can be generated and used for human health
    • Summarise the different tools available to assess bioavailability.

    Module 3: data handling (quality, relevance, aggregation) and read-across

    • Outline how to assess the quality of ecotoxicity data
    • Define the metal specific attention points that should be considered
    • Explain how data can be aggregated and used to derive safe thresholds, and data gaps filled using read-across approaches

    Module 4: inhalation toxicology

    • Explain the importance of the inhalation exposure route for metals and the type of effects that can occur
    • List aspects to consider when assessing inhalation exposure
    • Outline how absorption after inhalation (for systemic effects) can be assessed

    Module 5: genotoxicity/carcinogenicity

    • Outline the key definitions for the genotoxicity/mutagenicity activity of metals
    • Discuss how metals can cause genotoxicity/mutagenicity
    • Describe the different tests available to assess genotoxicity/mutagenicity
    • Explain where metal specificities may occur in mechanisms of action and in testing strategies
    • Define the link with carcinogenicity and the importance of a possible threshold for metals.

    Module 6: assessment of man via the environment exposure

    • Outline the scope and elements covered in a Man to Environment assessment
    • Describe the current default Tier 1 approach should only be considered a first tier screening assessment
    • Discuss which areas and tiered approaches can be used to improve the MvE assessment for metals and inorganic substances

    Module 7: the role of materials flow and diffuse source assessments

    • Explain the importance of documenting the materials flow in identifying and quantifying emission sources in risk assessment
    • Recall where metals in the environment come from, and the differences between point source, diffuse and fugitive emissions
    • Outline the factors determining the diffuse emissions from metals in products
    • Describe the importance for risk management of assessing the contribution of the different sources of metals to environmental exposure