Tools for Evaluating the Fate and Bioaccumulation of Organic Compounds in Aquatic Ecosystems

by Nfon, Erick, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
The bioaccumulation of organic contaminants in aquatic ecosystems has been a key focus in environmental toxicology over the last decades. Bioaccumulation is a key concept in ecological risk assessments since it controls the internal dose of potential environmental contaminants. Information on the bioaccumulation of contaminants is used by regulatory authorities in the development of water quality standards, categorizing substances that are potential hazards and quantifying the risk of chemicals to human health. A basis for identifying priority chemicals has been the use of the octanol-water partition coefficient (KOW) as a criterion to estimate bioaccumulation potential. However, recognizing that the bioaccumulation process is not controlled by the hydrophobicity of a chemical alone, this thesis proposes a set of tools, incorporating chemical properties, environmental characteristics and physiological properties of organisms, to study the bioaccumulation of contaminants in aquatic ecosystems. In striving to achieve this objective, a tool based on an equilibrium lipid partitioning approach was used in Paper I to evaluate monitoring data for bioaccumulation of organic contaminants. In Papers II and III, mechanistic based modelling tools were developed to describe bioaccumulation of hydrophobic compounds in aquatic food webs. In Paper IV, the bioaccumulation of organic compounds in aquatic food chains was studied using stable isotopes of nitrogen. The mechanistic fate and food web models developed in this thesis provide regulators and chemical manufacturers with a means of communicating scientific information to the general public and readily applicable mechanistic fate and food web models that are easily modified for evaluative assessments purposes.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Baltic Sea; Biomagnification; Exposure; Food web; Fugacity model; Stable isotopes; Organic contaminants; tillämpad miljövetenskap; Applied Environmental Science


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.