An improved method for calculating toxicity-based pollutant loads: part 1. method development

Smith, Rachael A., Warne, Michael St J., Mengersen, Kerrie and Turner, Ryan D. R. (2017) An improved method for calculating toxicity-based pollutant loads: part 1. method development. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 13 4: 746-753. doi:10.1002/ieam.1854

Author Smith, Rachael A.
Warne, Michael St J.
Mengersen, Kerrie
Turner, Ryan D. R.
Title An improved method for calculating toxicity-based pollutant loads: part 1. method development
Journal name Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1551-3793
Publication date 2017-07-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/ieam.1854
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 13
Issue 4
Start page 746
End page 753
Total pages 27
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Abstract Pollutant loads are a means for assessing regulatory compliance and setting targets to reduce pollution entering receiving waterbodies. However, a pollutant load is often comprised of multiple chemicals, which may exert joint toxicity on biota. When the ultimate goal for assessing pollutant loads is to protect ecosystems from adverse effects of toxicants, then the total pollutant load needs to be calculated based on the principles of mixture toxicology. In this article, an improved method is proposed to convert a pollutant load to a toxicity-based load (toxic load) using a modified toxic equivalency factor (TEF) derivation method. The method uses the relative potencies (RePs) of multiple species to represent the response of the ecological community. The TEF is calculated from a percentile of a cumulative distribution function (CDF) fitted to the RePs. The improvements permit the determination of which percentile of the CDF generates the most environmentally relevant and robust toxic loads. That is, environmental relevance ensures that a reduction in the toxic load is likely to result in a corresponding improvement in ecosystem health and robustness ensures that the calculation of the toxic loads is not biased by the reference chemical used. The improved methodology will therefore ensure that correct management decisions will be made and ultimately, a reduction in the toxic load will lead to a commensurate improvement in water quality.
Keyword Mixtures
Multiple species
Pollutant loads
Relative potency
Toxic equivalency factor
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) Publications
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