Development of human health risk-based Soil Quality Standards for Turkey: Conceptual framework

İpek, Meltem
Ünlü, Kahraman
Soil Quality Standards (SQSs) are considered as an important tool for management of contaminated sites. In order to manage adverse effects associated with soil contamination, risk-based SQSs are used worldwide. However, developing health risk-based SQSs is a challenging task. It involves comprehensive assessment of nationwide site characteristics (e.g. soil, hydrogeological, climatic properties), understanding of social behaviors that determine human exposure to soil pollutants (e.g. exposure scenarios and parameters), and making political decisions with regard to the economical concerns. To set fixed levels of SQSs that apply for various cases and that is protective of human health, conservative assumptions should be made. The level of conservativeness of the standards should not pose a challenge to the objectivity of the decision given and not force technical and financial resources. Regarding this challenge, a novel conceptual framework is developed for derivation of human health risk-based SQSs for Turkey. In this paper, the main elements of the established conceptual framework, the methods used for specification of the generic site characteristics, the information sources used for compilation of needed chemical and toxicological data, the political decisions taken, and the challenges encountered during these studies are presented. It is believed that the presented road map developed through the conceptual framework will be beneficial for other countries that are in the stage of deriving SQSs.
Environmental Advances


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Citation Formats
M. İpek and K. Ünlü, “Development of human health risk-based Soil Quality Standards for Turkey: Conceptual framework,” Environmental Advances, pp. 1–23, 2020, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: