Environmental Management

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 415-423

First online:

Variation in Sensitivity of Aquatic Species to Toxicants: Practical Consequences for Effect Assessment of Chemical Substances

  • Manon A.  VaalAffiliated withNational Institute of Public Health and the Environment, PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
  • , Cees J.  Van LeeuwenAffiliated withNational Institute of Public Health and the Environment, PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
  • , Janneke A.  HoekstraAffiliated withNational Institute of Public Health and the Environment, PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
  • , Joop L. M.  HermensAffiliated withResearch Institute of Toxicology, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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–106 times higher compared with less sensitive species. The use of assessment factors in effect assessment procedures may lead to an underestimation of effects on the more sensitive species.

For many priority pollutants there is little information on their ecotoxicity. Predictive techniques are needed to compensate for this lack of data. Knowledge of the relation between modes of action of compounds and interspecies variation in sensitivity should be integrated in risk assessment procedures in order to make more efficient use of the limited financial resources available.

KEY WORDS: quantitative structure-activity relationship; Ecotoxicological effect assessment; Mode of action; Interspecies variation; sensitivity