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Title: Reducing uncertainty in ecological risk assessment: The pros of measuring contaminant exposures

Wildlife species (mammals, birds and reptiles) are primarily exposed to contamination in soils via ingestion of food. Uncertainties in risk analyses for this pathway are largely associated with the estimation of the amount of contamination in food items. The benefits of measuring contaminant concentrations in food items are examined based on comparison of risk results with and without measurements of exposure. At two hazardous waste sites, plants and earthworms were analyzed for metals and organics. Site-specific bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) were calculated and compared to literature reported values. In general, the metals concentrations in plant samples were higher than those predicted by literature values with the exception of cadmium and copper. Metal concentrations measured in invertebrates (worms) were lower than those predicted by literature values with the exception of arsenic. Literature BAFs did not adequately predict concentrations of barium, mercury or copper in invertebrate tissue. In the ecological risk assessments for both of the sites, if site-specific measurements were used, risks for wildlife species were not predicted. However if literature BAF values were used, unacceptable risks were predicted. The higher estimates of risks were associated with overestimates of dietary exposures of lead, cadmium, chromium, copper and zinc. Measurement of contaminant exposuresmore » provided for a more realistic and cost-effective estimate of ecological risks. The effect of using the empirical data on the magnitude of risks were evaluated including decisions concerning remediation. A cost-benefit analysis will be provided comparing the costs of measurement of exposures versus remediation.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. ABB Environmental Services, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  2. ABB Environmental Services, Arlington, VA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
212087
Report Number(s):
CONF-9511137--
ISBN 1-880611-03-1; TRN: IM9617%%403
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) world conference, Vancouver (Canada), 5-9 Nov 1995; Other Information: PBD: 1995; Related Information: Is Part Of Second SETAC world congress (16. annual meeting): Abstract book. Global environmental protection: Science, politics, and common sense; PB: 378 p.
Publisher:
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Pensacola, FL (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 56 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES; RISK ASSESSMENT; DATA COVARIANCES; CADMIUM; BIOLOGICAL ACCUMULATION; COPPER; ARSENIC; BARIUM; MERCURY; LEAD; CHROMIUM; ZINC; FOOD CHAINS; POLLUTION; BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS; ANNELIDS; SENSITIVITY; PLANTS; ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE PATHWAY; WILD ANIMALS; REMEDIAL ACTION