Risk assessment for microplastics in terrestrial environments

This project aims to develop a holistic risk assessment framework for microplastics in the terrestrial environment based on a literature review and ecotoxicological data.

Organized by Cefic

Researchers / Institutional Affiliations

  • Dr. Karsten Schlich
    Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology


February 2023 to December 2025

Additional Information

The HERA-MP (Holistic Environmental Risk Assessment for MicroPlastic in the terrestrial environment) project is applying Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)/ International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standardized effect test systems to several types of microplastic in the context of agricultural practices. These include environmentally-relevant microplastics and a subset of microplastics with specific compositions, sizes and shapes. Testing will focus on heterogenous mixtures of particles, which will be used to develop the risk assessment framework; and select, homogenously distributed microplastics, to evaluate potential toxicological mechanisms of action based on properties such as size, shape and composition. This will supplement information from the critical review of the literature.

Further details are available here.

Professional Presentations

Schofield K, Griffiths M, Pemberton E, Schlich K, Simon M, Hughes C. Comparing Approaches to Terrestrial Ecotoxicity Studies for Micro- and Nanoplastic Particles and Engineered Nanomaterials: A SWOT Analysis Approach. SETAC Europe: May 2024. See details here.

Published Papers