Open-File Report 2015–1113
Assessment and management of the risks of exposure to complex chemical mixtures in streams are priorities for human and environmental health organizations around the world. The current lack of information on the composition and variability of environmental mixtures and a limited understanding of their combined effects are fundamental obstacles to timely identification and prevention of adverse human and ecological effects of exposure. This report describes the design of a field-based study of the composition and biological activity of chemical mixtures in U.S. stream waters affected by a wide range of human activities and contaminant sources. The study is a collaborative effort by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Scientists sampled 38 streams spanning 24 States and Puerto Rico. Thirty-four of the sites were located in watersheds impacted by multiple contaminant sources, including industrial and municipal wastewater discharges, crop and animal agricultural runoff, urban runoff, and other point and nonpoint contaminant sources. The remaining four sites were minimally development reference watersheds. All samples underwent comprehensive chemical and biological characterization, including sensitive and specific direct analysis for over 700 dissolved organic and inorganic chemicals and field parameters, identification of unknown contaminants (environmental diagnostics), and a variety of bioassays to evaluate biological activity and toxicity.
First posted June 30, 2015
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Buxton, H.T., Reilly, T.J., Kuivila, K.M., Kolpin, D.W., Bradley, P.M., Villeneuve, D.L., and Mills, M.A., 2015, Chemical mixtures and environmental effects—A pilot study to assess ecological exposure and effects in streams: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1113, 12 p., https://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151113.
ISSN 2331-1258 (online)
Contaminant Mixtures in Surface Waters
The Challenge of Chemical Mixtures
Environmental Health Effects of Chemical Mixtures
A Pilot Study
Pilot Study Approach
Pilot Study Significance
Integrated Approach to Chemical Mixtures Assessment, Source Identification, and Mitigation