Aquatic concentrations of chemical analytes compared to ecotoxicity estimates

Science of the Total Environment
By: , and 



We describe screening level estimates of potential aquatic toxicity posed by 227 chemical analytes that were measured in 25 ambient water samples collected as part of a joint USGS/USEPA drinking water plant study. Measured concentrations were compared to biological effect concentration (EC) estimates, including USEPA aquatic life criteria, effective plasma concentrations of pharmaceuticals, published toxicity data summarized in the USEPA ECOTOX database, and chemical structure-based predictions. Potential dietary exposures were estimated using a generic 3-tiered food web accumulation scenario. For many analytes, few or no measured effect data were found, and for some analytes, reporting limits exceeded EC estimates, limiting the scope of conclusions. Results suggest occasional occurrence above ECs for copper, aluminum, strontium, lead, uranium, and nitrate. Sparse effect data for manganese, antimony, and vanadium suggest that these analytes may occur above ECs, but additional effect data would be desirable to corroborate EC estimates. These conclusions were not affected by bioaccumulation estimates. No organic analyte concentrations were found to exceed EC estimates, but ten analytes had concentrations in excess of 1/10th of their respective EC: triclocarban, norverapamil, progesterone, atrazine, metolachlor, triclosan, para-nonylphenol, ibuprofen, venlafaxine, and amitriptyline, suggesting more detailed characterization of these analytes.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Aquatic concentrations of chemical analytes compared to ecotoxicity estimates
Series title Science of the Total Environment
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.234
Volume 579
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher ScienceDirect
Contributing office(s) Iowa Water Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 1649
Last page 1657
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