About S-Risk

What is S-Risk?

S-Risk is a state-of-the-art model for assessing exposure and human health risks at contaminated sites. Fate and distribution of chemical pollutants in soil are calculated according to steady-state conservation of mass principles.

S-Risk is made available in the form of a flexible web application, providing a user-friendly way of specifying and simulating generic scenarios to very specific case studies. The interface allows the user to choose between calculation of soil remediation values, site-specific risk assessment and site-specific remediation objectives. S-Risk provides a list of built-in chemicals and scenarios, but allows to easily modify these chemicals, scenarios and their parameters. This enables the user to adapt the information to his/her site under study, but also to use the model outside its original intended purposes.

History of S-Risk

After years of research projects commissioned by OVAM (Flemish Soil and Waste Agency, http://www.ovam.be), VITO presented a prototype application for the exposure and health assessment of polluted soils in 2011.
In consultation with OVAM, VITO has further developed this prototype into a web application, called S-Risk. VITO has been made responsible for the distribution of S-Risk to the accredited soil remediation experts in Flanders and any potential user in or outside Flanders. As of June 2013, the S-Risk web application is operational. 
 
S-Risk has been put forward by OVAM, IBGE-BIM and SPW as the standard model for use in the framework of sustainable soil management in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia, respectively.
 
As from April 2017, two regional S-Risk versions will be available: one following the Flemish and Brussels regulatory context and one following the Walloon regulatory context. On demand, VITO is willing to implement other national or regional versions based on the same overall framework, but differing in, for instance, user interface language, parameter settings, etc. To discuss this in detail, contact us by email (info@s-risk.be) and we will get in touch.

Why S-Risk?

A risk-based approach to the assessment and management of contaminated sites requires adequate and flexible tools to evaluate exposure and human health risks from soil contaminants under a variety of land uses and contamination profiles. Such tools should enable the calculation of clean-up values, site-specific risks and remedation objectives. To this end, VITO has developed S-Risk, a flexible modeling tool initially designed to meet the requirements of the Flemish regulatory context with regard to contaminated sites. Due to its flexibility and open structure, application outside this regulatory context is made easier.

How does it work?

A site’s contamination profile can be entered and is automatically linked to the transfer calculations. Built-in land use scenarios can be modified by the user, defining the exposure pathways and parameters. The model calculates concentrations in ambient and indoor air due to volatilization and soil resuspension, in drinking water from leaching or permeation, in food due to plant and animal uptake. Exposures are predicted for the inhalation route (ambient, indoor, bathroom air), oral (water, food, soil, dust) and dermal (water, soil, dust) route. Calculations are performed for a predefined set of age intervals, ranging from children to adults. Risks are calculated by comparing exposures with toxicological reference values and concentrations with toxicological or legal reference concentrations. Flexibility is offered with regard to critical ages and simultaneous runs for local, systemic and threshold, non-threshold effects.