Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 28–32 | Cite as

Tissue-based environmental quality benchmarks and standards

  • James P. Meador
  • Michael St. J. Warne
  • Peter M. Chapman
  • King Ming Chan
  • Shen Yu
  • Kenneth M. Y. Leung
Environmental Quality Benchmarks for Protecting Aquatic Ecosystems

Abstract

Although the use of tissue concentrations (residues) of chemical contaminants as the dose metric to characterize chemical toxicity to aquatic organisms has been gaining acceptance over the past 20 years, tissue concentrations are less commonly used in water quality management and have yet to be formally adopted as benchmarks or environmental quality standards (EQS). This synthesis paper addresses advantages and disadvantages for the development and application of tissue-based EQS as an alternative and supplement to exposure-based EQS determined with water and sediment concentration data. Tissue-based EQS can be readily developed in parallel with conventional toxicity tests, and achieved by quantification of chemical concentrations in tissue alongside traditional concentration-response toxicity testing. Tissue-residue toxicity metrics can be used as benchmarks for screening and monitoring water and sediment quality, to derive equivalent water or sediment EQS, and for ecological risk assessments and weight of evidence approaches for assessing ecosystem impairment. Tissue-based toxicity metrics and associated EQS provide several advantages; however, there are some limitations to consider and key knowledge gaps to fill.

Keywords

Tissue benchmarks Weight of evidence Environmental risk assessment Tissue-residue approach Environmental quality standards 

References

  1. Adams WJ, Blust R, Borgmann U, Brix KV, DeForest DK, Green AS, Meyer JS, McGeer JC, Paquin PR, Rainbow PS, Wood CM (2011) Utility of tissue residues for predicting effects of metals on aquatic organisms. Integr Environ Assess Manage 7(1):75–98Google Scholar
  2. Beckvar N, Dillon TM, Read LB (2005) Approaches for linking whole-body fish tissue residues of mercury or DDT to biological effects thresholds. Environ Toxicol Chem 24:2094–2105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chapman PM, Adams WJ, Brooks ML, Delos CG, Luoma SN, Maher WA, Ohlendorf HM, Presser TS, Shaw DP (eds) (2010) Ecological assessment of selenium in the aquatic environment. SETAC Press, PensacolaGoogle Scholar
  4. Dyer S, Warne MStJ, Meyer JS, Leslie HA, Escher BI (2011) Tissue residue approach for chemical mixtures. Integr Environ Assess Manage 7:99–115Google Scholar
  5. Landis WG, Chapman PM (2011) Well past time to stop using NOEL/LOELs. Integr Environ Assess Manage 7(4):vi–viiiCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Landrum PF, Chapman PM, Neff J, Page DS (2012) Evaluating the aquatic toxicity of complex organic chemical mixtures. Integr Environ Assess Manage 8(2):217–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. McCarty LS, Landrum PF, Luoma SN, Meador JP, Merten AA, Shephard BK, van Wezel AP (2011) Advancing environmental toxicology through chemical dosimetry: external exposures versus tissue residues. Integr Environ Assess Manage 7:7–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. McElroy AE, Barron MG, Beckvar N, Kane Driscoll SB, Meador JP, Parkerton TF, Preuss TG, Steevens JA (2011) A review of the tissue residue approach for organic and organometallic compounds in aquatic organisms. Integr Environ Assess Manage 7:50–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Meador JP (2006) Rationale and procedures for using the tissue-residue approach for toxicity assessment and determination of tissue, water, and sediment quality guidelines for aquatic organisms. Human Ecol Risk Assess 12:1018–1073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Meador JP (2011) Organotins in aquatic biota: occurrence in tissue and toxicological significance. In: Beyer WN, Meador JP (eds) Environmental contaminants in biota: interpreting tissue concentrations. Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, pp 255–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Meador JP, Adams WJ, Escher BI, McCarty LS, McElroy AE, Sappington KG (2011) The tissue residue approach for toxicity assessment: findings and critical reviews from a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Pellston Workshop. Integr Environ Assess Manage 7:2–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sappington KG, Bridges TS, Bradbury SP, Erickson RJ, Hendriks AJ, Lanno RP, Meador JP, Mount DR, Salazar MH, Spry DJ (2011) Application of the tissue residue approach in ecological risk assessment. Integr Environ Assess Manage 7:116–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) (2004) Draft aquatic life water quality criteria for selenium—2004. Office of Water, Office of Science and Technology, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  14. Wheeler JR, Grist EPM, Leung KMY, Morritt D, Crane M (2002) Species sensitivity distribution: data and model choice. Mar Pollut Bull 45:192–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • James P. Meador
    • 1
  • Michael St. J. Warne
    • 2
  • Peter M. Chapman
    • 3
  • King Ming Chan
    • 4
  • Shen Yu
    • 5
  • Kenneth M. Y. Leung
    • 6
  1. 1.NOAA Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Fish Health ProgramSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Water Quality and Investigations, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Science, Science Delivery, Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the ArtsBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Golder AssociatesBurnabyCanada
  4. 4.Chinese University of Hong Kong, Faculty of ScienceSchool of Life SciencesSha TinChina
  5. 5.Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Urban Environment, Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and HealthXiamenChina
  6. 6.The Swire Institute of Marine Science and School of Biological SciencesThe University of Hong KongPokfulamChina

Personalised recommendations