International Akademie Fresenius Conference Microplastics

21.04. - 22.04.2020, Novotel Dusseldorf City West

International Akademie Fresenius Conference Microplastics

Regulatory Changes and Risk Assessment for Intentionally added Microplastics

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Regulatory Changes

    • European Commission: Update on microplastics and the EU Plastics Strategy
    • ECHA: REACH restriction of intentionally added microplastics – status update
    • Practical evidence for in favor of discussing a refinement of the new legal framework: The example of polyethylene wax
    • Cefic perspective on the expected regulatory changes
    • Industry perspective on ECHA‘s restriction proposal: The implications for polymer dispersions and their down-stream industrial uses
    • Intentionally added microplastics in agricultural products

    Risk Assessment

    • The German BfR on microplastics in food:Oral uptake, toxicology and initial aspects of risk assessment
    • Modeling the flows of microplastic to the environment
    • Transferring microplastic fate and effects knowledge from the environment to human health
      Understanding microplastic exposure and hazard in a global context

      Proactive Solutions

      • Microplastic to microfibers – How to achieve zero leakage to the environment

      Who do you meet?

      Professionals working in the fields of:

      • Product stewardship
      • Regulatory affairs
      • Registration and authorisation
      • Ecotoxicology
      • Hazard, exposure and risk assessment 
      • Research and development
      • Scientific advisory
      • Analytical science

      Sectors that should take part:

      • Agrochemical industry
      • Chemical industry (producers of polymers)
      • Cosmetics industry
      • Personal care industry
      • Paints, waxes and polishes industry
      • Research institutes
      • Authorities
      • Scientific consultancies
      • Professional associations
      • Food industry

      Bildnachweis: © Stas_V -




      Get-together on Monday, 20 April 2020

      If you arrive on Tuesday, feel free to come to the hotel bar at 8 p.m. and meet other participants and speakers in a relaxed atmosphere.

      Tuesday, 21 April 2020

      8.30 Registration and coffee

      9.00 Welcome address by the organisers and introduction by the Chair
      Martin Klatt
      , BASF, Germany

      Regulatory Changes

      9.10 REACH restriction of intentionally added microplastics – status update and refinements to the proposal made during the Opinion-making process

      Peter Simpson, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Finland

      9.35 Cefic perspective on the Opinion

      • General position on the restriction
      • Considerations on the definition
      • Challenges ahead

      Blanca Serrano, European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), Belgium

      10.00 NGO perspective on how to regulate microplastics

      Jeroen Dagevos, Plastic Soup Foundation, The Netherlands

      10.25 Coffee break

      10.55 Practical evidence for a necessary refinement of the new legal framework for (intentionally added) microplastics: The example of polyethylene wax

      • Homogeneous grouping – prerequisite for solid scientific judgement
      • Thresholds on continuous proper functions

      Alexander Lichtblau, Clariant, Germany

      11.20 Industry perspective on ECHA‘s restriction proposal: The implications for polymer dispersions and their down-stream industrial uses

      • General overview of concerns and major implications for industry
      • Impact of microplastic restrictions on the dispersion industry and its down-stream industry
      • Suggestions for improvement

      Martin Klatt, BASF, Germany

      11.45 Intentionally added microplastics in agricultural products

      • Polymers vs microplastics in agricultural products
      • Relevance of microplastics in agricultural products
      • Difficulties and impact of the restriction on the agro industry

      Annika Batel, BASF, Germany

      12.10 Panel discussion
      12.40 Lunch

      Risk Assessment

      14.00 Human health effects of microplastics

      • How to address and test the toxicity of microplastics?

      Yvonne C.M. Staal, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands

      14.25 Microplastics in food: Oral uptake, toxicology and initial aspects of risk assessment

      Alfonso Lampen, The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Germany

      14.50 Transferring microplastic fate and effects knowledge from the environment to human health

      • Environmental research as lead for our current understanding of microplastic fate and effects;
      • Transferability to human health research
      • Nanoplastic and plastic additive chemicals as most significant sources of risk from plastic
      • Learning from the nanosafety and chemical risk assessment: How to avoid re-inventing the wheel?

      Andy Booth, Sintef, Norway

      15.15 Panel discussion
      15.45 Coffee break

      Environmental Risk Assessment

      16.15 Modeling the flows of macro- and microplastics to the environment

      • Release modeling based on material flow analysis
      • Polymer-specific approach including tyre-wear particles
      • Spationally-resolved and dynamic modeling

      Bernd Nowack, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), Switzerland

      16.40 Microbes and microplastics: Influence of the biofilm on ecotoxicology

      • How does the microbial colonisation of microplastics influence bioavailability?
      • Does the presence of a microbial biofilm increase the health risk of ingesting microplastics?
      • Should ecotoxicological investigations be conducted using aged (microbially colonised) microplastics rather than pristine?

      Karen Thorpe, Fera Science, United Kingdom

      17.05 Questions and Answers
      17.25 End of first day

      18.30 Departure time for the evening event
      As always, you are most welcome to attend our evening event. At the end of the first conference day, Akademie Fresenius invites you to a leisurely evening, which will take us to a lovely location in Dusseldorf for a dinner visit. Please join us to continue the day’s interesting discussions in a relaxed and leisurely atmosphere. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

      Wednesday, 22 April 2020

      9.00 Welcome address by the Chair
      Christian Laforsch,
      University of Bayreuth, Germany

      Keynote: Regulatory Developments in the EU

      9.10 Update from the Commission: Microplastics and the EU Plastics Strategy

      • The decision-making process for intentionally added microplastics: Status update
      • General initiatives on microplastics in the EU Plastics Strategy

      Valentina Bertato, European Commission, Belgium

      9.35 Questions and answers

      Environmental Risk Assessment

      9.55 The challenge of understanding microplastic exposure and hazard in a global context

      • Why are microplastics such a complex issue?
      • What influences the fate and transport of microplastics within the environment?
      • Are some microplastics more harmful than others?
      • What research is needed to understand the risks posed by microplastics?

      Alice Horton, National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom

      10.20 Challenges in the environmental risk assessment of microplastics and regulatory implications: Perspective of the German REACH Competent Authority

      • Current standards defined by different legislations
      • Existing test systems – are those applicable for polymere based particles?
      • Threshold criteria for chemicals – are these also applicable for microplastics?
      • Restriction of intentionally added microplastics – for which reasons the precautionary principle needs to be applied?

      Jürgen Fischer, German Environment Agency, Germany

      10.45 Coffee break

      11.15 Microplastics as stressors in different ecosystems

      Christian Laforsch, University of Bayreuth, Germany

      11.40 Panel discussion

      Proactive Solutions

      12.10 The role of biodegradable polymers in a microplastic free environment

      Seema Agarwal, University of Bayreuth, Germany

      12.35 Microplastic to microfibers – how to achieve zero leakage to the environment

      • Definition of microplastic / origin and sources
      • What the consumer goods industry is already doing and what the next steps are
      • Microfibers: leakage via textile washing
      • Recent research and how to reduce pollution further

      Thomas Müller-Kirschbaum, Henkel, Germany

      13.00 Questions and answers, closing remarks

      13.30 Lunch and end of the conference




      Seema Agarwal

      University of Bayreuth, Germany

      Seema Agarwal is academic director and Professor at the University of Bayreuth. She is a chemist with specialisation in macromolecular chemistry with research interest in synthesis of functional speciality polymers, bioplastics, smart materials, processing methods and nanostructures. She is Alexander von Humboldt fellow and got Hermann-Schnell award of German Chemical Society. She is the chief-editor of e-Polymers.


      Annika Batel

      BASF, Germany

      Annika Batel completed her PhD and PostDoc in microplastics research at the University of Heidelberg and is now employed as Aquatic Ecotoxicologist at the Agricultural Research Centre of BASF.


      Valentina Bertato

      European Commission, Belgium

      Valentina Bertato has been working at the European Commission since 2011, dealing mainly with chemicals policy, first in DG GROW and since 2017, in DG ENV. She is currently focusing on REACH restrictions for environmental risks (including microplastics) and on international work on chemicals. Her background is in environmental chemistry.


      Andy Booth

      Sintef, Norway

      Andy Booth (PhD) is a Senior Researcher in Environmental Chemistry at the Environment and New Resources Department at SINTEF Ocean, Norway. His research work focuses on the environmental fate and effects of anthropogenic pollutants in natural systems, with a focus on emerging pollutants, nanomaterials and microplastics. He has participated in many national and international level research projects, including coordination of the EU JPI Oceans project 'PLASTOX' and the Norwegian Research Council-funded project 'MICROFIBRE'.


      Jeroen Dagevos

      Plastic Soup Foundation, The Netherlands

      Jeroen Dagevos is currently the Head of Programmes at the Plastic Soup Foundation. He is strongly involved in the “beat the microbead” campaign and has been the engaged in driving forward European policy measures for the regulation of intentionally added microplaststics.


      Jürgen Fischer

      German Environment Agency, Germany

      Jürgen Fischer obtained his PhD in agricultural chemistry and joined the Germany Environment Agency (UBA) in 1997. Between 2000 and 2016 he was a member of the UBA’s biocides group. Since 2016 he has been responsible for the assessment of the environmental exposure and fate of chemicals in the context of the REACH legislation. He also works at the interface between REACH and circular economy policies.


      Alice Horton

      National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom

      Alice Horton is an anthropogenic contaminant scientist working at the National Oceanography Centre, UK. She has been active in the field of microplastics research since 2014. Her research focuses especially on microplastics within the aquatic environment, including their sources, fate and ecological effects.


      Martin Klatt

      BASF, Germany

      Martin Klatt (PhD) is active at BASF in the fields of product stewardship and research since 1995 in various positions. Currently, he is leading the product stewardship group of dispersions and resins Europe at BASF and represents BASF in various associations. He is currently the chairman of EPDLA (European Polymer Dispersion and Latex Association) and its Food Contact TF, the UV/EB (Acrylates Sector group of CEFIC) and its REACh Consortium (PARAD).


      Christian Laforsch

      University of Bayreuth, Germany

      Christian Laforsch is a Professor for animal ecology at the University of Bayreuth, which he joined in 2012. Since 2015, he has also been acting as Vice President for research and early-career scholars at his University. His research interest lies within the field of zoology and evolutionary ecology, targeting especially the phenomenon of phenotypic plasticity and animal adaption to changing biotic and abiotic environmental factors.


      Alfonso Lampen

      The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)

      Alfonso Lampen is the Head of the Department Food Safety at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin and a Professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover.


      Alexander Lichtblau

      Clariant Produkte, Germany

      Alexander Lichtblau holds a PhD in chemistry. He has been working at Clariant, in product stewardship for more than 10 years. For the last 8 years he has taken over roles in business unit key contact managing and monitoring of any product stewardship related topics for and in a business unit. He has previously worked in the in the additives business for 14 years.


      Thomas Müller-Kirschbaum

      Henkel, Germany

      Thomas Müller-Kirschbaum joined Henkel more than 30 years ago, after his study of physics, chemistry and environmental technology. He is currently the head of the global R&D Laundry and Home Care. As co-chair of the Henkel Sustainability Council, he is responsible for the company´s sustainability strategy and its implementation. He also acts as expert and advisor for several institutions like the Alliance to end plastic waste, the Fraunhofer Competence Cluster for Circular Plastic Economy and the circular economy initiative of the German government.


      Bernd Nowack

      Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), Switzerland

      Bernd Nowack holds a PhD in environmental sciences and is currently leading the „Environmental Risk Assessment and Management“ group at EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. He is also an adjunct professor at ETH Zurich. His current research deals with the environmental risks of engineered nanomaterials, nanobiomaterials and microplastics.


      Blanca Serrano

      The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), Belgium

      Blanca Serrano is currently the Director of Product Stewardship at the European Council of the Chemical Industry (Cefic) dealing with issues related to nanomaterials, microplastics and the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (CLP). She joined Cefic in 2015 and has extensive experience in chemical regulatory affairs from her previous role as Product Stewardship Coordinator in FEIQUE, the Spanish Chemical Industry Association.


      Peter Simpson

      European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Finland

      Peter Simpson is a Senior Scientific Officer at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. He is an Environmental Toxicologist and works on the risk management of hazardous chemicals under the EU’s REACH regulation. For the past two years, he has managed ECHA’s work on an EU restriction of ‘intentionally added microplastics’. Prior to joining ECHA, Peter worked as a chemical risk assessment consultant and for the Environment Agency of England and Wales.


      Yvonne C.M. Staal

      National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands

      Yvonne C.M. Staal, is an inhalation toxicologist at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and has a PhD in toxicogenomics. Yvonne worked at TNO (later Triskelion) as a project leader for in vivo inhalation studies and air exposure of in vitro models (Air-Liquid-Interface exposure). In 2015, she joined RIVM were she works on the development and implementation of animal-free methods and molecular approaches to understand the toxicity based on mechanism of action.


      Karen Thorpe

      Fera Science, United Kingdom

      Karen Thorpe (PhD) is an Aquatic Ecotoxicologist at Fera Science. Her research is primarily focused on understanding the effects of exposure to novel environmental pollutants (including microplastics) on aquatic organisms, and the development of test methods to identify and quantify the effects of harmful pollutants. She is particularly interested in how interactions between environmental stressors influences their effects on fish health.



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