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Mayfield D.B.,Gradient | Fairbrother A.,Exponent, Inc.
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management | Year: 2013

Wildlife toxicity reference values (TRVs) are routinely used during screening level and baseline ecological risk assessments (ERAs). Risk assessment professionals often adopt TRVs from published sources to expedite risk analyses. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) developed ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) to provide a source of TRVs that would improve consistency among risk assessments. We conducted a survey and evaluated more than 50 publicly available, large-scale ERAs published in the last decade to evaluate if USEPA's goal of uniformity in the use of wildlife TRVs has been met. In addition, these ERAs were reviewed to understand current practices for wildlife TRV use and development within the risk assessment community. The use of no observed and lowest observed adverse effect levels culled from published compendia was common practiceamong the majority of ERAs reviewed.We found increasing use over time of TRVs established in the Eco-SSL documents; however, Eco-SSL TRV values were not used in the majority of recent ERAs and there continues to be wide variation in TRVs for commonly studied contaminants (e.g., metals, pesticides, PAHs, and PCBs). Variability in the toxicity values was driven by differences in the key studies selected, dose estimation methods, and use of uncertainty factors. These differences result in TRVs that span multiple orders of magnitude for many of the chemicals examined. This lack of consistency in TRV development leads to highly variable results in ecological risk assessments conducted throughout the United States. © 2012 SETAC. Source


Boroumand A.,Gradient | Abriola L.M.,Tufts University
Water Resources Research | Year: 2015

Analysis of partitioning tracer tests conducted in dense nonaqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) source zones relies on conceptual models that describe mass exchange between the DNAPL and aqueous phases. Such analysis, however, is complicated by the complex distribution of entrapped DNAPL mass and formation heterogeneity. Due to parameter uncertainty in heterogeneous regions and the desire to reduce model complexity, the effect of mass transfer limitations is often neglected, and an equilibrium-based model is typically used to interpret test results. This work explores the consequences of that simplifying assumption on test data interpretation and develops an alternative upscaled modeling approach to quantify effective mass transfer rates. To this end, a series of partitioning tracer tests is numerically simulated in heterogeneous two-dimensional PCE-DNAPL source zones, representative of a range of hydraulic conductivity and DNAPL mass distribution characteristics. The effective mass transfer coefficient corresponding to each test is determined by fitting an upscaled model to the simulated data, and regression analysis is performed to explore the correlation between various source zone metrics and the effective mass transfer coefficient. Results suggest that vertical DNAPL spreading, Reynolds number, pool fraction, and the effective organic phase saturation are the most significant parameters controlling tracer partitioning rates. Finally, a correlation for prediction of the effective (upscaled) mass transfer coefficient is proposed and verified using existing experimental data. The developed upscaled model incorporates the influence of physical heterogeneity on the rate of tracer partitioning and, thus, can be used for the estimation of source zone mass distribution characteristics from tracer test results. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Source


Iavicoli I.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Calabrese E.J.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Nascarella M.A.,Gradient
Dose-Response | Year: 2010

Nanoparticles are particles with lengths that range from 1 to 100 nm. They are increasingly being manufactured and used for commercial purpose because of their novel and unique physicochemical properties. Although nanotechnology-based products are generally thought to be at a pre-competitive stage, an increasing number of products and materials are becoming commercially available. Human exposure to nanoparticles is therefore inevitable as they become more widely used and, as a result, nanotoxicology research is now gaining attention. However, there are many uncertainties as to whether the unique properties of nanoparticles also pose occupational health risks. These uncertainties arise because of gaps in knowledge about the factors that are essential for predicting health risks such as routes of exposure, distribution, accumulation, excretion and dose-response relationship of the nanoparticles. In particular, uncertainty remains with regard to the nature of the dose-response curve at low level exposures below the toxic threshold. In fact, in the literature, some studies that investigated the biological effects of nanoparticles, observed a hormetic dose-response. However, currently available data regarding this topic are extremely limited and fragmentary. It therefore seems clear that future studies need to focus on this issue by studying the potential adverse health effects caused by low-level exposures to nanoparticles. © 2010 University of Massachusetts. Source


Mayfield D.B.,Gradient | Fairbrother A.,Exponent, Inc.
Chemosphere | Year: 2015

Rare earth elements (REEs or lanthanides) were measured in ten freshwater fish species from a reservoir in Washington State (United States). The REE distribution patterns were examined within fillet and whole body tissues for three size classes. Total concentrations (σREE) ranged from 0.014 to 3.0mgkg-1 (dry weight) and averaged 0.243mgkg-1 (dry weight). Tissue concentration patterns indicated that REEs accumulated to a greater extent in organs, viscera, and bone compared to muscle (fillet) tissues. Benthic feeding species (exposed to sediments) exhibited greater concentrations of REEs than pelagic omnivorous or piscivorous fish species. Decreasing REE concentrations were found with increasing age, total length or weight for largescale and longnose suckers, smallmouth bass, and walleye. Concentration patterns in this system were consistent with natural conditions without anthropogenic sources of REEs. These data provide additional reference information with regard to the fate and transport of REEs in freshwater fish tissues in a large aquatic system. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Analysis of partitioning tracer tests conducted in dense nonaqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) source zones relies on conceptual models that describe mass exchange between the DNAPL and aqueous phases. Such analysis, however, is complicated by the complex distribution of entrapped DNAPL mass and formation heterogeneity. Due to parameter uncertainty in heterogeneous regions and the desire to reduce model complexity, the effect of mass transfer limitations is often neglected, and an equilibrium-based model is typically used to interpret test results. This work explores the consequences of that simplifying assumption on test data interpretation and develops an alternative upscaled modeling approach to quantify effective mass transfer rates. To this end, a series of partitioning tracer tests is numerically simulated in heterogeneous two-dimensional PCE-DNAPL source zones, representative of a range of hydraulic conductivity and DNAPL mass distribution characteristics. The effective mass transfer coefficient corresponding to each test is determined by fitting an upscaled model to the simulated data, and regression analysis is performed to explore the correlation between various source zone metrics and the effective mass transfer coefficient. Results suggest that vertical DNAPL spreading, Reynolds number, pool fraction, and the effective organic phase saturation are the most significant parameters controlling tracer partitioning rates. Finally, a correlation for prediction of the effective (upscaled) mass transfer coefficient is proposed and verified using existing experimental data. The developed upscaled model incorporates the influence of physical heterogeneity on the rate of tracer partitioning and, thus, can be used for the estimation of source zone mass distribution characteristics from tracer test results. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. Source

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