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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.

Marvin C.H.,Environment Canada | Tomy G.T.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Tomy G.T.,University of Manitoba | Armitage J.M.,University of Toronto | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2011

Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is a globally produced brominated flame retardant (BFR) used primarily as an additive FR in polystyrene and textile products and has been the subject of intensified research, monitoring and regulatory interest over the past decade. HBCD is currently being evaluated under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. HBCD is hydrophobic (i.e., has low water solubility) and thus partitions to organic phases in the aquatic environment (e.g., lipids, suspended solids). It is ubiquitous in the global environment with monitoring data generally exhibiting the expected relationship between proximity to known sources and levels; however, temporal trends are not consistent. Estimated degradation half-lives, together with data in abiotic compartments and long-range transport potential indicate HBCD may be sufficiently persistent and distributed to be of global concern. The detection of HBCD in biota in the Arctic and in source regions and available bioaccumulation data also support the case for regulatory scrutiny. Toxicity testing has detected reproductive, developmental and behavioral effects in animals where exposures are sufficient. Recent toxicological advances include a better mechanistic understanding of how HBCD can interfere with the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, affect normal development, and impact the central nervous system; however, levels in biota in remote locations are below known effects thresholds. For many regulatory criteria, there are substantial uncertainties that reduce confidence in evaluations and thereby confound management decision-making based on currently available information. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Meador J.P.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Adams W.J.,Rio Tinto Alcan | Escher B.I.,University of Queensland | McCarty L.S.,Ls Mccarty Scientific Research And Consulting | And 2 more authors.
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management | Year: 2011

Over the past few years, the "critical body residue" approach for assessing toxicity based on bioaccumulated chemicals has evolved into a more expansive consideration of tissue residues as the dose metric when defining dose-response relationships,evaluating mixtures, developing protective guidelines, and conducting risk assessments. Hence, scientists refer to "tissue residue approach for toxicity assessment" or "tissue residue-effects approach" (TRA) when addressing ecotoxicology issues pertaining to tissue (or internal) concentrations. This introduction provides an overview of a SETAC Pellston Workshop held in 2007 to review the state of the science for using tissue residues as the dose metric in environmental toxicology. The key findings of the workshop are presented, along with recommendations for research to enhance understanding of toxic responses within and between species, and to advance the use of the TRA in assessment and management of chemicals in the environment. © 2010 SETAC.

McCarty L.S.,Ls Mccarty Scientific Research And Consulting | Borgert C.J.,Applied Pharmacology and Toxicology Inc. | Borgert C.J.,Florida College | Mihaich E.M.,Environmental and Regulatory Resources
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2012

Background: There is an ongoing discussion on the provenance of toxicity testing data regarding how best to ensure its validity and credibility. A central argument is whether journal peer-review procedures are superior to Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards employed for compliance with regulatory mandates. Objective: We sought to evaluate the rationale for regulatory decision making based on peer-review procedures versus GLP standards. Method: We examined pertinent published literature regarding how scientific data quality and validity are evaluated for peer review, GLP compliance, and development of regulations. Discussion: Some contend that peer review is a coherent, consistent evaluative procedure providing quality control for experimental data generation, analysis, and reporting sufficient to reliably establish relative merit, whereas GLP is seen as merely a tracking process designed to thwart investigator corruption. This view is not supported by published analyses pointing to subjectivity and variability in peer-review processes. Although GLP is not designed to establish relative merit, it is an internationally accepted quality assurance, quality control method for documenting experimental conduct and data. Conclusions: Neither process is completely sufficient for establishing relative scientific soundness. However, changes occurring both in peer-review processes and in regulatory guidance resulting in clearer, more transparent communication of scientific information point to an emerging convergence in ensuring information quality. The solution to determining relative merit lies in developing a well-documented, generally accepted weight-of-evidence scheme to evaluate both peer-reviewed and GLP information used in regulatory decision making where both merit and specific relevance inform the process.

Mccarty L.S.,Ls Mccarty Scientific Research And Consulting | Arnot J.A.,University of Toronto | Arnot J.A.,Arnot Research and Consulting | Mackay D.,Trent University
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2013

The Environmental Residue Effects Database was evaluated to identify critical body residues of organic chemicals causing acute baseline neutral narcosis in aquatic organisms. Over 15 000 records for >400 chemicals were evaluated. Mean molar critical body residues in the final data set of 161 records for 29 chemicals were within published ranges but varied within and among chemicals and species (∼3 orders of magnitude), and lipid normalization did not consistently decrease variability. All 29 chemicals can act as baseline neutral narcotics, but chemicals and/or their metabolites may also act by nonnarcotic modes of action. Specifically, nonnarcotic toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and/or their biotransformation derivatives may be a significant source of variability. Complete testing of the narcosis-critical body residue hypothesis was confounded by data gaps for key toxicity modifying factors such as metabolite formation/toxicity, lipid content/composition, other modes of toxic action, and lack of steady-state status. Such problems impede determination of the precise, accurate toxicity estimates necessary for sound toxicological comparisons. Thus, neither the data nor the chemicals in the final data set should be considered definitive. Changes to testing designs and methods are necessary to improve data collection and critical body residue interpretation for hazard and risk assessment. Each of the toxicity metrics discussed-wet weight and lipid weight critical body residues, volume fraction in organism lipid, and chemical activity-has advantages, but all are subject to the same toxicity modifying factors. © 2013 SETAC.

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