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Article: Measuring and monitoring persistent organic pollutants in the context of risk assessment

TitleMeasuring and monitoring persistent organic pollutants in the context of risk assessment
Authors
KeywordsGuideline
POPs
Risk assessment
Issue Date2008
PublisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/marpolbul
Citation
Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2008, v. 57 n. 6-12, p. 236-244 How to Cite?
Abstract
Due to growing concerns regarding persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the environment, extensive studies and monitoring programs have been carried out in the last two decades to determine their concentrations in water, sediment, and more recently, in biota. An extensive review and analysis of the existing literature shows that whilst the vast majority of these efforts either attempt to compare (a) spatial changes (to identify "hot spots"), or (b) temporal changes to detect deterioration/improvement occurring in the environment, most studies could not provide sufficient statistical power to estimate concentrations of POPs in the environment and detect spatial and temporal changes. Despite various national POPs standards having been established, there has been a surprising paucity of emphasis in establishing accurate threshold concentrations that indicate potential significant threats to ecosystems and public health. Although most monitoring programs attempt to check compliance through reference to certain "environmental quality objectives", it should be pointed out that many of these established standards are typically associated with a large degree of uncertainty and rely on a large number of assumptions, some of which may be arbitrary. Non-compliance should trigger concern, so that the problem can be tracked down and rectified, but non-compliance must not be interpreted in a simplistic and mechanical way. Contaminants occurring in the physical environment may not necessarily be biologically available, and even when they are bioavailable, they may not necessarily elicit adverse biological effects at the individual or population levels. As such, we here argue that routine monitoring and reporting of abiotic and biotic POPs concentrations could be of limited use, unless such data can be related directly to the assessment of public health and ecological risks. Risk can be inferred from the ratio of predicted environmental concentration (PEC) and the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC). Currently, the paucity of data does not allow accurate estimation of PNEC, and future endeavors should therefore, be devoted to determine the threshold concentrations of POPs that can cause undesirable biological effects on sensitive receivers and important biological components in the receiving environment (e.g. keystone species, populations with high energy flow values, etc.), to enable derivation of PNECs based on solid scientific evidence and reduce uncertainty. Using the threshold body burden of POPs required to elicit damages of lysosomal integrity in the green mussel (Perna virvidis) as an example, we illustrate how measurement of POPs in body tissue could be used in predicting environmental risk in a meaningful way. © 2008.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/92762
ISSN
2013 Impact Factor: 2.793
2013 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.197
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

Author Affiliations
  1. University of Saskatchewan
  2. City University of Hong Kong
  3. National Food Safety and Toxicology Center
DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWu, RSSen_HK
dc.contributor.authorChan, AKYen_HK
dc.contributor.authorRichardson, BJen_HK
dc.contributor.authorAu, DWTen_HK
dc.contributor.authorFang, JKHen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLam, PKSen_HK
dc.contributor.authorGiesy, JPen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-17T10:56:25Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-17T10:56:25Z-
dc.date.issued2008en_HK
dc.identifier.citationMarine Pollution Bulletin, 2008, v. 57 n. 6-12, p. 236-244en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0025-326Xen_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/92762-
dc.description.abstractDue to growing concerns regarding persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the environment, extensive studies and monitoring programs have been carried out in the last two decades to determine their concentrations in water, sediment, and more recently, in biota. An extensive review and analysis of the existing literature shows that whilst the vast majority of these efforts either attempt to compare (a) spatial changes (to identify "hot spots"), or (b) temporal changes to detect deterioration/improvement occurring in the environment, most studies could not provide sufficient statistical power to estimate concentrations of POPs in the environment and detect spatial and temporal changes. Despite various national POPs standards having been established, there has been a surprising paucity of emphasis in establishing accurate threshold concentrations that indicate potential significant threats to ecosystems and public health. Although most monitoring programs attempt to check compliance through reference to certain "environmental quality objectives", it should be pointed out that many of these established standards are typically associated with a large degree of uncertainty and rely on a large number of assumptions, some of which may be arbitrary. Non-compliance should trigger concern, so that the problem can be tracked down and rectified, but non-compliance must not be interpreted in a simplistic and mechanical way. Contaminants occurring in the physical environment may not necessarily be biologically available, and even when they are bioavailable, they may not necessarily elicit adverse biological effects at the individual or population levels. As such, we here argue that routine monitoring and reporting of abiotic and biotic POPs concentrations could be of limited use, unless such data can be related directly to the assessment of public health and ecological risks. Risk can be inferred from the ratio of predicted environmental concentration (PEC) and the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC). Currently, the paucity of data does not allow accurate estimation of PNEC, and future endeavors should therefore, be devoted to determine the threshold concentrations of POPs that can cause undesirable biological effects on sensitive receivers and important biological components in the receiving environment (e.g. keystone species, populations with high energy flow values, etc.), to enable derivation of PNECs based on solid scientific evidence and reduce uncertainty. Using the threshold body burden of POPs required to elicit damages of lysosomal integrity in the green mussel (Perna virvidis) as an example, we illustrate how measurement of POPs in body tissue could be used in predicting environmental risk in a meaningful way. © 2008.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/marpolbulen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofMarine Pollution Bulletinen_HK
dc.subjectGuidelineen_HK
dc.subjectPOPsen_HK
dc.subjectRisk assessmenten_HK
dc.titleMeasuring and monitoring persistent organic pollutants in the context of risk assessmenten_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailWu, RSS: rudolfwu@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityWu, RSS=rp01398en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.03.012en_HK
dc.identifier.pmid18522862en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-46549086631en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-46549086631&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume57en_HK
dc.identifier.issue6-12en_HK
dc.identifier.spage236en_HK
dc.identifier.epage244en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000257816300003-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWu, RSS=7402945079en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChan, AKY=24278666900en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridRichardson, BJ=7202395817en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridAu, DWT=7004909228en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridFang, JKH=24168119000en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLam, PKS=7202365776en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridGiesy, JP=35459135300en_HK

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