Open meeting. Side event for the SETAC Conference in Helsinki, May 2019.

Arsenic Workshop with Learning Café

Recommendations and guidelines for arsenic in agricultural soil and water

Monday 27 May, 14:00 – 16:00, Meeting Room 207

Kirsti Loukola-Ruskeeniemiand Timo Tarvainen, Geological Survey of Finland; Fabienne Battaglia-Brunet, BRGM, Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières,France; Ingo Müller, Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, Germany; Jana Pinka, G.E.O.S. Ingenieur Gesellschaft MBH, Germany;Marina Le Guédard,LEB Aquitaine Transfert, France; Riitta Keiski and Auli Turkki, University of Oulu, Finland; Celia Jones, KEMAKTA Konsult AB, Sweden

The Arsenic Workshop, on Monday 27th May at 14:00-16:00 in the Conference Centre of Helsinki (Messukeskus), is organized in association with the SETAC conference. The workshop is funded by the Water JPI project AgriAs and the participating organizations. The SETAC conference participants can take part in the workshop free of charge.

Occurrence of arsenic in the environment, its toxic effects in water ecosystems, as well as technologies for the removal of As have been studied over the past decades. However, several gaps remained and the AgriAs project, ‘Evaluation and management of arsenic contamination in agricultural soil and water’, focused on these.

The goal of AgriAs was to provide the European Union with reliable data on the risks of As exposure through agriculture, a summary of existing tools available for As remediation as well as an array of tools for the ecotoxicity and bioavailability assessment. Public summaries of the results are now available from the project web pages and the main results will be presented in the Arsenic Workshop as well.

The verifiable main objectives of the AgriAs project were:

  • To address water and soil pollution by As highlighting the needs for sustainable development and healthy food chain,
  • To summarize national and European databases to assess the scale of As contamination in European agricultural soils and water,
  • To develop recommendations/guidelines for the sustainable management of As risks together with stakeholders,
  • To demonstrate As removal technology and to assess its technological and economic feasibility,
  • To apply biological tools to assess environmental quality and to manage the ecological, environmental and human risks,
  • To disseminate the results of the AgriAs project to the stakeholders.

Further recommendations for ecotoxicological studies, risk analyses and risk management options for areas containing arsenic will be discussed during the Arsenic Workshop together with the SETAC participants.

AgriAs has been co-funded by the European Union and the Academy of Finland, L’Agence nationale de la recherche, Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft and Forskningsrådet FORMAS under the ERA-NET Cofund WaterWorks2015 Call. This ERA-NET is an integral part of the 2016 Joint Activities developed by the Water Challenges for a Changing World Joint Programme Initiative (Water JPI).

The Arsenic Workshop aims to summarise the results of the AgriAs project and to develop recommendations for ecotoxicological studies, risk analysis and risk management options for areas containing in excess of arsenic either due to natural geological environment or because of anthropogenic contamination. New ideas will be discussed with all participants in groups using the learning cafémethod.

AgriAs project: Evaluation and management of arsenic contamination in agricultural soil and water. (Water JPI 2017-2019)


14:00 Welcome and introduction by professor Kirsti Loukola-Ruskeeniemi, GTK
14:10 Effects of agricultural practices on the arsenic concentrations in plants
Results summarized by Dr. Fabienne Battaglia-Brunet, BRGM
14:20 Risk assessment of arsenic in agricultural soils
Results summarized by Dr.Celia Jones, KEMAKTA
14:30 Development of As removal technology
Results summarized by professor Riitta Keiski, UOULU
14:40 Recommendations for land use in Saxony, Germany
Recommendations applied in arsenic-rich mining region, by Dr. Ingo Müller, LfULG
14:50 Recommendations for policy based on the German experience in Saxony
Recommendations for policy introduced by Dr. Jana Pinka, G.E.O.S.
15:00 AgriAs: the main results
Summary of the main results by professor Kirsti Loukola-Ruskeeniemi, GTK
15:15 Learning café (5 large round tables) 30 min + summary of the results 15 min
Questions on ecotoxicology, risk analysis, risk management, recommendations and guidelines
16:00 End of the Arsenic Workshop

Participation is without any additional cost for the participants of the SETAC Conference in Helsinki. Registration for the participants attending the workshop only has ended on 13 May 2019.


For any questions, please feel free to contact Kirsti Loukola-Ruskeeniemi Kirsti.loukola-ruskeeniemi(at)