Challenges in development and implementation of health-risk-based soil quality guidelines: Turkey's experience

Elçin Kentel*, Ayşegül Aksoy, Beril Büyüker, Filiz Dilek, S. Girgin, Meltem H. Ipek, Şener Polat, Ülkü Yetiş, Kahraman Ünlü

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Management of contaminated sites is a critical environmental issue around the world due to the human health risk involved for many sites and scarcity of funding. Moreover, clean-up costs of all contaminated sites to their background levels with existing engineering technologies may be financially infeasible and demand extended periods of operation time. Given these constraints, to achieve optimal utilization of available funds and prioritization of contaminated sites that need immediate attention, health-risk-based soil quality guidelines should be preferred over the traditional soil quality standards. For these reasons, traditional soil quality standards are being replaced by health-risk-based ones in many countries and in Turkey as well. The need for health-risk-based guidelines is clear, but developing these guidelines and implementation of them in contaminated site management is not a straightforward process. The goal of this study is to highlight the problems that are encountered at various stages of the development process of risk-based soil quality guidelines for Turkey and how they are dealt with. Utilization of different definitions and methodologies at different countries, existence of inconsistent risk assessment tools, difficulties in accessing relevant documents and reports, and lack of specific data required for Turkey are among these problems. We believe that Turkey's experience may help other countries that are planning to develop health-risk-based guidelines achieve their goals in a more efficient manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-667
Number of pages11
JournalRisk analysis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Health risk
  • Soil quality guidelines
  • Turkey
  • ITC-CV


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