Contaminated Land Advisory Group minutes: April 2016

Minutes of the meeting of the Contaminated Land Advisory Group (CLAG) that took place on 5 April 2016.

Attendees and apologies


  • Neil Ritchie, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Anthony Carson, Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland (SoCOEH)
  • Ann Connolly, LA South East Contaminated Land sub-group
  • Mike Hayes, LA North Contaminated Land sub-group
  • Tom Henman, Specialist in Land Contamination (SiLC)
  • Sam Lord, Scottish Contaminated Land Forum (SCLF)
  • Gerry McGarrity, LA South West Contaminated Land sub-group
  • Alison McKay, Environmental Consultant
  • Donald Payne, LA Central East Contaminated Land sub-group
  • Kenneth Ross. Law Society of Scotland                                
  • Caroline Thornton, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)


  • Andrew Hursthouse, Environmental Protection Scotland
  • Andrew McKenzie, SCLF
  • Colin Ramsay, Health Protection Scotlnad (HPS)

Items and actions

The main purpose of this meeting was to discuss the peer review and next steps in relation to the research project on the ‘Use of Benchmark Dose in Assessing Risks to Human Health from Contaminated Land’.

Summary of action points

1. The group was in general agreement that the research work carried out has been a worthwhile exercise in ‘proof of concept’. The report output and peer reviews indicate that building a SPOSH assessment approach around a benchmark response of 10% is unlikely to be tenable. However the group did agree that progressing and further developing some of the concepts within the report could potentially deliver a more workable and defensible framework to define ‘unacceptable intake’ in the fullness of time. Concepts to be taken forward were identified as;

  1. The possibility of using a BMR greater than 10% as a point of departure.
  2. The setting of MoEs for different substances / end points
  3. Evaluation of life and cost – benefit considerations

2. It was acknowledged that the author of the report is no longer with IOM but that IOM should be given the opportunity to respond to the peer review comments and make any necessary amendments to the report before it is placed in the public domain (e.g. a number of formatting, editing and referencing points were flagged in the review)

3. Scottish Government confirmed that currently the report will be made available on request and that once IOM has had the opportunity to make any final drafting amendments, the report will be placed in the public domain with a suitable ‘health warning’.

4. Scottish Government to talk to colleagues, including where relevant HPS regarding the following issues:

  • evaluation of life / cost of life
  • what specific issues and questions, if any, should be taken to the committee on Carcinogenicity or Committee on Toxicity
  • policy aspects / guidance on setting levels for unacceptable intake (e.g. setting levels higher than BMD10 and the setting of MoE’s for different substances and endpoints )
  • glossary

5. CT to circulate the full peer reviews to CLAG members.

6. CLAG members to provide further thoughts on next steps in relation to:

  • what is needed as a tool and what further work is required to get to this stage? 
  • what else might be required in terms of guidance?


Email: Central Enquiries Unit

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