SOIL PNEC Calculator


This excel spreadsheet calculates the predicted ecological risks of several metals (Cu, Ni, Zn, Pb, Cd, Mo and Co) in soil, based on their Predicted No-Effect Concentrations (PNEC) to soil organisms, as derived in the EU REACH dossiers (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals; Regulation EC No 1907/2006) for these metals, as available in August 2014. A new update (including Ag) is foreseen in 2017.  Metal toxicity not only depends on the total metal dose, but also on the time since contamination and on physico-chemical soil properties. Variation in soil properties can indeed result in a more than 10 fold variation in toxicity and therefore it is important that an ecological risk assessment is based on soil specific quality standards in order to avoid over- or under-protective scenarios. For several metals, bioavailability correction models are available allowing the derivation of such site-specific ecological soil quality standards, based on scientific understanding of the behaviour and ecotoxicity of metals in soils. In order to make all this information available to potential users (regulators or industry), all data were compiled and implemented in this tool allowing straight-forward calculation of soil-specific ecological quality standards and corresponding risk characterisation for various metals. The input parameters are dependent upon the metal under consideration, and are soil parameters likely to be determined in routine soil analyses (metal background concentrations, pH, % organic matter, % clay and eCEC).

This tool is freely available for industry, other entities that provided the necessary data to develop the tool and governmental organizations. Please fill in all your details when requesting the tool as you will be automatically warned when a new version becomes available. Also note that each request for the tool is evaluated for approval before release of the tool. Any feedback is highly appreciated (please send your comments to Dr Koen Oorts at mentioning the operating system and office/excel version, thanks!!). Please note that not all functionalities (e.g. macro’s) may be available under an Mac operating system.

Excel version soil PNEC calculator