Conducting ecological risk assessments of inorganic ...

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Title Conducting ecological risk assessments of inorganic metals and metalloids: current status
Author(s) P. M. Chapman, F. Y. Wang, C. R. Janssen, R. R. Goulet, Collins N. kamunde
Journal Human and Ecological Risk Assessment
Date 2003
Volume 9
Issue 4
Start page 641
End page 697
Abstract Ecological risk assessment (ERA) of inorganic metals and metalloids (metals) must be specific to these substances and cannot be generic because most metals arc naturally occurring, some are essential, speciation affects bioavailability, and bioavailability is determined by both external environmental conditions and organism physiological/biological characteristics. Key information required for ERA of metals includes: emissions, pathways, and movements in the environment (Do metals accumulate in biota above background concentrations?); the relationship between internal dose and/or external concentration (Are these metals bioreactive?); and the incidence and severity of any effects (Are bioreactive metals likely to result in adverse or, in the case of essential metals, beneficial effects?)-ground-truthed in contaminated areas by field observations. Specific requirements for metals ERA are delineated for each ERA component (Hazard Identification, Exposure Analysis, Effects Analysis, Risk Characterization), updating Chapman and Wang (2000). In addition, key specific information required for ERA is delineated by major information category (conceptual diagrams, bioavailability, predicted environmental concentration [PEC], predicted no effect concentration [PNEC], tolerance, application [uncertainty] factors, risk characterization) relative to three different tiered, iterative levels of ERA: Problem Formulation, Screening Level ERA (SLERA), and Detailed Level ERA (DLERA). Although data gaps remain, a great deal of progress has been made in the last three years, forming the basis for substantial improvements to ERA for metals.

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