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Papa E.,University of Insubria | van der Wal L.,REACH Mastery | Arnot J.A.,ARC Arnot Research and Consulting | Arnot J.A.,University of Toronto | Gramatica P.,University of Insubria
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

Bioaccumulation in fish is a function of competing rates of chemical uptake and elimination. For hydrophobic organic chemicals bioconcentration, bioaccumulation and biomagnification potential are high and the biotransformation rate constant is a key parameter. Few measured biotransformation rate constant data are available compared to the number of chemicals that are being evaluated for bioaccumulation hazard and for exposure and risk assessment. Three new Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSARs) for predicting whole body biotransformation half-lives (HLN) in fish were developed and validated using theoretical molecular descriptors that seek to capture structural characteristics of the whole molecule and three data set splitting schemes. The new QSARs were developed using a minimal number of theoretical descriptors (n=9) and compared to existing QSARs developed using fragment contribution methods that include up to 59 descriptors. The predictive statistics of the models are similar thus further corroborating the predictive performance of the different QSARs; Q2 ext ranges from 0.75 to 0.77, CCCext ranges from 0.86 to 0.87, RMSE in prediction ranges from 0.56 to 0.58. The new QSARs provide additional mechanistic insights into the biotransformation capacity of organic chemicals in fish by including whole molecule descriptors and they also include information on the domain of applicability for the chemical of interest. Advantages of consensus modeling for improving overall prediction and minimizing false negative errors in chemical screening assessments, for identifying potential sources of residual error in the empirical HLN database, and for identifying structural features that are not well represented in the HLN dataset to prioritize future testing needs are illustrated. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Mackay D.,Trent University | Mccarty L.S.,Ls Mccarty Scientific Research And Consulting | Arnot J.A.,ARC Arnot Research and Consulting | Arnot J.A.,University of Toronto
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2014

There is continuing debate about the merits of exposure-based toxicity metrics such as median lethal concentration (LC50) versus organism-based metrics such as critical body residue (CBR) as indicators of chemical toxicity to aquatic organisms. To demonstrate relationships and differences between these 2 metrics, the authors applied a simple one-compartment toxicokinetic mass-balance model for water-exposed fish for a series of hypothetical organic chemicals exhibiting baseline narcotic toxicity. The authors also considered the influence of several toxicity-modifying factors. The results showed that the results of standard toxicity tests, such as the LC50, are strongly influenced by several modifying factors, including chemical and organism characteristics such as hydrophobicity, body size, lipid content, metabolic biotransformation, and exposure durations. Consequently, reported LC50s may not represent consistent dose surrogates and may be inappropriate for comparing the relative toxicity of chemicals. For comparisons of toxicity between chemicals, it is preferable to employ a delivered dose metric, such as the CBR. Reproducible toxicity data for a specific combination of chemical, exposure conditions, and organism can be obtained only if the extent of approach to steady state is known. Suggestions are made for revisions in test protocols, including the use of models in advance of empirical testing, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of tests and reduce the confounding influences of toxicity-modifying factors, especially exposure duration and metabolic biotransformation. This will assist in linking empirical measurements of LC50s and CBRs, 2 different but related indicators of aquatic toxicity, and thereby improve understanding of the large existing database of aquatic toxicity test results. © 2014 SETAC.

Mackay D.,Trent University | Arnot J.A.,University of Toronto | Arnot J.A.,ARC Arnot Research and Consulting | Gobas F.A.P.C.,Simon Fraser University | Powell D.E.,Dow Corning
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2013

Five widely used metrics of bioaccumulation in fish are defined and discussed, namely the octanol-water partition coefficient (KOW), bioconcentration factor (BCF), bioaccumulation factor (BAF), biomagnification factor (BMF), and trophic magnification factor (TMF). Algebraic relationships between these metrics are developed and discussed using conventional expressions for chemical uptake from water and food and first-order losses by respiration, egestion, biotransformation, and growth dilution. Two BCFs may be defined, namely as an equilibrium partition coefficient KFW or as a nonequilibrium BCFK in which egestion losses are included. Bioaccumulation factors are shown to be the product of the BCFK and a novel equilibrium multiplier M containing 2 ratios, namely, the diet-to-water concentration ratio and the ratio of uptake rate constants for respiration and dietary uptake. Biomagnification factors are shown to be proportional to the lipid-normalized ratio of the predator/prey values of BCFK and the ratio of the equilibrium multipliers. Relationships with TMFs are also discussed. The effects of chemical hydrophobicity, biotransformation, and growth are evaluated by applying the relationships to a range of illustrative chemicals of varying KOW in a linear 4-trophic-level food web with typical values for uptake and loss rate constants. The roles of respiratory and dietary intakes are demonstrated, and even slow rates of biotransformation and growth can significantly affect bioaccumulation. The BCFKs and the values of M can be regarded as the fundamental determinants of bioaccumulation and biomagnification in aquatic food webs. Analyzing data from food webs can be enhanced by plotting logarithmic lipid-normalized concentrations or fugacities as a linear function of trophic level to deduce TMFs. Implications for determining bioaccumulation by laboratory tests for regulatory purposes are discussed. © 2013 SETAC.

Armitage J.M.,University of Toronto | Arnot J.A.,University of Toronto | Arnot J.A.,ARC Arnot Research and Consulting | Wania F.,University of Toronto | Mackay D.,Trent University
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2013

A mechanistic mass balance bioconcentration model is developed and parameterized for ionogenic organic chemicals (IOCs) in fish and evaluated against a compilation of empirical bioconcentration factors (BCFs). The model is subsequently applied to a set of perfluoroalkyl acids. Key aspects of model development include revised methods to estimate the chemical absorption efficiency of IOCs at the respiratory surface (EW) and the use of distribution ratios to characterize the overall sorption capacity of the organism. Membrane-water distribution ratios (DMW) are used to characterize sorption to phospholipids instead of only considering the octanol-water distribution ratio (DOW). Modeled BCFs are well correlated with the observations (e.g., r2=0.68 and 0.75 for organic acids and bases, respectively) and accurate to within a factor of three on average. Model prediction errors appear to be largely the result of uncertainties in the biotransformation rate constant (kM) estimates and the generic approaches for estimating sorption capacity (e.g., DMW). Model performance for the set of perfluoroalkyl acids considered is highly dependent on the input parameters describing hydrophobicity (i.e., log KOW of the neutral form). The model applications broadly support the hypothesis that phospholipids contribute substantially to the sorption capacity of fish, particularly for compounds that exhibit a high degree of ionization at biologically relevant pH. Additional empirical data on biotransformation and sorption to phospholipids and subsequent incorporation into property estimation approaches (e.g., kM, DMW) are priorities with respect to improving model performance. © 2012 SETAC.

Mackay D.,Trent University | Arnot J.A.,ARC Arnot Research and Consulting | Arnot J.A.,University of Toronto | Celsie A.,Trent University | And 2 more authors.
SAR and QSAR in Environmental Research | Year: 2014

Significant advances were made in the development of quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) relating molecular structure to aquatic toxicity by three studies over 30 years ago by Ferguson in 1939, Konemann in 1981, and Veith and colleagues in 1983. We revisit the original concepts and data from these studies and review these contributions from the bases of current perspectives on the hypothesized mechanism of baseline narcotic toxicity and the underlying thermodynamic and kinetic aspects. The relationships between LC50, octanol-water partition coefficient, aqueous solubility, chemical activity and chemical volume fraction in lipid phases are outlined including kinetic influences on measured toxicities. These relationships provide a compelling and plausible explanation of the success of these and other QSARs for aquatic toxicity. Suggestions are made for further advances in these QSARs to improve assessments of toxicity by baseline narcotic toxicity and selective modes of action, especially using emerging quantum chemical computational capabilities. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

PubMed | Trent University, Dow Corning, ARC Arnot Research and Consulting and Ls Mccarty Scientific Research Consulting
Type: | Journal: Environmental toxicology and chemistry | Year: 2016

A one-compartment toxicokinetic model is used to characterize the chemical exposure toxicity space (CETS), providing a novel graphical tool that can aid in the design of aquatic toxicity tests for fish and for interpreting their results. The graph depicts the solution to the differential equation describing the dynamic uptake kinetics of a chemical by a one-compartment modeled fish under conventional bioassay conditions. The model relates the exposure concentration in the water to a dimensionless time and the onset of toxicity as determined by an estimated or assumed critical body residue or incipient lethal aqueous concentration. These concentration graphs are specific to each chemical and exposure and organism parameters, and clearly demonstrate differences in toxicity between chemicals and how factors such as hydrophobicity influence the toxic endpoint. The CETS plots can also be used to assess bioconcentration test conditions to ensure that concentrations are well below toxic levels. Illustrative applications are presented using a recent set of high quality toxicity data. Conversion of concentrations to chemical activities in the plots enables results for different baseline toxicants to be superimposed. For chemicals that have different modes of toxic action, the increased toxicity then becomes apparent. Implications for design and interpretation of aquatic toxicity tests are discussed. This model, and pictorial visualization of the time-course of aquatic toxicity tests, may contribute to improvements in test design, implementation, and interpretation, and to reduced animal usage. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PubMed | Trent University and ARC Arnot Research and Consulting
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental toxicology and chemistry | Year: 2016

A novel dynamic fugacity-based model is described, developed, and tested that simulates the uptake of narcotic organic chemicals in fish from water as occurs in aquatic bioconcentration and toxicity tests. The physiologically based toxicokinetic model treats the time course of chemical distribution in 4 compartments (tissue groups) in the fish, including the liver, in which biotransformation may occur. In addition to calculating bioconcentration and toxicokinetics, 5 possible toxic endpoints are defined corresponding to chemical concentration, fugacity, or activity reaching a critical value that causes 50% mortality. The mathematical description of multicompartment uptake is simplified by expressing the equations in the fugacity format. The model is parameterized and tested against reported empirical data for the bioconcentration of pentachloroethane in rainbow trout and for uptake and mortality from aquatic exposures to naphthalene and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene in fathead minnows. Model performance is evaluated, and it is concluded that with suitable parameterization it has potential for application for assessment of both bioconcentration and toxicity expressed as median lethal concentrations, critical body residues, and chemical activity as a function of time to death.

Costanza J.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Lynch D.G.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Boethling R.S.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Arnot J.A.,University of Toronto | Arnot J.A.,ARC Arnot Research and Consulting
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2012

The fish bioconcentration factor (BCF), as calculated from controlled laboratory tests, is commonly used in chemical management programs to screen chemicals for bioaccumulation potential. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF), as calculated from field-caught fish, is more ecologically relevant because it accounts for dietary, respiratory, and dermal exposures. The BCFBAF™ program in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Estimation Programs Interface Suite (EPI Suite™ Ver 4.10) screening-level tool includes the Arnot-Gobas quantitative structure-activity relationship model to estimate BAFs for organic chemicals in fish. Bioaccumulation factors can be greater than BCFs, suggesting that using the BAF rather than the BCF for screening bioaccumulation potential could have regulatory and resource implications for chemical assessment programs. To evaluate these potential implications, BCFBAF was used to calculate BAFs and BCFs for 6,034U.S. high- and medium-production volume chemicals. The results indicate no change in the bioaccumulation rating for 86% of these chemicals, with 3% receiving lower and 11% receiving higher bioaccumulation ratings when using the BAF rather than the BCF. All chemicals that received higher bioaccumulation ratings had log KOWvalues greater than 4.02, in which a chemical's BAF was more representative of field-based bioaccumulation than its BCF. Similar results were obtained for 374 new chemicals. Screening based on BAFs provides ecologically relevant results without a substantial increase in resources needed for assessments or the number of chemicals screened as being of concern for bioaccumulation potential. © 2012 SETAC.

Xiao R.,University of Stockholm | Xiao R.,Central South University | Arnot J.A.,ARC Arnot Research and Consulting | Arnot J.A.,University of Toronto | MacLeod M.,University of Stockholm
Chemosphere | Year: 2015

Dietary exposure is considered the dominant pathway for fish exposed to persistent, hydrophobic chemicals in the environment. Here we present a dynamic, fugacity-based three-compartment bioaccumulation model that describes the fish body as one compartment and the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) as two compartments. The model simulates uptake from the GIT by passive diffusion and micelle-mediated diffusion, and chemical degradation in the fish and the GIT compartments. We applied the model to a consistent measured dietary uptake and depuration dataset for rainbow trout (. n=. 215) that is comprised of chlorinated benzenes, biphenyls, dioxins, diphenyl ethers, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Model performance relative to the measured data is statistically similar regardless of whether micelle-mediated diffusion is included; however, there are considerable uncertainties in modeling this process. When degradation in the GIT is assumed to be negligible, modeled chemical elimination rates are similar to measured rates; however, predicted concentrations of the PAHs are consistently higher than measurements by up to a factor of 20. Introducing a kinetic limit on chemical transport from the fish compartment to the GIT and increasing the rate constant for degradation of PAHs in tissues of the liver and/or GIT are required to achieve good agreement between the modelled and measured concentrations for PAHs. Our results indicate that the apparent low absorption efficiency of PAHs relative to the chemicals with similar hydrophobicity is attributable to biotransformation in the liver and/or the GIT. Our results provide process-level insights about controls on the extent of bioaccumulation of chemicals. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

PubMed | U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, University Utrecht, ARC Arnot Research and Consulting and University of Toronto
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental science & technology | Year: 2016

Greater knowledge of biotransformation rates for ionizable organic compounds (IOCs) in fish is required to properly assess the bioaccumulation potential of many environmentally relevant contaminants. In this study, we measured in vitro hepatic clearance rates for 50 IOCs using a pooled batch of liver S9 fractions isolated from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The IOCs included four types of strongly ionized acids (carboxylates, phenolates, sulfonates, and sulfates), three types of strongly ionized bases (primary, secondary, tertiary amines), and a pair of quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs). Included in this test set were several surfactants and a series of beta-blockers. For linear alkyl chain IOC analogues, biotransformation enzymes appeared to act directly on the charged terminal group, with the highest clearance rates for tertiary amines and sulfates and no clearance of QACs. Clearance rates for C

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