Science.gov

Sample records for probalistic ecological risk

  1. Probalistic Assessment of Radiation Risk for Solar Particle Events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Myung-Hee Y.; Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2008-01-01

    For long duration missions outside of the protection of the Earth's magnetic field, exposure to solar particle events (SPEs) is a major safety concern for crew members during extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) on the lunar surface or Earth-to-moon or Earth-to-Mars transit. The large majority (90%) of SPEs have small or no health consequences because the doses are low and the particles do not penetrate to organ depths. However, there is an operational challenge to respond to events of unknown size and duration. We have developed a probabilistic approach to SPE risk assessment in support of mission design and operational planning. Using the historical database of proton measurements during the past 5 solar cycles, the functional form of hazard function of SPE occurrence per cycle was found for nonhomogeneous Poisson model. A typical hazard function was defined as a function of time within a non-specific future solar cycle of 4000 days duration. Distributions of particle fluences for a specified mission period were simulated ranging from its 5th to 95th percentile. Organ doses from large SPEs were assessed using NASA's Baryon transport model, BRYNTRN. The SPE risk was analyzed with the organ dose distribution for the given particle fluences during a mission period. In addition to the total particle fluences of SPEs, the detailed energy spectra of protons, especially at high energy levels, were recognized as extremely important for assessing the cancer risk associated with energetic particles for large events. The probability of exceeding the NASA 30-day limit of blood forming organ (BFO) dose inside a typical spacecraft was calculated for various SPE sizes. This probabilistic approach to SPE protection will be combined with a probabilistic approach to the radiobiological factors that contribute to the uncertainties in projecting cancer risks in future work.

  2. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Soil Screening Level (Eco-SSL) Work Group, composed of scientists and risk assessors from EPA, Environment Canada, DOE, Army, Navy, Air Force, states, industry, academia, and consulting companies, has been working on the development of scientifically sound, ecologi...

  3. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP

    EPA Science Inventory

    As ecological risk assessment evolves, it is moving beyond focus on single species toward addressing multiple species and their interactions, and from assessing effects of simple chemical toxicity to the cumulative impacts of multiple interacting chemical, physical, and biologica...

  4. Modeling extreme risks in ecology.

    PubMed

    Burgman, Mark; Franklin, James; Hayes, Keith R; Hosack, Geoffrey R; Peters, Gareth W; Sisson, Scott A

    2012-11-01

    Extreme risks in ecology are typified by circumstances in which data are sporadic or unavailable, understanding is poor, and decisions are urgently needed. Expert judgments are pervasive and disagreements among experts are commonplace. We outline approaches to evaluating extreme risks in ecology that rely on stochastic simulation, with a particular focus on methods to evaluate the likelihood of extinction and quasi-extinction of threatened species, and the likelihood of establishment and spread of invasive pests. We evaluate the importance of assumptions in these assessments and the potential of some new approaches to account for these uncertainties, including hierarchical estimation procedures and generalized extreme value distributions. We conclude by examining the treatment of consequences in extreme risk analysis in ecology and how expert judgment may better be harnessed to evaluate extreme risks. PMID:22817845

  5. Ecological risk assessment: Lessons learned

    SciTech Connect

    DeShields, B.R.; Stelljes, M.E.; Hawkins, E.T.; Alsop, W.R.

    1995-12-31

    On the basis of experience with ecological risk assessments and regulatory involvement in the process, a number of lessons can be learned relating to design, implementation, and reporting of ecological risk assessments. A number of case studies will be presented in order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. Issues surrounding the selection of assessment and measurement endpoints, receptors, accuracy of models when compared with field data, bioavailability of chemicals, selection of appropriate reference sites, availability of relevant toxicological data, utility of bioassays, and accounting for temporal and seasonal variability, species adaptation, and ecological relevance will be examined. In addition, effective ways of dealing with limitations such as duration and cost of the assessments will be evaluated. Case studies ranging from large, complex Superfund sites to small, relatively simplistic sites will be included. By scrutinizing the approaches used and the outcomes of these case studies, insight can be gained that will allow risk assessors to deal with limitations and to focus future efforts to provide useful and relevant information and sound scientifically-based results.

  6. [Urban ecological risk assessment: a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Mei-E; Chen, Wei-Ping; Peng, Chi

    2014-03-01

    With the development of urbanization and the degradation of urban living environment, urban ecological risks caused by urbanization have attracted more and more attentions. Based on urban ecology principles and ecological risk assessment frameworks, contents of urban ecological risk assessment were reviewed in terms of driven forces, risk resources, risk receptors, endpoints and integrated approaches for risk assessment. It was suggested that types and degrees of urban economical and social activities were the driven forces for urban ecological risks. Ecological functional components at different levels in urban ecosystems as well as the urban system as a whole were the risk receptors. Assessment endpoints involved in changes of urban ecological structures, processes, functional components and the integrity of characteristic and function. Social-ecological models should be the major approaches for urban ecological risk assessment. Trends for urban ecological risk assessment study should focus on setting a definite protection target and criteria corresponding to assessment endpoints, establishing a multiple-parameter assessment system and integrative assessment approaches. PMID:24984514

  7. Picillo Farm ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Rury, P.M.; Turton, D.J.

    1995-12-31

    Under the direction of US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, a baseline ecological risk assessment (ERA) was conducted for terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic ecosystems located on-site and off-site/downstream of a Superfund site in Coventry, Rhode Island. Surveys of biota and ecosystems were focused in the vicinity of 26 soil, sediment, and surface water sampling locations used for the RI/FS site contamination assessment, to cross-link data on biological receptors to site-specific habitat maps. Classes of contaminants of concern (COCs), selected independently for each medium based on exceedances of ecotoxicity criteria, for which risks to one or more indicator communities and species were calculated, included VOCs, SVOCs, metals, PCBs and pesticides. Simple hazard quotients were used to estimate risks for benthic and pelagic communities of the aquatic and wetland exposure zones, using AWQC and NOAA sediment guidelines. These aquatic criteria also were applied to a site-specific exposure models for all life stages of the Green Frog (Rana clamitans). To complement the benthic invertebrate risk estimates, site-derived sediments also were used for toxicity tests of Chironomus tentans and Hyalella azteca. Published, species-specific and/or extrapolated toxicity effects endpoints were used in site-specific, mathematical food chain exposure assessment models for the Amedcan Woodcock (Scolopax minor), Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda) and Mink (Mustela vison), to estimate organismal risks for a variety of foraging scenarios within one or more exposure zone. Incremental site contributions to risks from metals were inferred using local background data, whereas all risks from organic compounds were assumed to be site-derived.

  8. PERSONAL VALUES, BELIEFS, AND ECOLOGICAL RISK PERCEPTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    A mail survey on ecological risk perception was administered in the summer of 2002 to a randomized sample of the lay public and to selected risk professionals at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The ranking of 24 ecological risk items, from global climate change...

  9. ECO 201: Overview of Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objectives of this course is to provide participants with knowledge about the fundamentals of ecological risk assessment. A brief history of how ecological risk assessment has evolved over time and how it is both similar to and different from human health risk assessment wil...

  10. Ecological risk assessment framework -- the NAS perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Barnthouse, L.W.

    1993-06-01

    A Workshop on Ecological Risk Assessment was held on February 26--March 1, 1991, at Airlie House, Warrenton, Virginia. In addition to presentation and discussion of the case study papers, the workshop included breakout sessions to discuss conceptual and technical aspects of ecological risk assessment. A general consensus emerged that an ecological version of the 1983 framework is desirable and feasible. The committee concluded that the 1983 human health framework could be expanded to accomodate both human health and ecological risk assessment. For general applicability to ecological assessments, the 1983 scheme requires augmentation to address some of the interfaces between science and management, primarily because of the need to focus on appropriate questions relevant to applicable environmental law and policy under different circumstances. Specifically, the scheme needs modification to address (1) the influence of legal and regulatory considerations on the initial stages of ecological risk assessment and (2) the importance of characterizing ecological risks in terms that are intelligible to risk managers. The committee`s opinion is that these augmentations are as important for human health risk assessment as they are for ecological risk assessment. This paper briefly describes the framework recommended by the Committee and compares it to EPA`s recently-published Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment.

  11. DRAFT PROPOSED GUIDELINES FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document is part of a continuing, long-term effort to develop Agency-wide ecological risk assessment guidelines for EPA. The goal of the guidelines is to improve the quality and consistency of the Agency's ecological risk assessments. These guidelines move beyond the Agency'...

  12. [Forest health ecological risk assessment in China].

    PubMed

    Xiao, Fengjin; Ouyang, Hua; Cheng, Shulan; Zhang, Qiang

    2004-02-01

    Forest health ecological risk assessment is an important factor in forest resources management. In this paper, we selected forest fire, forest disease-pest disasters and acid rain as main risk sources, described the risk resources by probability, intensity and distributing, and mapped each risk source. The endpoints were the damages that the risk acceptor might and these damages might cause ecosystems' organization and function changing under the uncertainty risk sources. Endpoints of forest might compose of productivity descent, reducing biodiversity, forest degrading, forest ecological function declining, furthermore, forest disappearing. We described exposure in terms of intensity, space, and time. In the exposure and hazard analysis, we used fragile index to show frangibility or resistibility (resistibility is reverse to frangibility), and analyzed the damages by different risk sources. Risk assessment and management was the integrated phase of the research. Because of the spatial heterogeneity of risk sources, all risk index were overlaid in the China map by GIS, which divided the region into 30 ecological risk sub-zones (provinces), according to risk index of each risk sub-zone, and the forest in China was divided into six levels of risk zones. In every level of risk zones, we also put forward the countermeasures for forest health ecological risk management. The result of assessment could provide scientific basis for forest management. PMID:15146655

  13. PROPOSED GUIDELINES FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Proposed Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessment were published in the Federal Register on September 9, 1996 (61 FR 47552) for a 90 day public review and comment period. The Proposed Guidelines are being developed to improve the quality of and consistency among EPA's ecolog...

  14. Translating Ecological Risk to Ecosystem Service Loss

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hazardous site management in the US includes remediation of contaminated environmental media and restoration of injured natural resources. Site remediation decisions are informed by ecological risk assessment (ERA), while restoration and compensation decisions are informed by th...

  15. Personal values, beliefs, and ecological risk perception.

    PubMed

    Slimak, Michael W; Dietz, Thomas

    2006-12-01

    A mail survey on ecological risk perception was administered in the summer of 2002 to a randomized sample of the lay public and to selected risk professionals at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The ranking of 24 ecological risk items, from global climate change to commercial fishing, reveals that the lay public is more concerned about low-probability, high-consequence risks whereas the risk professionals are more concerned about risks that pose long-term, ecosystem-level impacts. To test the explanatory power of the value-belief-norm (VBN) theory for risk perception, respondents were questioned about their personal values, spiritual beliefs, and worldviews. The most consistent predictors of the risk rankings are belief in the new ecological paradigm (NEP) and Schwartz's altruism. The NEP and Schwartz's altruism explain from 19% to 46% of the variance in the risk rankings. Religious beliefs account for less than 6% of the variance and do not show a consistent pattern in predicting risk perception although religious fundamentalists are generally less concerned about the risk items. While not exerting as strong an impact, social-structural variables do have some influence on risk perception. Ethnicities show no effect on the risk scales but the more educated and financially well-off are less concerned about the risk items. Political leanings have no direct influence on risk rankings, but indirectly affect rankings through the NEP. These results reveal that the VBN theory is a plausible explanation for the differences measured in the respondents' perception of ecological risk. PMID:17184406

  16. DETERMINING SIGNIFICANT ENDPOINTS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ANALYSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Risk analyses, both human health and ecological, will be important factors in determining which DOE sites should be cleaned up and in deciding if acceptable performance standards have been met. Risk analysis procedures for humans use the individual as the 'unit' of observation, a...

  17. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report was prepared by an interagency work group under the auspices of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR). The objective of the work group was to write a document on the major uses of ecological risk assessment by Federal agencies. Eight task groups we...

  18. Microplastics: addressing ecological risk through lessons learned.

    PubMed

    Syberg, Kristian; Khan, Farhan R; Selck, Henriette; Palmqvist, Annemette; Banta, Gary T; Daley, Jennifer; Sano, Larissa; Duhaime, Melissa B

    2015-05-01

    Plastic litter is an environmental problem of great concern. Despite the magnitude of the plastic pollution in our water bodies, only limited scientific understanding is available about the risk to the environment, particularly for microplastics. The apparent magnitude of the problem calls for quickly developing sound scientific guidance on the ecological risks of microplastics. The authors suggest that future research into microplastics risks should be guided by lessons learned from the more advanced and better understood areas of (eco) toxicology of engineered nanoparticles and mixture toxicity. Relevant examples of advances in these two fields are provided to help accelerate the scientific learning curve within the relatively unexplored area of microplastics risk assessment. Finally, the authors advocate an expansion of the "vector effect" hypothesis with regard to microplastics risk to help focus research of microplastics environmental risk at different levels of biological and environmental organization. PMID:25655822

  19. SADA: Ecological Risk Based Decision Support System for Selective Remediation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Spatial Analysis and Decision Assistance (SADA) is freeware that implements terrestrial ecological risk assessment and yields a selective remediation design using its integral geographical information system, based on ecological and risk assessment inputs. Selective remediation ...

  20. Ecosystem Services as Assessment Endpoints in Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The focus of ecological risk assessment (ERA) is on assessment endpoints, explicit expressions of environmental values to be protected. Traditionally, the ecological entities identified in assessment endpoints have been components of ecosystems deemed by risk assessors to be impo...

  1. Ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, T H; Brown, R; Brugger, K E; Campbell, P M; Holt, M; Länge, R; McCahon, P; Tattersfield, L J; van Egmond, R

    2000-11-01

    The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals proposes a tiered approach for the ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors, integrating exposure and hazard (effects) characterization. Exposure assessment for endocrine disruptors should direct specific tests for wildlife species, placing hazard data into a risk assessment context. Supplementing the suite of mammalian screens now under Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) validation, high priority should be given to developing a fish screening assay for detecting endocrine activity in oviparous species. Taking into account both exposure characterization and alerts from endocrine screening, higher tier tests are also a priority for defining adverse effects. We propose that in vivo mammalian and fish assays provide a comprehensive screening battery for diverse hormonal functions (including androgen, estrogen, and thyroid hormone), whereas Amphibia should be considered at higher tiers if there are exposure concerns. Higher tier endocrine-disruptor testing should include fish development and fish reproduction tests, whereas a full life-cycle test could be subsequently used to refine aquatic risk assessments when necessary. For avian risk assessment, the new OECD Japanese quail reproduction test guideline provides a valuable basis for developing a test to detecting endocrine-mediated reproductive effects; this species could be used, where necessary, for an avian life-cycle test. For aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, data from existing developmental and reproductive tests remain of high value for ecological risk assessment. High priority should be given to research into comparative endocrine physiology of invertebrates to support data extrapolation to this diverse fauna. PMID:11102288

  2. Ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors.

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, T H; Brown, R; Brugger, K E; Campbell, P M; Holt, M; Länge, R; McCahon, P; Tattersfield, L J; van Egmond, R

    2000-01-01

    The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals proposes a tiered approach for the ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors, integrating exposure and hazard (effects) characterization. Exposure assessment for endocrine disruptors should direct specific tests for wildlife species, placing hazard data into a risk assessment context. Supplementing the suite of mammalian screens now under Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) validation, high priority should be given to developing a fish screening assay for detecting endocrine activity in oviparous species. Taking into account both exposure characterization and alerts from endocrine screening, higher tier tests are also a priority for defining adverse effects. We propose that in vivo mammalian and fish assays provide a comprehensive screening battery for diverse hormonal functions (including androgen, estrogen, and thyroid hormone), whereas Amphibia should be considered at higher tiers if there are exposure concerns. Higher tier endocrine-disruptor testing should include fish development and fish reproduction tests, whereas a full life-cycle test could be subsequently used to refine aquatic risk assessments when necessary. For avian risk assessment, the new OECD Japanese quail reproduction test guideline provides a valuable basis for developing a test to detecting endocrine-mediated reproductive effects; this species could be used, where necessary, for an avian life-cycle test. For aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, data from existing developmental and reproductive tests remain of high value for ecological risk assessment. High priority should be given to research into comparative endocrine physiology of invertebrates to support data extrapolation to this diverse fauna. PMID:11102288

  3. Ecological risk assessment of contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Jensen, John; Pedersen, Marianne Bruus

    2006-01-01

    This review has described three cases of ecological risk assessment. The cases include two heavy metals (Cu and Zn) and an anthropogenic organic chemical (DDT). It concludes that there are at least two major constraints hampering the use of laboratory tests to predict effects under natural field conditions. One key issue is bioavailability, and another is suboptimal conditions or multiple stresses in the field such as climatic stress (drought, frost), predators, competition, or food shortage. On the basis of the presented case studies, it was possible to answer three essential questions often raised in connection to ecological risk assessment of contaminated sites. 1. To what extend does soil screening level (SSL) estimate the risk? The SSL are generally derived at levels corresponding to the lowest observed effect levels in laboratory studies, which often is close to the background levels found in many soils. In the cases of zinc and especially DDT, the SSL seemed quite conservative, whereas for copper they resemble the level at which changes in the community structure of soil microarthropods and the plant community have been observed at contaminated sites. The SSL correspond as a whole relatively well with concentrations where no effects or only minor effects were observed in controlled field studies. However, large variation in field surveys can often make it difficult to conclude to what extent the SSL corresponded to no-effect levels in the field. 2. Do bioassays represent a more realistic risk estimate? Here, there is no firm conclusion. The zinc study in UK showed a better relationship between the outcome of ex situ bioassays and field observations than the SSL. The latter overestimated the risk compared to field observations. However, this would be species dependent, as the sensitivity to metals may vary considerably between recognized test species, even within the same group of organisms, such as Folsomia candida and Folsomia fimetaria or Eisenia fetida

  4. Ecological risk assessment benefits environmental management

    SciTech Connect

    Fairbrother, A.; Kapustka, L.A.; Williams, B.A.; Glicken, J.

    1994-12-31

    The ecological risk assessment process in its ideal form is an unbiased approach for assessing the probability of harm to the environment as a consequence of a given action. This information can then be combined with other societal values and biases in the management of such risks. However, as the process currently is understood, decision makers often are accused of manipulating information in order to generate decisions or achieve buy in from the public in support of a particular political agenda. A clear understanding of the nature of the risk management process can help define areas where information should be free from social or personal bias, and areas where values and judgments are critical. The authors do not propose to discuss the individual`s decision-making process, but rather to address the social process of risk communication and environmentally-related decision-making, identifying which parts of that process require bias-free, scientifically generated information about the consequences of various actions and which parts need an understanding of the social values which underlie the informed choices among those possible actions.

  5. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT FOR THE MIDDLE SNAKE RIVER, IDAHO

    EPA Science Inventory

    An ecological risk assessment was completed for the Middle Snake River, Idaho. In this assessment, mathematical simulations and field observations were used to analyze exposure and ecological effects and to estimate risk.

    The Middle Snake River which refers to a 100 km stret...

  6. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: PROTECTING NORTHWEST ANADROMOUS SALMONID STOCKS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment is usually defined as the process that evaluates the likelihood that adverse ecological effects are occurring, or may occur, as a result of exposure to one or mare stressors. he basic concept, while straightforward, is difficult to apply. trong reaction...

  7. Evolutionary Consequences for Ecological Risk Assessment and Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gochfeld, Michael; Burger, Joanna

    1993-01-01

    Discusses the use of the human health risk assessment model as a basis for developing ecological risk assessment (ERA). For ERA, risk to individuals is less important than the survival of the population, with the exception of endangered species. Suggests that ERA take into account the relative reproductive value of the potentially impacted…

  8. CLINCH AND POWELL VALLEY WATERSHED ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A watershed ecological risk assessment of the unique Clinch and Powell river system in southwestern Virginia strongly suggests that (1) coal mining activities and agricultural practices, past and present, are having adverse impacts on stream habitats, resulting in unacceptable lo...

  9. Web-enabling Ecological Risk Assessment for Accessibility and Transparency

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk methods and tools are necessarily diverse to account for different combinations of receptors, exposure processes, effects estimation, and degree of conservatism/realism necessary to support chemical-based assessments. These tools have been continuously developed s...

  10. Overview of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal ecological risk characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Applehans, F.; Jones, M.; Osborn, S.; Tate, D.J.; Cothern, K.A.; Pavlou, S.; Toll, J.E.; Armstrong, J.P.

    1994-12-31

    The Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) Endangerment Assessment was performed to characterize potential threats to human health and the environment from contaminants released as a result of historical operations and past waste disposal practices at RMA. This paper presents an overview of the Ecological Risk Characterization (ERC), one component of the RMA Endangerment Assessment. Because of the magnitude of the ERC and high public profile of RMA, the RMA ecological risk assessment reflects all aspects of SETAC`s meeting theme, Ecological Risk: Science, Policy, Law, and Perception. The conceptual framework for the ERC is described, major technical and practical issues encountered in conducting the ERC are recounted, and key insights and recommendations for future ecological risk assessments are discussed.

  11. Application of Mechanistic Toxicology Data to Ecological Risk Assessments

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ongoing evolution of knowledge and tools in the areas of molecular biology, bioinformatics, and systems biology holds significant promise for reducing uncertainties associated with ecological risk assessment. As our understanding of the mechanistic basis of responses of organ...

  12. WORKSHOP REPORT ON CHARACTERIZING ECOLOGICAL RISK AT THE WATERSHED SCALE

    EPA Science Inventory

    As ecological risk assessment evolves, it is moving beyond a focus on single species toward addressing multiple species and their interactions, and from assessing effects of simple chemical toxicity to the cumulative impacts of multiple interacting chemical, physical, and biologi...

  13. A TEST OF WATERSHED CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    To facilitate extrapolation among watersheds, ecological risk assessments should be based on a model of underlying factors influencing watershed response, particularly vulnerability. We propose a conceptual model of landscape vulnerability to serve as a basis for watershed classi...

  14. Landscape ecological risk assessment study in arid land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Lu; Amut, Aniwaer; Shi, Qingdong; Wang, Gary Z.

    2007-09-01

    The ecosystem risk assessment is an essential decision making system for predicting the reconstruction and recovery of a damaged ecosystem after intensive mankind activities. The sustainability of environment and resources of the lake ecosystem in arid districts have been paid close attention to by international communities as well as numerous experts and scholars. The ecological risk assessment offered a scientific foundation for making the decision and execution of ecological risk management. Bosten Lake, the largest inland freshwater lake in China, is the main water source of the industrial and agricultural production as well as the local residence in Yanqi basin, Kuara city and Yuri County in the southern Xinjiang. Bosten Lake also provides a direct water source for emergency transportation in the Lower Reaches of Tarim River. However, with the intensive utilizations of water and soil resources, the environmental condition in the Bosten Lake has become more and more serious. In this study, the theory and method of landscape ecological risk assessment has been practiced using 3S technologies combined with the frontier theory of landscape ecology. Defining the mainly risk resource including flood, drought, water pollution and rich nutrition of water has been evaluated based on the ecosystem risk assessment system. The main process includes five stages: regional natural resources analysis, risk receptor selection, risk sources evaluation, exposure and hazard analysis, and integrated risk assessment. Based on the risk assessment results, the environmental risk management countermeasure has been determined.

  15. Current directions in screening-level ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Carlsen, T M; Efroymson, R A

    2000-12-11

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a tool used by many regulatory agencies to evaluate the impact to ecological receptors from changes in environmental conditions. Widespread use of ERAs began with the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program to assess the ecological impact from hazardous chemicals released to the environment. Many state hazardous chemical regulatory agencies have adopted the use of ERAs, and several state regulatory agencies are evaluating the use of ERAs to assess ecological impacts from releases of petroleum and gas-related products. Typical ERAs are toxicologically-based, use conservative assumptions with respect to ecological receptor exposure duration and frequency, often require complex modeling of transport and exposure and are very labor intensive. In an effort to streamline the ERA process, efforts are currently underway to develop default soil screening levels, to identify ecological screening criteria for excluding sites from formal risk assessment, and to create risk-based corrective action worksheets. This should help reduce the time spent on ERAs, at least for some sites. Work is also underway to incorporate bioavailability and spatial considerations into ERAs. By evaluating the spatial nature of contaminant releases with respect to the spatial context of the ecosystem under consideration, more realistic ERAs with respect to the actual impact to ecological receptors at the population, community or ecosystem scale should be possible. In addition, by considering the spatial context, it should be possible to develop mitigation and monitoring efforts to more appropriately address such sites within the context of an ecological framework.

  16. An ecological risk assessment for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, R.K.; Munns, W.R. Jr.; Short, F.T.; Hahn, S.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted to assess the ecological risk of hazardous waste releases from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard located on Seavey Island in the Piscataqua River and Great Bay Estuary, New Hampshire and Maine. Problem formulation suggested that certain areas in the lower estuary had the highest potential for impact, particularly depositional areas where fine-grained sediment particles accumulate. Lead, mercury, copper, zinc, nickel, arsenic, and to a lesser degree PCBs, PAHs, silver and cadmium were identified as contaminants of concern based on their spatial distribution in the estuary, hazard quotient screening levels for sediments and surface water, links to primary sources, and releases of contaminants and ecological damage from Shipyard Solid Waste Management Units. Ecological risk characterization was conducted for exposure pathways and receptors using measurement endpoints to assess risks to pelagic species, epibenthic species, benthic community, salt marsh community, eelgrass community, herbivorous waterfowl, avian predators, and trophic transfer of contaminants through the food chain. The results suggested that ecological risk was related to the loss of habitat from direct disposal of hazardous material in tidal flats, and heavy metal exposure and potential impact on ecological receptors associated with benthic, epibenthic, saltmarsh, and eelgrass habitats located in depositional areas around Seavey Island.

  17. Primer for evaluating ecological risk at petroleum release sites.

    PubMed

    Claff, R

    1999-02-01

    Increasingly, risk-based approaches are being used to guide decision making at sites such as service stations and petroleum product terminals, where petroleum products have been inadvertently released to the soil. For example, the API Decision Support System software, DSS, evaluates site human health risk along six different routes of exposure. The American Society for Testing and Materials' Risk-Based Corrective Action (RBCA) standard, ASTM 1739, establishes a tiered framework for evaluating petroleum release sites on the basis of human health risk. Though much of the risk assessment focus has been on human health risk, regulatory agencies recognize that protection of human health may not fully protect the environment; and EPA has developed guidance on identifying ecological resources to be protected through risk-based decision making. Not every service station or petroleum product terminal site warrants a detailed ecological risk assessment. In some cases, a simple preliminary assessment will provide sufficient information for decision making. Accordingly, the American Petroleum Institute (API) is developing a primer for site managers, to assist them in conducting this preliminary assessment, and in deciding whether more detailed ecological risk assessments are warranted. The primer assists the site manager in identifying relevant ecological receptors and habitats, in identifying chemicals and exposure pathways of concern, in developing a conceptual model of the site to guide subsequent actions, and in identifying conditions that may warrant immediate response. PMID:10189585

  18. Ecological risk assessments for watersheds: Lessons learned from case studies

    SciTech Connect

    Marcy, S.K.M.

    1994-12-31

    The USEPA Office of Water and Risk Assessment Forum are co-sponsoring the development of watershed level ecological risk assessments in Big Darby Creek, OH, Clinch River, VA, Middle Platte River Wetlands, NE, Snake River, ID, and Waquoit Bay Estuary, MA. The case studies are testing the Agency`s Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment at a watershed scale for multiple stressors. During case study development much has been learned about how to apply and modify the principles in the Framework to landscape scale risk assessments. Insights include how to select appropriate assessment endpoints to drive the risk assessment, how to effectively increase involvement by risk management teams, and provide decision opportunities for managers throughout development. The case studies demonstrate diverse ways to conduct watershed risk assessments, and illustrate the importance of multiple risk hypotheses in conceptual models addressing the combined and relative risk of chemical, physical and biological stressors. Issues the case studies highlight include the need for a process to determine when watershed risk assessments are appropriate and at what level of complexity they should be performed, how to increase the use of the ecological risk assessments in management decision-making and how to determine the best risk reduction strategy. An update on the watershed case studies will be provided and the insights and issues stated above, discussed.

  19. Ecosystem services as assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Munns, Wayne R; Rea, Anne W; Suter, Glenn W; Martin, Lawrence; Blake-Hedges, Lynne; Crk, Tanja; Davis, Christine; Ferreira, Gina; Jordan, Steve; Mahoney, Michele; Barron, Mace G

    2016-07-01

    Ecosystem services are defined as the outputs of ecological processes that contribute to human welfare or have the potential to do so in the future. Those outputs include food and drinking water, clean air and water, and pollinated crops. The need to protect the services provided by natural systems has been recognized previously, but ecosystem services have not been formally incorporated into ecological risk assessment practice in a general way in the United States. Endpoints used conventionally in ecological risk assessment, derived directly from the state of the ecosystem (e.g., biophysical structure and processes), and endpoints based on ecosystem services serve different purposes. Conventional endpoints are ecologically important and susceptible entities and attributes that are protected under US laws and regulations. Ecosystem service endpoints are a conceptual and analytical step beyond conventional endpoints and are intended to complement conventional endpoints by linking and extending endpoints to goods and services with more obvious benefit to humans. Conventional endpoints can be related to ecosystem services even when the latter are not considered explicitly during problem formulation. To advance the use of ecosystem service endpoints in ecological risk assessment, the US Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Assessment Forum has added generic endpoints based on ecosystem services (ES-GEAE) to the original 2003 set of generic ecological assessment endpoints (GEAEs). Like conventional GEAEs, ES-GEAEs are defined by an entity and an attribute. Also like conventional GEAEs, ES-GEAEs are broadly described and will need to be made specific when applied to individual assessments. Adoption of ecosystem services as a type of assessment endpoint is intended to improve the value of risk assessment to environmental decision making, linking ecological risk to human well-being, and providing an improved means of communicating those risks. Integr Environ Assess Manag

  20. An integrated framework for health and ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, Glenn W. . E-mail: suter.glenn@epa.gov; Vermeire, Theo; Munns, Wayne R.; Sekizawa, Jun

    2005-09-01

    The worldHealth Organization's (WHO's) International Program for Chemical Safety has developed a framework for performing risk assessments that integrate the assessment of risks to human health and risks to nonhuman organisms and ecosystems. The WHO's framework recognizes that stakeholders and risk managers have their own processes that are parallel to the scientific process of risk assessment and may interact with the risk assessment at various points, depending on the context. Integration of health and ecology provides consistent expressions of assessment results, incorporates the interdependence of humans and the environment, uses sentinel organisms, and improves the efficiency and quality of assessments relative to independent human health and ecological risk assessments. The advantage of the framework to toxicologists lies in the opportunity to use understanding of toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics to inform the integrated assessment of all exposed species.

  1. Back-end Science Model Integration for Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) relies on a number of ecological risk assessment models that have been developed over 30-plus years of regulating pesticide exposure and risks under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Endangered Spe...

  2. Back-end Science Model Integration for Ecological Risk Assessment.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) relies on a number of ecological risk assessment models that have been developed over 30-plus years of regulating pesticide exposure and risks under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Endangered Spe...

  3. [Ecological risks of reclaimed water irrigation: a review].

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Ping; Zhang, Wei-Ling; Pan, Neng; Jiao, Wen-Tao

    2012-12-01

    Wastewater reclamation and reuse have become an important approach to alleviate the water crisis in China because of its social, economic and ecological benefits. The irrigation on urban green space and farmland is the primary utilization of reclaimed water, which has been practiced world widely. To understand the risk of reclaimed water irrigation, we summarized and reviewed the publications associated with typical pollutants in reclaimed water including salts, nitrogen, heavy metals, emerging pollutants and pathogens, systematically analyzed the ecological risk posed by reclaimed water irrigation regarding plant growth, groundwater quality and public health. Studies showed that salt and salt ions were the major risk sources of reclaimed water irrigation, spreading disease was another potential risk of using reclaimed water, and emerging pollutants was the hot topic in researches of ecological risk. Based on overseas experiences, risk control measures on reclaimed water irrigation in urban green space and farmland were proposed. Five recommendations were given to promote the safe use of reclaimed water irrigation including (1) strengthen long-term in situ monitoring, (2) promote the modeling studies, (3) build up the connections of reclaimed water quality, irrigation management and ecological risk, (4) evaluate the soil bearing capacity of reclaimed water irrigation, (5) and establish risk management system of reclaimed water reuse. PMID:23379125

  4. Ecological risks of DOE`s programmatic environmental restoration alternatives

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-06-01

    This report assesses the ecological risks of the Department of Energy`s (DOE) Environmental Restoration Program. The assessment is programmatic in that it is directed at evaluation of the broad programmatic alternatives outlined in the DOE Implementation Plan. It attempts to (1) characterize the ecological resources present on DOE facilities, (2) describe the occurrence and importance of ecologically significant contamination at major DOE facilities, (3) evaluate the adverse ecological impacts of habitat disturbance caused by remedial activities, and (4) determine whether one or another of the programmatic alternatives is clearly ecologically superior to the others. The assessment focuses on six representative facilities: the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL); the Fernald Environmental Management Project (FEMP); the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Y-12 plant, and K-25 plant; the Rocky Flats Plant; the Hanford Reservation; and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

  5. The role of ecological models in linking ecological risk assessment to ecosystem services in agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Galic, Nika; Schmolke, Amelie; Forbes, Valery; Baveco, Hans; van den Brink, Paul J

    2012-01-15

    Agricultural practices are essential for sustaining the human population, but at the same time they can directly disrupt ecosystem functioning. Ecological risk assessment (ERA) aims to estimate possible adverse effects of human activities on ecosystems and their parts. Current ERA practices, however, incorporate very little ecology and base the risk estimates on the results of standard tests with several standard species. The main obstacles for a more ecologically relevant ERA are the lack of clear protection goals and the inherent complexity of ecosystems that is hard to approach empirically. In this paper, we argue that the ecosystem services framework offers an opportunity to define clear and ecologically relevant protection goals. At the same time, ecological models provide the tools to address ecological complexity to the degree needed to link measurement endpoints and ecosystem services, and to quantify service provision and possible adverse effects from human activities. We focus on the ecosystem services relevant for agroecosystem functioning, including pollination, biocontrol and eutrophication effects and present modeling studies relevant for quantification of each of the services. The challenges of the ecosystem services approach are discussed as well as the limitations of ecological models in the context of ERA. A broad, multi-stakeholder dialog is necessary to aid the definition of protection goals in terms of services delivered by ecosystems and their parts. The need to capture spatio-temporal dynamics and possible interactions among service providers pose challenges for ecological models as a basis for decision making. However, we argue that both fields are advancing quickly and can prove very valuable in achieving more ecologically relevant ERA. PMID:21802704

  6. How Do the Chinese Perceive Ecological Risk in Freshwater Lakes?

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Lei; Han, Yuting; Zhou, Ying; Gutscher, Heinz; Bi, Jun

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we explore the potential contributions of a risk perception framework in understanding public perceptions of unstable ecosystems. In doing so, we characterize one type of common ecological risk– harmful algal blooms (HABs)–in four of the most seriously eutrophicated freshwater lakes in China. These lakes include Chaohu, Dianchi, Hongze, and Taihu, where a total of 2000 residents living near these sites were interviewed. Regional discrepancies existed in the pilot study regarding public perceptions of ecological changes and public concerns for ecological risk. Comparing HABs and other kinds of risks (earthquake, nuclear, and public traffic) through the psychometric paradigm method, Knowledge, Effect, and Trust were three key factors formulating the risk perception model. The results indicated that Knowledge and risk tolerance levels had significant negative correlations in the higher economic situation while correlations in the lower economic situation were significantly positive. Effect and risk tolerance levels had significant negative correlations in the high and middle education situation while correlations in the low education situation were close to zero or insignificant. For residents from Taihu with comparatively higher economic and educational levels, more investment in risk prevention measures and stronger policies are needed. And for residents from Hongze and Dianchi with comparatively low economic and educational levels, improvement of the government’s credibility (Trust) was the most important factor of risk tolerance, so efforts to eliminate ecological problems with the stepwise development of economic and educational levels should be implemented and gradually strengthened. In turn, this could prevent public discontent and ensure support for ecological protection policies. PMID:23671602

  7. [Research progress on index system of regional ecological risk assessment].

    PubMed

    Meng, Ji-Jun; Zhao, Chun-Hong

    2009-04-01

    Regional ecological risk assessment (RERA) covers the assessments of multiple risk sources, receptors, and endpoints, while the selection of assessment indices is quite complicated, being a hotspot in regional environment management research. Domestic and international researches on RERA revealed that three processes in RERA are of vital, i.e., risk probability assessment measured by risk probability index, status and value assessment of ecosystem at regional scale indicated by ecological index, and vulnerability assessment of each ecosystem in a region under risk measured by vulnerability index. The main problems in the establishment of RERA index system are the strong subjectivity and poor comparability, and thus, the index system should be set up in the three key processes under the principles of objectivity, integration, hierarchy, and comparability. Due to the fact that the status and value assessment of ecosystem is most complicated, the index system should be formulated by compulsory and optional components to increase the comparability of RERA results between regions. PMID:19565785

  8. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ASSOCIATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  9. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ASSOCIATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  10. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK: CORRELATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  11. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ASSOCIATIONS AMONH HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  12. APPLICATION OF METABOLOMICS FOR IMPROVING ECOLOGICAL EXPOSURE AND RISK ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have developed a research program in metabolomics that involves numerous partners across EPA, other federal labs, academia, and the private sector. A primary goal is to develop metabolite-based markers that can be used by EPA in ecological exposure and risk assessments. We are...

  13. ISSUES IN SEDIMENT TOXICITY AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper is based on a facilitated Workshop and Roundtable Discussion of key issues in sediment toxicology and ecological risk assessment (ERA) as applied to sediments that was held at the Conference on Dredged Material Management: Options and Environmental Considerations. The ...

  14. A REGIONAL APPROACH TO ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS FOR PESTICIDE REGISTRATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Currently, most ecological risk assessments for EPA pesticide registration are evaluated at the national scale using a predetermined list of test species (OPPTS 850.4225 and 8504250) as a model system with little regard to where and how the product will ultimately be used. The a...

  15. U.S. EPA's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background

    The ERASC provides technical information and addresses scientific questions of concern or interest on topics relevant to ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (A REGIONAL APPROACH TO ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS FOR PRODUCT REGISTRATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Currently, most ecological risk assessments for EPA registration are evaluated at the national scale using a predetermined list of species with little regard to where the product will ultimately be used. The assumption is that the test species presently used are representative a...

  16. Probability Surveys, Conditional Probability, and Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    We show that probability-based environmental resource monitoring programs, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, and conditional probability analysis can serve as a basis for estimating ecological risk over ...

  17. FINAL REPORT. DETERMINING SIGNIFICANT ENDPOINTS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ANALYSES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research examines the ecological significance of radioactive and heavy metal contamination. Risks to non-human biota at higher levels of biological organization are assessed by using novel biological dosimeters in controlled, manipulative, dose/effects experiments, and by co...

  18. Toward an Ecological Risk Assessment Framework for Special Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trepanier, Nathalie Sonia

    2005-01-01

    This paper suggests a new framework for conducting research in the field of special education. This framework is inspired by the ecological risk assessment frameworks of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1995) and G.W. Suter (1993), which are primarily used in ecotoxicology and environmental toxicology. The methodology used to develop the…

  19. Toward an Ecological Risk Assessment Framework for Special Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trepanier, Nathalie S.

    2005-01-01

    We suggest a new framework for conducting research in the field of special education. This framework is inspired by the ecological risk assessment frameworks of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1995) and G.W. Suter (1993), which are primarily used in ecotoxicology and environmental toxicology. The framework includes three phases by which…

  1. Wetlands in the ecological risk assessment process: A case study

    SciTech Connect

    Saban, L.B.

    1995-12-31

    In the past few years, the ecological risk assessment (ERA) process as outlined in the EPA document Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment has been successfully used to assess risk to birds, mammals, aquatic organisms, plants, and to a limited extent, reptiles and amphibians, but has only recently been applied to wetlands. Due to the unique role that wetlands play in the environment as sources and sinks for nutrients, sediment retention, high productivity, habitat transition zones, aquifer recharge, high diversity and richness of biota, and aesthetic value, it is important to consider the entire wetland system in the ERA process. Because nearly sixty percent of Superfund sites are located in or near wetlands, a comprehensive approach is proposed to evaluate potential risks to flora and fauna in these wetland environments. Using the delineation and functional assessment techniques developed by wetland scientists, an estuarine wetland in western Washington was evaluated within the scope of ERA`S. The ERA was applied to the wetland using functional assessments as an integral part of the problem formulation phase of the risk assessment process. Applying the ERA process to wetlands enhances the functional assessment process and helps to define critical elements to evaluate within wetland systems. The results of this risk assessment help to define patches within a landscape that are potentially at risk and how to prioritize remedial actions.

  2. Guide for developing conceptual models for ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W., II

    1996-05-01

    Ecological conceptual models are the result of the problem formulation phase of an ecological risk assessment, which is an important component of the Remedial Investigation process. They present hypotheses of how the site contaminants might affect the site ecology. The contaminant sources, routes, media, routes, and endpoint receptors are presented in the form of a flow chart. This guide is for preparing the conceptual models; use of this guide will standardize the models so that they will be of high quality, useful to the assessment process, and sufficiently consistent so that connections between sources of exposure and receptors can be extended across operable units (OU). Generic conceptual models are presented for source, aquatic integrator, groundwater integrator, and terrestrial OUs.

  3. Ecological risk assessment of water environment for Luanhe River Basin based on relative risk model.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jingling; Chen, Qiuying; Li, Yongli

    2010-11-01

    The relative risk model (RRM) was applied in regional ecological risk assessments successfully. In this study, the RRM was developed through increasing the data of risk source and introducing the source-stressor-habitat exposure filter (SSH), the endpoint-habitat exposure filter (EH) and the stressor-endpoint effect filter (SE) to reflect the meaning of exposure and effect more explicit. Water environment which include water quality, water quantity and aquatic ecosystems was selected as the ecological risk assessment endpoints. The Luanhe River Basin located in the North China was selected as model case. The results showed that there were three low risk regions, one medium risk region and two high risk regions in the Luanhe River Basin. The results also indicated habitat destruction was the largest stressor with the risk scores as high as 11.87 for the Luanhe water environment, the second was oxygen consuming organic pollutants (9.28) and the third was nutrients (7.78). So these three stressors were the main influencing factors of the ecological pressure in the study area. Furthermore, animal husbandry was the biggest source with the risk scores as high as 20.38, the second was domestic sewage (14.00), and the third was polluting industry (9.96). For habitats, waters and farmland were enduring the bigger pressure and should be taken considerable attention. Water deterioration and ecological service values damaged were facing the biggest risk pressure, and secondly was biodiversity decreased and landscape fragmentation. PMID:20683654

  4. Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    In March 2004, ORD's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) received a request from the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF) relating to the evaluation of ecological risk to vertebrate and benthic invertebrate receptors from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds...

  5. Baseline ecological risk assessment Salmon Site, Lamar County, Mississippi

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    The Salmon Site (SS), formerly the Tatum Dome Test Site, located in Mississippi was the site of two nuclear and two gas explosion tests conducted between 1964 and 1970. A consequence of these testing activities is that radionuclides were released into the salt dome, where they are presently contained. During reentry drilling and other site activities, incidental liquid and solid wastes that contained radioactivity were generated, resulting in some soil, ground water and equipment contamination. As part of the remedial investigation effort, a Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment was conducted at the SS. The purpose is to gauge ecological and other environmental impacts attributable to past activities at the former test facility. The results of this facility-specific baseline risk assessment are presented in this document.

  6. Non-Dioxin-Like PCBs: Effects and Consideration in Ecological Risk Assessments

    EPA Science Inventory

    This response document was written in response to a request received by ORD’s Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) from the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF). The purpose of this report is to o provide ecological risk assessors with a concise summary of the sta...

  7. Overview of DOD activities in ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Whaley, J E; Porter, R C

    1997-11-01

    Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, Congress has mandated that all designated hazardous waste sites will be remediated to protect human health and the environment. This law is the driving force behind the Department of Defense (DOD) ecological risk assessment (ERA) program. Ecological risk assessments are currently underway at many DOD sites with budgets ranging from five thousand to ten million dollars. However, with the advent of downsizing government and shrinking funds, efforts are being made within DOD to better refine these assessments. Two DOD work groups function to develop guidance for and assist project managers with the ERA process. These groups are the Army Biological Technical Assistance Group chaired by the Army Environmental Center and the Tri-Service Ecological Risk Assessment Work Group (ERWG) chartered by the Tri-Service Environmental Support Centers Coordinating Committee. Membership in the Tri-Service ERWG includes all facets of DOD. In the research arena, the Fate & Effects Research and Development Program is one of four primary thrust areas under the Army's Environmental Quality Technology Program "Clean Up" pillar. This program is currently being executed by three laboratories, the Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS, the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, and the Army Center for Environmental Health Research (Provisional), Ft. Detrick, MD. The goal of this program is to provide tools to improve environmental risk assessments, both human and ecological. The research is geared toward addressing user requirements and is defined by the Fate and Effects Research Program. PMID:9433659

  8. Comprehensive methodology for ecological risk assessment of contaminated soils

    SciTech Connect

    Kuperman, R.G.

    1994-12-31

    Development of a comprehensive methodology for ecological risk assessment and monitoring of contaminated soils is essential to assess the impacts of environmental contaminants on soil community and biologically-mediated processes in soil. The proposed four-step plan involves (1) a thorough survey of the soil community to establish biodiversity and a base-line community structure, (2) toxicity trials on indicator species and whole soil invertebrate communities, (3) laboratory and field tests on indicator processes and (4) the use of statistical and simulation models to ascertain changes in the soil ecosystems. This methodology was used in portions of the US Army`s Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland as part of an ecological risk assessment. Previous soil analyses showed extensive surface soil contamination with metals, nitrate and PCBs. Preliminary results from field surveys of soil invertebrate communities showed significant reductions in total abundance of animals, reductions in the abundance of several taxonomic and functional groups of soil invertebrates, and changes in the activity of epigeic arthropods in contaminated areas when compared with the local ``background`` area. Laboratory tests also demonstrated that microbial activity and success of egg hatching of ground beetle Harpalus pensylvanicus were reduced in contaminated soils. These results suggest that impacts to soil ecosystems should be explicitly considered in ecological risk assessment. The proposed comprehensive methodology appears to offer an efficient and potentially cost saving tool for remedial investigations of contaminated sites.

  9. Case study of ecological risk assessment at an Alaska airport

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J.A.; Foster, T.L.; Zieber, P.A.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted for 10 sites at a remote location that has unique biological resources. Chemicals of concern included petroleum, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins and furans. Risks to 23 species of mammals and birds were evaluated by using toxicity reference values and a hazard quotient approach analogous to the US Environmental Protection Agency`s (USEPA`s) approach for evaluating noncarcinogenic human health effects. Risks to fish and aquatic invertebrates were evaluated using risk-based concentrations for water analogous to the USEPA`s water quality criteria. Risks to plants were evaluated using risk-based concentrations for soil. Toxicity reference values and risk-based concentrations were developed by applying uncertainty factors to the highest quality toxicity data available in the literature. Intake rates for wildlife were obtained from the USEPA`s wildlife exposure factors handbook, or were estimated using allometric equations. The sizes of wildlife home ranges were compared with the size of each site to determine species- and site-specific exposure frequencies. Indicator chemicals were selected to represent the chemical and toxicological characteristics of petroleum fractions. The species most often at risk were found to be fish and aquatic invertebrates, as well as small-bodied, ground-dwelling or ground-feeding wildlife.

  10. Ecological predictors of extinction risks of endemic mammals of China.

    PubMed

    Chen, You-Hua

    2014-07-01

    In this brief report, we analyzed ecological correlates of risk of extinction for mammals endemic to China using phylogenetic eigenvector methods to control for the effect of phylogenetic inertia. Extinction risks were based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and ecological explanatory attributes that include range size and climatic variables. When the effect of phylogenetic inertia were controlled, climate became the best predictor for quantifying and evaluating extinction risks of endemic mammals in China, accounting for 13% of the total variation. Range size seems to play a trivial role, explaining ~1% of total variation; however, when non-phylogenetic variation partitioning analysis was done, the role of range size then explained 7.4% of total variation. Consequently, phylogenetic inertia plays a substantial role in increasing the explanatory power of range size on the extinction risks of mammals endemic to China. Limitations of the present study are discussed, with a focus on under-represented sampling of endemic mammalian species. PMID:25017756

  11. Ecological risk assessment of a decommissioned military base

    SciTech Connect

    Starodub, M.E.; Feniak, N.A.; Willes, R.F.; Moore, C.E.; Mucklow, L.; Marshall, L.

    1995-12-31

    The ecological health risks to selected terrestrial animals at a decommissioned military base in Atlantic Canada have been assessed. Areas of the base varied in terms of terrain, ground cover, as well as types and extent of contamination, dependent on former uses of the sites. Analysis of surficial soils, sediments, water and fish tissue at the base indicated contamination by metals, PCBs, and various petroleum products and their constituents. Identification of chemicals of concern was based on these analyses, in conjunction with detailed chemical selection procedures. Exposures to chemicals of concern for ecological receptors were assessed in one of two ways. The exposures of moose, snowshoe hare and meadow vole were estimated in areas with surficial contamination, based on expected exposures to environmental media via oral inhalation, and dermal routes of exposure. For two top predators (mink and bald-headed eagle), exposures to bioaccumulative chemicals (cadmium, lead, mercury and PCBs) via transport through the aquatic and/or terrestrial foodchain were estimated. A toxicological assessment was conducted for the chemicals of concern, to yield exposure limits derived from governmental regulations or developed based on no-observed-effect-levels (NOELs) reported in scientifically sound toxicological assays in relevant species. The risk evaluation of each chemical of concern was conducted as a comparison of the estimated total exposures to the exposure limits derived for the selected ecological receptors.

  12. Combined ecological risks of nitrogen and phosphorus in European freshwaters.

    PubMed

    Azevedo, Ligia B; van Zelm, Rosalie; Leuven, Rob S E W; Hendriks, A Jan; Huijbregts, Mark A J

    2015-05-01

    Eutrophication is a key water quality issue triggered by increasing nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) levels and potentially posing risks to freshwater biota. We predicted the probability that an invertebrate species within a community assemblage becomes absent due to nutrient stress as the ecological risk (ER) for European lakes and streams subjected to N and P pollution from 1985 to 2011. The ER was calculated as a function of species-specific tolerances to NO3(-) and total P concentrations and water quality monitoring data. Lake and stream ER averaged 50% in the last monitored year (i.e. 2011) and we observed a decrease by 22% and 38% in lake and stream ER (respectively) of river basins since 1985. Additionally, the ER from N stress surpassed that of P in both freshwater systems. The ER can be applied to identify river basins most subjected to eutrophication risks and the main drivers of impacts. PMID:25700335

  13. Guidance for treatment of variability and uncertainty in ecological risk assessments of contaminated sites

    SciTech Connect

    1998-06-01

    Uncertainty is a seemingly simple concept that has caused great confusion and conflict in the field of risk assessment. This report offers guidance for the analysis and presentation of variability and uncertainty in ecological risk assessments, an important issue in the remedial investigation and feasibility study processes. This report discusses concepts of probability in terms of variance and uncertainty, describes how these concepts differ in ecological risk assessment from human health risk assessment, and describes probabilistic aspects of specific ecological risk assessment techniques. The report ends with 17 points to consider in performing an uncertainty analysis for an ecological risk assessment of a contaminated site.

  14. Soil-ecological risks for soil degradation estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trifonova, Tatiana; Shirkin, Leonid; Kust, German; Andreeva, Olga

    2016-04-01

    Soil degradation includes the processes of soil properties and quality worsening, primarily from the point of view of their productivity and decrease of ecosystem services quality. Complete soil cover destruction and/or functioning termination of soil forms of organic life are considered as extreme stages of soil degradation, and for the fragile ecosystems they are normally considered in the network of their desertification, land degradation and droughts /DLDD/ concept. Block-model of ecotoxic effects, generating soil and ecosystem degradation, has been developed as a result of the long-term field and laboratory research of sod-podzol soils, contaminated with waste, containing heavy metals. The model highlights soil degradation mechanisms, caused by direct and indirect impact of ecotoxicants on "phytocenosis- soil" system and their combination, frequently causing synergistic effect. The sequence of occurring changes here can be formalized as a theory of change (succession of interrelated events). Several stages are distinguished here - from heavy metals leaching (releasing) in waste and their migration downward the soil profile to phytoproductivity decrease and certain phytocenosis composition changes. Phytoproductivity decrease leads to the reduction of cellulose content introduced into the soil. The described feedback mechanism acts as a factor of sod-podzolic soil self-purification and stability. It has been shown, that using phytomass productivity index, integrally reflecting the worsening of soil properties complex, it is possible to solve the problems dealing with the dose-reflecting reactions creation and determination of critical levels of load for phytocenosis and corresponding soil-ecological risks. Soil-ecological risk in "phytocenosis- soil" system means probable negative changes and the loss of some ecosystem functions during the transformation process of dead organic substance energy for the new biomass composition. Soil-ecological risks estimation is

  15. Sensitivity of risk estimates to wildlife bioaccumulation factors in ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Karustis, C.G.; Brewer, R.A.

    1995-12-31

    The concept of conservatism in risk assessment is well established. However, overly conservative assumptions may result in risk estimates that incorrectly predict remediation goals. Therefore, realistic assumptions should be applied in risk assessment whenever possible. A sensitivity analysis was performed on conservative (i.e. bioaccumulation factor = 1) and scientifically-derived wildlife bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) utilized to calculate risks during a terrestrial ecological risk assessment (ERA). In the first approach, 100% bioaccumulation of contaminants was assumed to estimate the transfer of contaminants through the terrestrial food chain. In the second approach, scientifically-derived BAFs were selected from the literature. For one of the measurement species selected, total risks calculated during the first approach were higher than those calculated during the second approach by two orders of magnitude. However, potential risks due to individual contaminants were not necessarily higher using the conservative approach. Potential risk due to contaminants with low actual bioaccumulation were exaggerated while potential risks due to contaminants with greater than 100% bioaccumulation were underestimated. Therefore, the use of a default of 100% bioaccumulation (BAF = 1) for all contaminants encountered during an ERA could result in cases where contaminants are incorrectly identified as risk drivers, and the calculation of incorrect ecological risk-based cleanup goals. The authors suggest using site-specific or literature-derived BAFs whenever possible and realistic BAF estimates, based upon factors such as log K{sub ow}, when BAFs are unavailable.

  16. Food-chain contamination evaluations in ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Linder, G.

    1994-12-31

    Food-chain models have become increasingly important within the ecological risk assessment process. This is the case particularly when acute effects are not readily apparent, or the contaminants of concern are not readily detoxified, have a high likelihood for partitioning into lipids, or have specific target organs or tissues that may increase their significance in evaluating their potential adverse effects. An overview of food-chain models -- conceptual, theoretical, and empirical -- will be considered through a series of papers that will focus on their application within the ecological risk assessment process. Whether a food-chain evaluation is being developed to address relatively simple questions related to chronic effects of toxicants on target populations, or whether a more complex food-web model is being developed to address questions related to multiple-trophic level transfers of toxicants, the elements within the food chain contamination evaluation can be generalized to address the mechanisms of toxicant accumulation in individual organisms. This can then be incorporated into more elaborate models that consider these organismal-level processes within the context of a species life-history or community-level responses that may be associated with long-term exposures.

  17. Ecological Risk Model of Childhood Obesity in Chinese Immigrant Children

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Nan; Cheah, Charissa S. L.

    2015-01-01

    Chinese Americans are the largest and fastest growing Asian American subgroup, increasing about one-third during the 2000s. Despite the slender Asian stereotype, nearly one-third of 6-to-11 years old Chinese American children were found to be overweight (above the 85th percentile in BMI). Importantly, unique and severe health risks are associated with being overweight/obese in Chinese. Unfortunately, Chinese immigrant children have been neglected in the literature on obesity. This review aimed to identify factors at various levels of the ecological model that may place Chinese immigrant children at risk for being overweight/obese in the U.S. Key contextual factors at the micro-, meso-, exo-, macro- and chronosystem were identified guided by Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. The corresponding mediating and moderating processes among the factors were also reviewed and proposed. By presenting a conceptual framework and relevant research, this review can provide a basic framework for directing future interdisciplinary research in seeking solutions to childhood obesity within this understudied population. PMID:25728887

  18. Ecological risk assessment of a wetland exposed to boron

    SciTech Connect

    Powell, R.L.; Kimerle, R.A.; Coyle, G.T.; Best, G.R.

    1997-11-01

    A wetland located in the southeastern portion of the United States was the site of an investigation to determine the potential ecological risk of elevated boron concentrations to the flora and fauna living in the wetland. The conceptual model identified the vegetation as the primary receptor of concern, and thus the vegetation is the focus of this article. Samples of surface water, sediments, and selected vegetation were collected from the study wetland and several nearby reference sites and were analyzed for boron. Concentrations of boron in all three media exceeded reference site concentrations. Boron concentrations were highest near the suspected source but decreased almost to reference-site concentrations near the outer perimeter of the wetland. Some plants appeared stressed with yellowing and necrotic leaves; however, a correlation between tissue boron concentrations and the plant`s visual appearance was not apparent for all species studied. Modeling of the fate of boron indicated that the wetland has likely been at a steady state for many years and that boron concentrations were not expected to increase. It was concluded that no observable adverse ecological impacts to the vegetation could be attributed to boron, nor is it likely that the boron poses an unacceptable risk to the surrounding areas.

  19. Ecological risk model of childhood obesity in Chinese immigrant children.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Nan; Cheah, Charissa S L

    2015-07-01

    Chinese Americans are the largest and fastest growing Asian American subgroup, increasing about one-third during the 2000s. Despite the slender Asian stereotype, nearly one-third of 6-to-11 year old Chinese American children were found to be overweight (above the 85th percentile in BMI). Importantly, unique and severe health risks are associated with being overweight/obese in Chinese. Unfortunately, Chinese immigrant children have been neglected in the literature on obesity. This review aimed to identify factors at various levels of the ecological model that may place Chinese immigrant children at risk for being overweight/obese in the U.S. Key contextual factors at the micro-, meso-, exo-, macro- and chronosystem were identified guided by Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory. The corresponding mediating and moderating processes among the factors were also reviewed and proposed. By presenting a conceptual framework and relevant research, this review can provide a basic framework for directing future interdisciplinary research in seeking solutions to childhood obesity within this understudied population. PMID:25728887

  20. Population-scale assessment endpoints in ecological risk assessment. Part 1: Reflections of stakeholder values.

    PubMed

    Landis, Wayne G

    2006-01-01

    The selection of appropriate assessment endpoints is a basic element of an ecological risk assessment, especially at regional or watershed scales. Because ecological services often are tied to specific species, the risk to populations is a critical endpoint and feature of ecological risk assessments. The first item is a discussion of the replacement of population-level risk assessment with the construct of a population-scale assessment endpoint. Next, the criteria that are currently used for assessment endpoints are reviewed and evaluated for utility in an ecological risk assessment. Following this examination, assessment endpoints from a number of regional-scale ecological risk assessments are compared. The outcome of this evaluation is that population-scale assessment endpoints are important expressions of the valued components of ecological structures. Finally, a few recommendations for the selection of assessment endpoints at a population scale are listed. PMID:16640323

  1. Family ecology and HIV sexual risk behaviors among African American and Puerto Rican adolescent males.

    PubMed

    Voisin, Dexter R

    2002-04-01

    This study examined the relationship between family ecology and HIV sexual risk behavior among African American and Puerto Rican adolescent males. Family, psychosocial, and HIV risk factors were assessed in 171 African American and 187 Puerto Rican adolescent males. Findings suggest that family ecology, culture, and gender role variables may differentially affect HIV sexual risk behaviors within these groups. PMID:15792069

  2. Guidance Manual for Conducting Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessments at the INEL

    SciTech Connect

    R. L. VanHorn; N. L. Hampton; R. C. Morris

    1995-06-01

    This document presents reference material for conducting screening level ecological risk assessments (SLERAs)for the waste area groups (WAGs) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Included in this document are discussions of the objectives of and processes for conducting SLERAs. The Environmental Protection Agency ecological risk assessment framework is closely followed. Guidance for site characterization, stressor characterization, ecological effects, pathways of contaminant migration, the conceptual site model, assessment endpoints, measurement endpoints, analysis guidance, and risk characterization are included.

  3. Biological surveys for ecological and human health risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Kathman, R.D.; Reagan, D.P.; Mayfield, J.C.

    1994-12-31

    In the past, human risk assessment was used almost exclusively to determine remedial measures at contaminated waste sites. Recently, however, ecological risk assessments have gained importance in evaluating risk not only to plants and animals, but also to humans through use of measures such as action levels of chemicals in fish tissue. Biological surveys were initiated to assess the mercury concentrations in finfish and shellfish in Lavaca Bay, Texas, part of which has been closed to fish and shellfish consumption since 1988 due to high levels of mercury in these organisms. Samples of particulate organic matter, cordgrass, invertebrates and fish were collected and analyzed for mercury concentrations. In conjunction with the biological surveys, an extensive sediment sampling program was conducted to map mercury concentrations in the sediment throughout the bay. A food web pathways model developed by personnel at National Marine Fisheries Service to assess mercury uptake by aquatic organisms in the bay has enabled the authors to concentrate on specific locations/habitats where mercury concentrations in sediment exceed a critical value. Biological data, along with stable isotope analyses, were used to validate the food web model. The conclusion is that mercury is continuing to enter the food web through the sediment-based food chain and not through the water column. These studies will be used to identify areas which need to be addressed for possible remedial measures, resulting in less uptake and bioaccumulation of mercury, and possible future removal of the fishing ban, thus establishing a direct linkage with human health concerns.

  4. Triazine herbcides: Ecological risk assessment in North American surface waters

    SciTech Connect

    Solomon, K.R.

    1996-10-01

    The triazine herbicides are some of the most widely used pesticides in North America. Some are found in surface waters in North America and risks to aquatic ecosystems are a possible concern. This paper presents the results of a comprehensive aquatic ecological risk assessment conducted using probabilistic risk assessment techniques. The assessment of exposure data concentrated on Midwestern us watersheds, the area of greatest triazine use in North America and showed that concentrations of some triazines rarely exceeded 20 {mu}g/L in rivers, streams, and reservoirs. The effects assessment showed that phytoplankton were the most sensitive organisms to triazines followed, in decreasing order of sensitivity, by macrophytes, benthic invertebrates, zooplankton and fish. Distribution analysis of sensitivity to atrazine showed 10th percentile of 37 {mu}g/L for LC50s in all organisms and 5.4 {mu}g/L for LC50s in algae and plants. Simazine showed 10th percentiles of 188 {mu}g/L for LC50s in all organisms and 27 {mu}g/L for LC50s in aquatic plants. Comparisons of the exposure and effects distributions showed low probabilities of exceeding the 10th percentiles of the sensitivity distributions. These results will be discussed in relation to the mechanism of action of these substances and other stressors in the environment.

  5. Ecological risk assessment of protected species at a military installation

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, M.L.; Faulk, S.T.; Lukin, C.; Kochel, M.J.

    1995-12-31

    A quantitative ecological risk assessment was performed to determine adverse effects posed by potential chemical contamination for two state-protected mammal species (Skull Valley pocket gopher and spotted bat) known to occur or potentially occur within the confines of the US Army Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. Surface soil and prey items were analyzed for metals and total petroleum hydrocarbons. Concentrations of the target analytes in forage were estimated. Receptor-specific biological parameters and the use of a geographic information system allowed the risk assessment to be tailored to the very different natural histories of the two mammals. A grid of interpolated soil concentrations was created for the entire base using measured soil concentrations and knowledge of site history. Spatially-averaged soil exposure concentrations were calculated using receptor home range areas. Doses were stochastically computed using the probability density functions of soil exposure concentration data, biomagnification factors, and measured prey concentration data. An extensive literature search provided the ecotoxicological benchmark values for the contaminants and hazard quotients were computed. The use of receptor-specific information and a geographic information system for spatial analysis of contaminant concentrations and animal exposure allowed a more precise estimate of risk for these two state-protected mammal species.

  6. State trends in ecological risk assessment and standard setting

    SciTech Connect

    Siegel, M R; Fowler, K M; Bilyard, G R

    1993-02-01

    The purposes of this paper are (1) to identify key states' activities and plans related to setting cleanup standards using the ecological risk assessment process, and (2) to discuss the impacts these actions may have on the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) environmental restoration program. This report is prepared as part of a larger task, the purpose of which is to identify and assess state regulatory trends and legal developments that may impact DOE's environmental restoration program. Results of this task are intended to provide DOE with advance notice of potentially significant regulatory developments so as to enhance DOE's ability to influence these developments and to incorporate possible regulatory and policy changes into its planning process.

  7. Baseline aquatic ecological risk assessment at a zinc smelter site

    SciTech Connect

    Sexton, J.E.; Becker, D.S.; Pastorok, R.A.; Ginn, T.C.; Shields, W.J.

    1995-12-31

    A baseline ecological risk assessment was conducted at the National Zinc smelter site (Bartlesville, Oklahoma). Surface water, sediments, and aquatic biota (whole fish and crayfish) in the North Tributary, West Tributary, Eliza Creek, and Sand Creek were analyzed for selected metals. Water toxicity tests (fathead minnow and cladoceran) and sediment toxicity tests (amphipod and chironomid) were also conducted. Metals in water and sediments in most of the North Tributary, West Tributary, and parts of Eliza Creek were elevated above reference values. Metal distributions in surface water showed no influence of the releases from the Site on Sand Creek, with the exception of a slight elevation of cadmium concentration relative to reference area values. In all cases, concentrations of metals in Sand Creek sediments were similar to or lower than mean reference values. Spatial distribution patterns for metals of concern in surface water were similar to those in sediments. Analyses of dissolved metals in surface water, SEM/AVS ratios for sediments, and tissue residues demonstrated that metals were bioavailable. No adverse effects were detected in the fathead minnow test for any of the site stations. A low level of toxicity was observed in the cladoceran test for several site stations. Little sediment toxicity was observed at the study area based on the amphipod survival endpoint. Sublethal effects were detected when chironomid growth at several site stations was compared with reference conditions. The ecological risks posed by surface water and sediment throughout most of the study area were not significant and bioaccumulation of metals of concern was restricted to a limited portion of the study area close to the Site.

  8. Documentation of the Ecological Risk Assessment Computer Model ECORSK.5

    SciTech Connect

    Anthony F. Gallegos; Gilbert J. Gonzales

    1999-06-01

    The FORTRAN77 ecological risk computer model--ECORSK.5--has been used to estimate the potential toxicity of surficial deposits of radioactive and non-radioactive contaminants to several threatened and endangered (T and E) species at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). These analyses to date include preliminary toxicity estimates for the Mexican spotted owl, the American peregrine falcon, the bald eagle, and the southwestern willow flycatcher. This work has been performed as required for the Record of Decision for the construction of the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) Facility at LANL as part of the Environmental Impact Statement. The model is dependent on the use of the geographic information system and associated software--ARC/INFO--and has been used in conjunction with LANL's Facility for Information Management and Display (FIMAD) contaminant database. The integration of FIMAD data and ARC/INFO using ECORSK.5 allows the generation of spatial information from a gridded area of potential exposure called an Ecological Exposure Unit. ECORSK.5 was used to simulate exposures using a modified Environmental Protection Agency Quotient Method. The model can handle a large number of contaminants within the home range of T and E species. This integration results in the production of hazard indices which, when compared to risk evaluation criteria, estimate the potential for impact from consumption of contaminants in food and ingestion of soil. The assessment is considered a Tier-2 type of analysis. This report summarizes and documents the ECORSK.5 code, the mathematical models used in the development of ECORSK.5, and the input and other requirements for its operation. Other auxiliary FORTRAN 77 codes used for processing and graphing output from ECORSK.5 are also discussed. The reader may refer to reports cited in the introduction to obtain greater detail on past applications of ECORSK.5 and assumptions used in deriving model parameters.

  9. Risk communication discourse among ecological risk assessment professionals and its implications for communication with nonexperts.

    PubMed

    Hunka, Agnieszka D; Palmqvist, Annemette; Thorbek, Pernille; Forbes, Valery E

    2013-10-01

    Risk communication, especially to the general public and end users of plant protection products, is an important challenge. Currently, much of the risk communication the general public receives is via the popular press, and risk managers face the challenge of presenting their decisions and their scientific basis to the general public in an understandable way. Therefore, we decided to explore the obstacles in risk communication, as done by expert risk assessors and managers. Using the discourse analysis framework and readability tests, we studied perspectives of 3 stakeholder groups-regulators, industry representatives, and academics across Europe. We conducted 30 confidential interviews (10 participants in each group), with part of the interview guide focused on communication of pesticide risk to the general public and the ideas experts in the field of risk assessment and management hold of the public perception of pesticides. We used the key informant approach in recruiting our participants. They were first identified as key stakeholders in ecological risk assessment of pesticides and then sampled by means of a snowball sampling technique. In the analysis, first we identified main motifs (themes) in each group, and then we moved to studying length of the sentences and grammar and to uncovering discourses present in the text data. We also used the Flesch Reading Ease test to determine the comprehension difficulty of transcribed interviews. The test is commonly used as a standard for estimating the readability of technical documents. Our results highlight 3 main obstacles standing in the way of effective communication with wider audiences. First of all, ecological risk assessment as a highly technical procedure uses the specific language of ecological risk assessment, which is also highly specialized and might be difficult to comprehend by nonexperts. Second, the idea of existing "expert-lay discrepancy," a phenomenon described in risk perception studies is visibly

  10. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

    PubMed Central

    Landis, Wayne G; Durda, Judi L; Brooks, Marjorie L; Chapman, Peter M; Menzie, Charles A; Stahl, Ralph G; Stauber, Jennifer L

    2013-01-01

    Changes to sources, stressors, habitats, and geographic ranges; toxicological effects; end points; and uncertainty estimation require significant changes in the implementation of ecological risk assessment (ERA). Because of the lack of analog systems and circumstances in historically studied sites, there is a likelihood of type III error. As a first step, the authors propose a decision key to aid managers and risk assessors in determining when and to what extent climate change should be incorporated. Next, when global climate change is an important factor, the authors recommend seven critical changes to ERA. First, develop conceptual cause–effect diagrams that consider relevant management decisions as well as appropriate spatial and temporal scales to include both direct and indirect effects of climate change and the stressor of management interest. Second, develop assessment end points that are expressed as ecosystem services. Third, evaluate multiple stressors and nonlinear responses—include the chemicals and the stressors related to climate change. Fourth, estimate how climate change will affect or modify management options as the impacts become manifest. Fifth, consider the direction and rate of change relative to management objectives, recognizing that both positive and negative outcomes can occur. Sixth, determine the major drivers of uncertainty, estimating and bounding stochastic uncertainty spatially, temporally, and progressively. Seventh, plan for adaptive management to account for changing environmental conditions and consequent changes to ecosystem services. Good communication is essential for making risk-related information understandable and useful for managers and stakeholders to implement a successful risk-assessment and decision-making process. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2013;32:79–92. © 2012 SETAC PMID:23161373

  11. FIFTH NHEERL SYMPOSIUM FLYER -- INDICATORS IN HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Announcement for NHEERL Fifth Symposium - Indicators in Health and Ecological Risk Assessment. The purpose of the symposium is to address assessment of risk to public health or environmental resources which requires competent characterization of stressors and corresponding effec...

  12. Conceptual Framework for Trait-Based Ecological Risk Assessment for Wildlife Populations Exposed to Pesticides

    EPA Science Inventory

    Between screening level risk assessments and complex ecological models, a need exists for practical identification of risk based on general information about species, chemicals, and exposure scenarios. Several studies have identified demographic, biological, and toxicological fa...

  13. NEW APPROACHES IN RISK ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSORS TO HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We explore the application of novel techniques for improving and integrating risk analysis of environmental stressors to human and ecological systems. Environmental protection decisions are guided by risk assessments serving as tools to develop regulatory policy and other relate...

  14. FIFTH NHEERL SYMPOSIUM POSTER -- INDICATORS IN HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Poster for announcing NHEERL Fifth Symposium - Indicators in Health and Ecological Risk Assessment. The purpose of the symposium is to address assessment of risk to public health or environmental resources which requires competent characterization of stressors and corresponding ...

  15. Ecological risk assessment for river sediments contaminated by creosote

    SciTech Connect

    Pastorok, R.A.; Sampson, J.R.; Jacobson, M.A. ); Peek, D.C. )

    1994-12-01

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted for sediments of the lower Willamette River near a wood-treatment (creosote) facility. Both surface ad subsurface sediments near the facility are contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Limited contamination of sediments by dioxins/furans, chlorinated phenols, and arsenic was also observed. Sediment bioassays based on amphipod (Hyalella azteca) mortality and Microtox[reg sign] (Photobacterium phosphoreum) bioluminescence showed toxicity within approximately 300 ft of the shoreline, with a highly toxic area (i.e., possible acute lethal effects in sedentary benthic species) near a dock used for creosote off-loading. The relatively low concentrations of contaminants measured in crayfish muscle tissue and the absence of serious lesions in livers of large-scale sucker collected near the site suggest that excess risk to mobile species from chronic contamination is low. Cursory observations indicate that acute toxic effects on crayfish may be associated with creosote seeps. There is no evidence of adverse biological effects throughout most of the main channel of the river. Evaluation of sediment chemistry data for PAHs relative to available sediment-quality criteria proposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency supports this conclusion.

  16. EPA APPROACH TO EVALUATION OF INDICATORS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development (ORD) is continuing research efforts initiated by the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) on ecological indicator development. An ORD Ecological Indicators Working Group has been form...

  17. USE OF ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT FOR DEVELOPING AND COORDINATING RESEARCH AT REGIONAL AND WATERSHED SCALES

    EPA Science Inventory

    A series of studies were undertaken to develop quantitative methods that could be used for ecological risk assessments at a watershed scale. This work contributed to the newly published ecological risk assessment guidelines (USEPA, 1998) and focused attention on the need for a pr...

  18. SURVEY OF METHODOLOGIES FOR DEVELOPING MEDIA SCREENING VALUES FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Barron, Mace G. and Steve Wharton. Submitted. Survey of Methodologies for Developing Media Screening Values for Ecological Risk Assessment. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 44 p. (ERL,GB 1200).

    Concurrent with the increase in the number of ecological risk assessments over the past...

  19. IF ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT IS THE ANSWER, WHAT IS THE QUESTION?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment has become a commonly used tool in policy analysis, but its use is controversial. Opinions are diverse; they range from enthusiastic support to caustic dismissal. Much of the controversy with using risk assessment in ecological policy analysis revolves ...

  20. Phase two of Site 300`s ecological risk assessment: Model verification and risk management

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, T.M.; Gregory, S.D.

    1995-12-31

    The authors completed the baseline ecological risk assessment (ERA) for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory`s Site 300 in 1993. Using data collection and modeling techniques adapted from the human health risk assessment (HRA), they evaluated the potential hazard of contaminants in environmental media to ecological receptors. They identified potential hazards to (1) aquatic invertebrates from heavy metal contaminants in surface water, (2) burrowing vertebrates from contaminants volatilizing from subsurface soil into burrow air, and (3) grazing deer and burrowing vertebrates from cadmium contamination in surface soil. They recently began collecting data to refine the estimates of potential hazard to these ecological receptors. Bioassay results form the surface water failed to verify a hazard to aquatic invertebrates. Soil vapor surveys of subsurface burrows did verify the presence of high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, they have not yet verified a true impact on the burrowing populations. The authors also completed an extensive surface soil sampling program, which identified local hot spots of cadmium contamination. In addition, they have been collecting data on the land use patterns of the deer population. Their data indicate that deer do not typically use those areas with cadmium surface soil contamination. Information from this phase of the ERA, along with the results of the HRA, will direct the selection of remedial alternatives for the site. For the ecological receptors, remedial alternatives include developing a risk management program which includes ensuring that (1) sensitive burrowing species (such as rare or endangered species) do not use areas of surface or subsurface contamination, and (2) deer populations do not use areas of surface soil contamination.

  1. Toxicity Bioassays for Ecological Risk Assessment in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems. Reviews Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 168:43-98.

    SciTech Connect

    Markwiese, J.T.; Ryti, R.T.; Hooten, M.M.; Michael, D.I.; Hlohowskyj, I.

    2001-02-01

    This paper discusses current limitations for performing ecological risk assessments in dry environments (i.e., ecosystems that are characteristic of many DOE Facilities) and presents novel approaches to addressing ecological risk in such systems.

  2. BOTTOMLAND HARDWOODS IN THE TIFTON-VIDIALIA UPLAND OF GEORGIA: A CONCEPTUAL MODEL FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecology risk assessment provides a methodology for evaluating threats to ecosystem function associated with environmental perturbations or stressors. his report documents the development of a conceptual model for assessing the ecological risk to the water quality function (WQF) o...

  3. [Ecological risk assessment of organophosphorus pesticides in aquatic ecosystems of Pearl River Estuary].

    PubMed

    Guo, Qiang; Tian, Hui; Mao, Xiao-Xuan; Huang, Tao; Gao, Hong; Ma, Jian-Min; Wu, Jun-Nian

    2014-03-01

    The risk quotient method and a probabilistic risk assessment method were applied for assessing aquatic ecological risk of nine organophosphorus pesticides, including thimet, dichlorovos, disulfoton, dimethoate, dimethyl parathion, chlorpyrifos, ethoprophos, sumithion and malathion on eight aquatic organisms in the Pearl River Estuary. Results using the risk quotient method revealed that the risk level of opossum shrimp was the highest among eight aquatic organisms of the Pearl River Estuary. The risk of water flea and midge was in medium level, followed by the rest six aquatic organisms, including diatom, oyster, carp, catfish and eel, which were in the low risk by the examined organophosphorus pesticides. It was found that thimet made the largest contribution to total aquatic ecological risk among nine organophosphorus pesticides to every organism. The results from probabilistic risk assessment showed that the total ecological risk in high water period was higher than that in low water period determined by the HC5 under the 95% confidence level. The largest contribution of thimet to total aquatic ecological risk subject to the HC5 in 50% confidence level was regarded as the toxic reference value. The probabilistic risk of a single contaminant showed that thimet and disulfoton were harmful to exceeded 10% organisms in the estuarine. The probabilistic risk of nine pesticides mixture in high water period was also higher than that in low water period, and both risks were greater than 5% which exceeded safety threshold for 95% organisms in the Pearl River Estuary. PMID:24881393

  4. Review of ecological-based risk management approaches used at five Army Superfund sites.

    PubMed

    Poucher, Sherri L; Tracey, Gregory A; Johnson, Mark S; Haines, Laurie B

    2012-04-01

    Factors used in environmental remedial decision making concerning ecological risk are not well understood or necessarily consistent. Recent Records of Decision (RODs) for Army CERCLA sites were reviewed to select case studies where remedial management occurred in response to ecological risks. Thirty-four Army RODs were evaluated representing decisions promulgated between 1996 and 2004. Five were selected based on assessments that remedial actions were clearly linked to concern for ecological receptors. The Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) approach and the subsequent risk management process were reviewed for each site. The case studies demonstrated that the ERA findings, as well as critical management decisions regarding interpretation of identified ecological risks, were determinants of remedial action objectives. Decisions regarding the selection of remedial alternatives were based on a set of criteria prescribed by Superfund requirements and guidance. Remedial alternative evaluations require protection of human health and the environment, but protective conditions were determined using different methods at each site. Examining the remedial management process for the 5 case study sites revealed that uncertainty in the risk assessment and decisions regarding appropriate spatial scales for both risk assessment and remediation were important factors influencing remedial action decisions. The case reviews also revealed that levels of documentation were variable from site to site. In the future, more detailed documentation of decision criteria and the development of criteria that consider the resilience of the site will result in more technically defensible ecological risk management. PMID:22025287

  5. Ecological Risk Assessment with MCDM of Some Invasive Alien Plants in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Guowen; Chen, Weiguang; Lin, Meizhen; Zheng, Yanling; Guo, Peiguo; Zheng, Yisheng

    Alien plant invasion is an urgent global issue that threatens the sustainable development of the ecosystem health. The study of its ecological risk assessment (ERA) could help us to prevent and reduce the invasion risk more effectively. Based on the theory of ERA and methods of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) of multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM), and through the analyses of the characteristics and processes of alien plant invasion, this paper discusses the methodologies of ERA of alien plant invasion. The assessment procedure consisted of risk source analysis, receptor analysis, exposure and hazard assessment, integral assessment, and countermeasure of risk management. The indicator system of risk source assessment as well as the indices and formulas applied to measure the ecological loss and risk were established, and the method for comprehensively assessing the ecological risk of alien plant invasion was worked out. The result of ecological risk analysis to 9 representative invasive alien plants in China shows that the ecological risk of Erigeron annuus, Ageratum conyzoides, Alternanthera philoxeroides and Mikania midrantha is high (grade1-2), that of Oxalis corymbosa and Wedelia chinensis comes next (grade3), while Mirabilis jalapa, Pilea microphylla and Calendula officinalis of the last (grade 4). Risk strategies are put forward on this basis.

  6. Developing ecosystem services-based assessment endpoints for determining ecological risks to estuarine environments

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current U.S. EPA ecological risk assessment (ERA) guidance defines an assessment endpoint (AE) as an explicit expression of the environmental value that is to be protected, and recommends that AEs are selected based on ecological relevance, susceptibility to known or potential st...

  7. Evaluation of vegetable production management practices to reduce the ecological risk of pesticides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ability of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risks of pesticides was evaluated. Risk quotients, a mathematical description of the relationship between exposure and toxicity, and hazard ratings, a rank of potential risk of pesticides to aquatic environments, were calculat...

  8. An Ecological Risk/Protective Factor Approach to Understanding Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Jonathan; Goddard, H. Wallace

    2010-01-01

    We applied an ecological multiple risk/protective factor model to study factors related to depressive symptoms among adolescents. Participants were 39,740 adolescents who self-reported risk factors, protective factors, and depressive symptoms on a school-based survey. Results indicate that an index of multiple risk was related to increased…

  9. An Ecological Risk Model for Early Childhood Anxiety: The Importance of Early Child Symptoms and Temperament

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mian, Nicholas D.; Wainwright, Laurel; Briggs-Gowan, Margaret J.; Carter, Alice S.

    2011-01-01

    Childhood anxiety is impairing and associated with later emotional disorders. Studying risk factors for child anxiety may allow earlier identification of at-risk children for prevention efforts. This study applied an ecological risk model to address how early childhood anxiety symptoms, child temperament, maternal anxiety and depression symptoms,…

  10. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China.

    PubMed

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-11-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution-severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  11. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-01-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution—severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  12. Application of WATERSHED ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT Methods to Watershed Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    Watersheds are frequently used to study and manage environmental resources because hydrologic boundaries define the flow of contaminants and other stressors. Ecological assessments of watersheds are complex because watersheds typically overlap multiple jurisdictional boundaries,...

  13. Application of Watershed Ecological Risk Assessment Methods to Watershed Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    Watersheds are frequently used to study and manage environmental resources because hydrologic boundaries define the flow of contaminants and other stressors. Ecological assessments of watersheds are complex because watersheds typically overlap multiple jurisdictional boundaries,...

  14. Ecological risk assessment and sources of heavy metals in sediment from Daling River basin.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lei; Mi, Dong; Chen, Yifu; Wang, Luo; Sun, Yeqing

    2015-04-01

    To investigate the distribution, source, and ecological risk of heavy metals in Daling River basin, 28 surface sediments collected in this region were analyzed by experimental and theoretical methods. Seven heavy metals, including Pb, Cr, Hg, Cu, As, Cd, and Zn, were detected in all samples. Monte Carlo simulation was used to assess the ecological risks of these heavy metals. It was found that the pollution of Cd was the most serious; the ecological risks in Daling River and Bohai Bay were significantly higher than those in estuary, Bohai Sea, and wetland, but overall, the ecological risks of these heavy metals were low to aquatic organisms in Daling River basin at present. Correlation analysis, principal component analysis, and cluster analysis showed that these heavy metals might originate from the same pollution sources located near Daling River and Bohai Bay. PMID:25378031

  15. Ecological risk characterization based on exposure to contaminants through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal aquatic food chains

    SciTech Connect

    Toll, J.E.; Cothern, K.A.; Pavlou, S.; Tate, D.J.; Armstrong, J.P.

    1994-12-31

    This paper describes ecological risk characterization methods and results for characterizing potential risk from exposure to bioaccumulative contaminants of concern (aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, DDT, DDE, and mercury) through the lake food chains at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA). Aquatic risks were estimated for the bald eagle, great blue heron, shorebird, and water bird using a prey-tissue-concentration-based food web model. Methods for estimating missing tissue concentration data were developed on a case-by-case basis and will be described. A sediment-based food web model was also considered and the reasons for its rejection will be described. Generalizable insights from the aquatic ecological risk characterization will be discussed.

  16. Calculating background levels for ecological risk parameters in toxic harbor sediment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leadon, C.J.; McDonnell, T.R.; Lear, J.; Barclift, D.

    2007-01-01

    Establishing background levels for biological parameters is necessary in assessing the ecological risks from harbor sediment contaminated with toxic chemicals. For chemicals in sediment, the term contaminated is defined as having concentrations above background and significant human health or ecological risk levels. For biological parameters, a site could be considered contaminated if levels of the parameter are either more or less than the background level, depending on the specific parameter. Biological parameters can include tissue chemical concentrations in ecological receptors, bioassay responses, bioaccumulation levels, and benthic community metrics. Chemical parameters can include sediment concentrations of a variety of potentially toxic chemicals. Indirectly, contaminated harbor sediment can impact shellfish, fish, birds, and marine mammals, and human populations. This paper summarizes the methods used to define background levels for chemical and biological parameters from a survey of ecological risk investigations of marine harbor sediment at California Navy bases. Background levels for regional biological indices used to quantify ecological risks for benthic communities are also described. Generally, background stations are positioned in relatively clean areas exhibiting the same physical and general chemical characteristics as nearby areas with contaminated harbor sediment. The number of background stations and the number of sample replicates per background station depend on the statistical design of the sediment ecological risk investigation, developed through the data quality objective (DQO) process. Biological data from the background stations can be compared to data from a contaminated site by using minimum or maximum background levels or comparative statistics. In Navy ecological risk assessments (ERA's), calculated background levels and appropriate ecological risk screening criteria are used to identify sampling stations and sites with contaminated

  17. Waste area grouping 2 Phase I task data report: Ecological risk assessment and White Oak Creek watershed screening ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.; Jackson, B.L.; Jones, D.S.

    1996-05-01

    This report presents an ecological risk assessment for Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 2 based on the data collected in the Phase I remedial investigation (RI). It serves as an update to the WAG 2 screening ecological risk assessment that was performed using historic data. In addition to identifying potential ecological risks in WAG 2 that may require additional data collection, this report serves to determine whether there are ecological risks of sufficient magnitude to require a removal action or some other expedited remedial process. WAG 2 consists of White Oak Creek (WOC) and its tributaries downstream of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) main plant area, White Oak Lake (WOL), the White Oak Creek Embayment of the Clinch River, associated flood plains, and the associated groundwater. The WOC system drains the WOC watershed, an area of approximately 16.8 km{sup 2} that includes ORNL and associated WAGs. The WOC system has been exposed to contaminants released from ORNL and associated operations since 1943 and continues to receive contaminants from adjacent WAGs.

  18. The role of mesocosm studies in ecological risk analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, T.P.; Fairchild, J.F.

    1997-01-01

    Mesocosms have been primarily used as research tools for the evaluation of the fate and effects of xenobiotic chemicals at the population, community, and ecosystem levels of biological organization. This paper provides suggestions for future applications of mesocosm research. Attention should be given to the configuration of mesocosm parameters to explicitly study regional questions of ecological interest. The initial physical, chemical, and biological conditions within mesocosms should be considered as factors shaping the final results of experiments. Certain fundamental questions such as the ecological inertia and resilience of systems with different initial ecological properties should be addressed. Researchers should develop closer working relationships with mathematical modelers in linking computer models to the outcomes of mesocosm studies. Mesocosm tests, linked with models, could enable managers and regulators to forecast the regional consequences of chemicals released into the environment.

  19. [Method of ecological risk assessment for risk pollutants under short-term and high dose exposure in water pollution accident].

    PubMed

    Lei, Bing-Li; Sun, Yan-Feng; Liu, Qian; Yu, Zhi-Qiang; Zeng, Xiang-Ying

    2011-11-01

    In recent years, water pollution accidents resulting in acute aquatic ecological risk and security issues become a research focus. However, in our country, the surface water quality standards and drinking water health standards were used to determine the safety of waters or not in pollution incidents due to lacking safety effect threshold or risk value for protection of aquatic life. In foreign countries, although predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) or risk value (R) of pollutants were provided for protection of aquatic organisms, the PNECs or risk values were derived based on long-term exposure toxicity data NOECs (no observed effect concentrations) and lack of short-term exposure risk or threshold values. For the short-term and high dose exposure in pollution incident, ecological risk assessment methods were discussed according to the procedures of the conventional ecological risk assessment and the water quality criteria establishment of the U.S. EPA for the protection of aquatic organisms in short-term exposure, and had a case study. At the same time, we provide some suggestions for the establishment of ecological risk assessment system in water pollution incidents. PMID:22295619

  20. The Impact of Ecological Risk and Perceived Discrimination on the Psychological Adjustment of African American and European American Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prelow, Hazel M.; Danoff-Burg, Sharon; Swenson, Rebecca R.; Pulgiano, Dana

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the role of cumulative ecological risk (i.e., neighborhood disadvantage and ecologically salient stressful events) and perceived discrimination on the psychological adjustment of urban African American and European American youth. Findings indicated that both cumulative ecological risk and perceived…

  1. [Risk assessment of ecological disasters in Jilin Province based on GIS].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ji-Quan; Liang, Jing-Dan; Zhou, Dao-Wei

    2007-08-01

    Based on the principles of natural disasters risk formation, and considering the natural and social features of Jilin Province, relevant indices were selected from the aspects of hazard, exposure, vulnerability and emergency responses, and recovery capability, and Natural Disaster Risk Index method, Weighted Comprehensive Analysis, and Analytic Hierarchy Process were used to build the risk assessment model of ecological disasters in this Province. The contribution of each index was assessed, and the regionalization map of the ecological disasters risk in Jilin Province was built based on GIS, which would provide scientific references in accurately understanding the risk level of ecological disasters and in decision-making of eco-environment restoration and management in Jilin Province. PMID:17974242

  2. A framework for assessing ecological risks of petroleum-derived materials in soil

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W. II

    1997-05-01

    Ecological risk assessment estimates the nature and likelihood of effects of human actions on nonhuman organisms, populations, and ecosystems. It is intended to be clearer and more rigorous in its approach to estimation of effects and uncertainties than previously employed methods of ecological assessment. Ecological risk assessment is characterized by a standard paradigm that includes problem formulation, analysis of exposure and effects, risk characterization, and communication with a risk manager. This report provides a framework that applies the paradigm to the specific problem of assessing the ecological risks of petroleum in soil. This type of approach requires that assessments be performed in phases: (1) a scoping assessment to determine whether there is a potential route of exposure for potentially significant ecological receptors; (2) a screening assessment to determine whether exposures could potentially reach toxic levels; and (3) a definitive assessment to estimate the nature, magnitude, and extent of risks. The principal technical issue addressed is the chemically complex nature of petroleum--a complexity that may be dealt with by assessing risks on the basis of properties of the whole material, properties of individual chemicals that are representative of chemical classes, distributions of properties of the constituents of chemical classes, properties of chemicals detected in the soil, and properties of indicator chemicals. The advantages and feasibility of these alternatives are discussed. The report concludes with research recommendations for improving each stage in the assessment process.

  3. Analysis of the ecological risk of opening new oil and gas fields

    SciTech Connect

    Anikiev, V.V.; Mansurov, M.N.; Fleishman, B.S.

    1995-01-01

    Practical recommendations that would ensure the ecological safety of opening new marine oil and gas fields should include analysis of ecological risk. Such an analysis should precede the studies of ecological safety and resolve a sequence of problems in evaluating the ecological risk, the probability and scale of accidents at the oil and gas extraction complex, and economic damage that could occur. This paper presents a method of evaluation of risks for fish populations incurred by marine extraction of oil and gas, calculates the required limit of probability of accidents excluding the possibility of degradation of flatfish populations, estimates expenses incurred by accidental oil spills, and presents data on level of pollution. 9 refs., 1 tab.

  4. Ecological risk assessment for Mather Air Force Base, California: Phase 1, screening assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers-Schoene, L.; Fischer, N.T.; Rabe, J.J.

    1994-12-31

    Mather Air Force Base (AFB) is among the numerous facilities scheduled for closure under the US Air Force (USAF) Installation Restoration Program (IRP). A component of the Mather AFB IRP is to prepare risk assessments for each of the chemically contaminated sites. Because no previous ecological risk related studies have been conducted on Mather AFB, the authors proposed a phased approach to assessing ecological risks at the base. Phase 1 consisted of baseline ecological surveys that collected data over a 12-month period. In addition, benchmark screening criteria were used in conjunction with modeling results that utilized measured concentrations of chemical analytes in abiotic samples. Phase 2 may consist of the collection of more site-specific data and toxicity testing, if warranted by the Phase 1 screening analysis. This approach was in agreement with the USAF`s ecological risk assessment guidance and met the approval of the Air Force and USEPA Region 9. The authors found the use of established and derived screening values to effectively aid in the focusing of the ecological risk assessment on those chemicals most likely to be hazardous to ecological receptors at the base. Disadvantages in the use of screening values include the uncertainties associated with the conservative assumptions inherent in the derivation of benchmark values and the difficulty in extrapolating from laboratory determined benchmark values to impacts in the field.

  5. Ecological risk of heavy metals in sediments of the luan river source water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liu, J.; Li, Y.; Zhang, B.; Cao, J.; Cao, Z.; Domagalski, J.

    2009-01-01

    Distribution and characteristics of heavy metals enrichment in sediment were surveyed including the bio-available form analyzed for assessment of the Luan River source water quality. The approaches of sediment quality guidelines (SQG), risk assessment code and Hakanson potential ecological risk index were used for the ecological risk assessment. According to SQG, The results show that in animal bodies, Hg at the sampling site of Wuliehexia was 1.39 mg/kg, Cr at Sandaohezi was 152.37 mg/kg and Cu at Hanjiaying was 178.61 mg/kg exceeding the severe effect screening level. There were 90% of sampling sites of Cr and Pb and 50% sites of Cu exceeded the lowest effect screening level. At Boluonuo and Wuliehexia, the exchangeable and carbonate fractions for above 50% of sites were at high risk levels and that for above 30% of sites at Xiahenan and Wulieheshang were also at high risk levels. Other sites were at medium risk level. Compared to soil background values of China, Hg and Cd showed very strong ecological risk, and the seven heavy metals of Hg, Cd, Cu, As, Pb, Cr, Zn at ecological risk levels were in the descending order. The results could give insight into risk assessment of environmental pollution and decision-making for water source security. ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  6. COMMUNICATING AND CHARACTERIZING ECOLOGICAL RISK AT THE WATERSHED SCALE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Since the biggest environmental problems in the United States now stem from nonpoint sources of pollution that are not regulated by Federal laws, a watershed approach to environmental decision making that uses partnerships and sound science is being used more frequently. Ecologi...

  7. Ecosystem services as assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem services (ES) are defined as the outputs of ecological processes that contribute to human welfare or have the potential to do so in the future, and include the production of food and drinking water, purification of air and water, pollination, and nutrient cycling. The n...

  8. Ecological Risk of Heavy Metals and a Metalloid in Agricultural Soils in Tarkwa, Ghana

    PubMed Central

    Bortey-Sam, Nesta; Nakayama, Shouta M. M.; Akoto, Osei; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Baidoo, Elvis; Mizukawa, Hazuki; Ishizuka, Mayumi

    2015-01-01

    Heavy metals and a metalloid in agricultural soils in 19 communities in Tarkwa were analyzed to assess the potential ecological risk. A total of 147 soil samples were collected in June, 2012 and analyzed for As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn. Mean concentrations (mg/kg dw) of heavy metals in the communities decreased in order of Zn (39) ˃ Cr (21) ˃ Pb (7.2) ˃ Cu (6.2) ˃ As (4.4) ˃ Ni (3.7) ˃ Co (1.8) ˃ Hg (0.32) ˃ Cd (0.050). Correlations among heavy metals and soil properties indicated that soil organic matter could have substantial influence on the total contents of these metals in soil. From the results, integrated pollution (Cdeg) in some communities such as, Wangarakrom (11), Badukrom (13) and T–Tamso (17) indicated high pollution with toxic metals, especially from As and Hg. Potential ecological risk (RI) indices indicated low (Mile 7) to high risks (Wangarakrom; Badukrom) of metals. Based on pollution coefficient (Cif), Cdeg, monomial ecological risk (Eir) and RI, the investigated soils fall within low to high contamination and risk of heavy metals to the ecological system especially plants, soil invertebrates and/or mammalian wildlife. This represented moderate potential ecological risk in the study area, and mining activities have played a significant role. PMID:26378563

  9. Coordinating ecological restoration options analysis and risk assessment to improve environmental outcomes.

    PubMed

    Kapustka, Lawrence A; Bowers, Keith; Isanhart, John; Martinez-Garza, Cristina; Finger, Susan; Stahl, Ralph G; Stauber, Jenny

    2016-04-01

    Ecological risk assessment as currently practiced has hindered consideration of ecosystem services endpoints and restoration goals in the environmental management process. Practitioners have created barriers between procedures to clean up contaminated areas and efforts to restore ecosystem functions. In this article, we examine linkages between contaminant risk assessment approaches and restoration efforts with the aim of identifying ways to improve environmental outcomes. We advocate that project managers and other stakeholders use an ecological planning framework, with restoration options included upfront in the risk assessment. We also considered the opportunities to incorporate ecosystem services as potential assessment endpoints in the Problem Formulation stages of a risk assessment. Indeed, diverse perspectives of stakeholders are central to understand the relevance of social, cultural, economic, and regional ecology as influences on future use options for the landscape being restored. The measurement endpoints used to characterize the existing ecological conditions for selected ecosystem services can also be used to evaluate restoration success. A regional, landscape, or seascape focus is needed throughout the risk assessment process, so that restoration efforts play a more prominent role in enhancing ecosystem services. In short, we suggest that practitioners begin with the question of "how can the ecological risk assessment inform the decision on how best to restore the ecosystem?" PMID:26077395

  10. DEVELOPMENT OF LANDSCAPE INDICATORS FOR USE IN REGIONAL ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is a growing need for cost effective ways to assess conditions of and risks to ecological resources at a variety of scales over broad regions. Indicators, models and assessment tools are needed to evaluate water bodies at risk to non-point source pollution and to be able t...

  11. The occurrence and ecological risk assessment of phthalate esters (PAEs) in urban aquatic environments of China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lulu; Liu, Jingling; Liu, Huayong; Wan, Guisheng; Zhang, Shaowei

    2015-07-01

    Phthalate esters (PAEs) are widely used in the manufacturing of plastics, and the demand for PAEs has grown rapidly, especially in China. This trend will lead to much more environmental PAE contamination. PAEs are listed as priority substances in the European Union and are therefore subject to ecological risk assessments. This paper reviews the literature concerning the pollution status of PAEs and their ecological risk to aquatic environments. Risk quotients (RQs) based on the predicted no effect concentration and PAE concentrations in aquatic environments demonstrated significant (10 ≤ RQ < 100) or expected (RQ ≥ 100) potential adverse effects for algae, Daphnia, and fish in aquatic environments near PAE-based industrial and urban areas. Thus, the ecological risk of PAEs in Chinese aquatic environments should be considered, especially in areas where commercial plastics are produced. PMID:25847103

  12. [Uncertainty analysis of ecological risk assessment caused by heavy-metals deposition from MSWI emission].

    PubMed

    Liao, Zhi-Heng; Sun, Jia-Ren; Wu, Dui; Fan, Shao-Jia; Ren, Ming-Zhong; Lü, Jia-Yang

    2014-06-01

    The CALPUFF model was applied to simulate the ground-level atmospheric concentrations of Pb and Cd from municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) plants, and the soil concentration model was used to estimate soil concentration increments after atmospheric deposition based on Monte Carlo simulation, then ecological risk assessment was conducted by the potential ecological risk index method. The results showed that the largest atmospheric concentrations of Pb and Cd were 5.59 x 109-3) microg x m(-3) and 5.57 x 10(-4) microg x m(-3), respectively, while the maxima of soil concentration incremental medium of Pb and Cd were 2.26 mg x kg(-1) and 0.21 mg x kg(-1), respectively; High risk areas were located next to the incinerators, Cd contributed the most to the ecological risk, and Pb was basically free of pollution risk; Higher ecological hazard level was predicted at the most polluted point in urban areas with a 55.30% probability, while in rural areas, the most polluted point was assessed to moderate ecological hazard level with a 72.92% probability. In addition, sensitivity analysis of calculation parameters in the soil concentration model was conducted, which showed the simulated results of urban and rural area were most sensitive to soil mix depth and dry deposition rate, respectively. PMID:25158505

  13. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of effluent toxicity of a wastewater reclamation plant based on process modeling.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Siyu; Huang, Yunqing; Sun, Fu; Li, Dan; He, Miao

    2016-09-01

    The growing use of reclaimed wastewater for environmental purposes such as stream flow augmentation requires comprehensive ecological risk assessment and management. This study applied a system analysis approach, regarding a wastewater reclamation plant (WRP) and its recipient water body as a whole system, and assessed the ecological risk of the recipient water body caused by the WRP effluent. Instead of specific contaminants, two toxicity indicators, i.e. genotoxicity and estrogenicity, were selected to directly measure the biological effects of all bio-available contaminants in the reclaimed wastewater, as well as characterize the ecological risk of the recipient water. A series of physically based models were developed to simulate the toxicity indicators in a WRP through a typical reclamation process, including ultrafiltration, ozonation, and chlorination. After being validated against the field monitoring data from a full-scale WRP in Beijing, the models were applied to simulate the probability distribution of effluent toxicity of the WRP through Latin Hypercube Sampling to account for the variability of influent toxicity and operation conditions. The simulated effluent toxicity was then used to derive the predicted environmental concentration (PEC) in the recipient stream, considering the variations of the toxicity and flow of the upstream inflow as well. The ratio of the PEC of each toxicity indicator to its corresponding predicted no-effect concentration was finally used for the probabilistic ecological risk assessment. Regional sensitivity analysis was also performed with the developed models to identify the critical control variables and strategies for ecological risk management. PMID:27219046

  14. Regional multi-compartment ecological risk assessment: Establishing cadmium pollution risk in the northern Bohai Rim, China.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yajuan; Wang, Ruoshi; Lu, Yonglong; Song, Shuai; Johnson, Andrew C; Sweetman, Andrew; Jones, Kevin

    2016-09-01

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) has been widely applied in characterizing the risk of chemicals to organisms and ecosystems. The paucity of toxicity data on local biota living in the different compartments of an ecosystem and the absence of a suitable methodology for multi-compartment spatial risk assessment at the regional scale has held back this field. The major objective of this study was to develop a methodology to quantify and distinguish the spatial distribution of risk to ecosystems at a regional scale. A framework for regional multi-compartment probabilistic ecological risk assessment (RMPERA) was constructed and corroborated using a bioassay of a local species. The risks from cadmium (Cd) pollution in river water, river sediment, coastal water, coastal surface sediment and soil in northern Bohai Rim were examined. The results indicated that the local organisms in soil, river, coastal water, and coastal sediment were affected by Cd. The greatest impacts from Cd were identified in the Tianjin and Huludao areas. The overall multi-compartment risk was 31.4% in the region. The methodology provides a new approach for regional multi-compartment ecological risk assessment. PMID:27286039

  15. [Scale effect of Li-Xiang Railway construction impact on landscape pattern and its ecological risk].

    PubMed

    Wang, De-zhi; Qiu, Peng-hua; Fang, Yuan-min

    2015-08-01

    As a large corridor project, plateau railway has multiple points and passes various sensitive environments along the railway. The determination of the scope of impact on ecological environment from railway construction is often controversial in ecological impact assessment work. Taking the Tangbu-Jiantang section of Li-Xiang Railway as study object, and using present land use map (1:10000) in 2012 and DEM as data sources, corridor cutting degree index ( CCI) and cumulative effect index of corridor (CCEI) were established by topology, buffer zone and landscape metrics methods. Besides, the ecological risk index used for railway construction was improved. By quantitative analysis of characteristics of the spatio-temporal change of landscape pattern and its evolution style at different spatial scales before and after railway construction, the most appropriate evaluation scale of the railway was obtained. Then the characteristics of the spatio-temporal variation of ecological risk within this scale before and after railway construction were analyzed. The results indicated that the cutting model and degree of railway corridor to various landscape types could be effectively reflected by CCI, and the exposure and harm relations between risk sources and risk receptors of railway can be measured by CCEI. After the railway construction, the railway corridor would cause a great deal of middle cutting effect on the landscape along the railroad, which would influence wood land and grassland landscape most greatly, while would cause less effect of edge cutting and internal cutting. Landscape indices within the 600 m buffer zone demonstrated the most obvious scale effect, therefore, the 600 m zone of the railway was set as the most suitable range of ecological impact assessment. Before railway construction, the low ecological risk level covered the biggest part of the 600 m assessment zone. However, after the railway construction, the ecological risk increased significantly, and

  16. Risk, Resilience, and Development: The Multiple Ecologies of Black Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nettles, Saundra Murray; Pleck, Joseph H.

    This report examines protective factors and the process of resilience as they apply to Black adolescents. The report reviews risk factors at the individual level and at the community level, and reviews the incidence of health- and life-compromising risk outcomes in Black adolescents. It then discusses protective factors and resilience and their…

  17. Ecological Risk Assessment of a Metal-Contaminated Area in the Tropics. Tier II: Detailed Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Niemeyer, Júlia Carina; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui; Rutgers, Michiel; Nogueira, Marco Antonio; da Silva, Eduardo Mendes; Sousa, José Paulo

    2015-01-01

    This study presents data on the detailed evaluation (tier 2) of a site-specific ecological risk assessment (ssERA) in a former smelter area contaminated with metals (Santo Amaro, Bahia, Brazil). Combining information from three lines of evidence (LoE), chemical (ChemLoE), ecotoxicological (EcotoxLoE) and ecological (EcoLoE), in the Triad approach, integrated risk values were calculated to rank sites and confirm the potential risk disclosed with tier 1. Risk values were calculated for the habitat and for the retention functions in each sampling point. Habitat function included the ChemLoE calculated from total metal concentrations. The EcotoxLoE was based on reproduction tests with terrestrial invertebrates (Folsomia candida, Enchytraeus crypticus, Eisenia andrei), shoot length and plant biomass (Avena sativa, Brassica rapa). For the EcoLoE, ecological parameters (microbial parameters, soil invertebrate community, litter breakdown) were used to derive risk values. Retention function included the ChemLoE, calculated from extractable metal concentrations, and the EcotoxLoE based on eluate tests with aquatic organisms (Daphnia magna reproduction and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata growth). Results related to the habitat function indicated that the metal residues are sufficient to cause risk to biota, while the low metal levels in extracts and the general lack of toxicity in aquatic tests indicated a high soil retention capacity in most sampling points. Integrated risk of tier 2 showed the same trend of tier 1, suggesting the need to proceed with remediation actions. The high risk levels were related to direct toxicity to organisms and indirect effects, such as failure in the establishment of vegetation and the consequent loss of habitat quality for microorganisms and soil fauna. This study shed some light on the selection of tools for the tier 2 of an ssERA in tropical metal-contaminated sites, focusing on ecological receptors at risk and using available chemical

  18. Ecological Risk Assessment of a Metal-Contaminated Area in the Tropics. Tier II: Detailed Assessment.

    PubMed

    Niemeyer, Júlia Carina; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui; Rutgers, Michiel; Nogueira, Marco Antonio; da Silva, Eduardo Mendes; Sousa, José Paulo

    2015-01-01

    This study presents data on the detailed evaluation (tier 2) of a site-specific ecological risk assessment (ssERA) in a former smelter area contaminated with metals (Santo Amaro, Bahia, Brazil). Combining information from three lines of evidence (LoE), chemical (ChemLoE), ecotoxicological (EcotoxLoE) and ecological (EcoLoE), in the Triad approach, integrated risk values were calculated to rank sites and confirm the potential risk disclosed with tier 1. Risk values were calculated for the habitat and for the retention functions in each sampling point. Habitat function included the ChemLoE calculated from total metal concentrations. The EcotoxLoE was based on reproduction tests with terrestrial invertebrates (Folsomia candida, Enchytraeus crypticus, Eisenia andrei), shoot length and plant biomass (Avena sativa, Brassica rapa). For the EcoLoE, ecological parameters (microbial parameters, soil invertebrate community, litter breakdown) were used to derive risk values. Retention function included the ChemLoE, calculated from extractable metal concentrations, and the EcotoxLoE based on eluate tests with aquatic organisms (Daphnia magna reproduction and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata growth). Results related to the habitat function indicated that the metal residues are sufficient to cause risk to biota, while the low metal levels in extracts and the general lack of toxicity in aquatic tests indicated a high soil retention capacity in most sampling points. Integrated risk of tier 2 showed the same trend of tier 1, suggesting the need to proceed with remediation actions. The high risk levels were related to direct toxicity to organisms and indirect effects, such as failure in the establishment of vegetation and the consequent loss of habitat quality for microorganisms and soil fauna. This study shed some light on the selection of tools for the tier 2 of an ssERA in tropical metal-contaminated sites, focusing on ecological receptors at risk and using available chemical

  19. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  20. Ecological Risk Assessment of EDTA-Assisted Phytoremediation of Cd Under Different Cultivation Systems.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jie; Qi, Shihua; Gu, X W Sophie; Hou, Tao; Lin, Lihong

    2016-02-01

    A long-term field experiment was designed to assess remediation efficiency and ecological risk of phytoremediation of Cd under different cultivation systems with or without ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA). EDTA can significantly improve the phytoremediation effectiveness of a historically polluted e-waste dismantling site through enhancing Cd uptake by plants in all cultivation systems along with higher ecological risks to different receptors especially in the presence of Cicer arietinum (chickpea). Moisture content at each layer of soil profile under Eucalyptus globules L. cultivated sites was consistently lower than under chickpea monoculture as a result of E. globules' high water use efficiency. Besides low soil moisture, E. globules can intercept more Cd-rich leachate than chickpea regardless of the presence of EDTA. E. globules could be used for Cd phytoremediation as they can take full advantage of EDTA and decrease ecological risk caused by the chelator. PMID:26499324

  1. Mining the potential interrelationships between human health and ecological risk assessments of metal-contaminated sites

    SciTech Connect

    Appling, J.W.

    1994-12-31

    Conservative approaches to human health or ecological risk assessment often result in evaluations that indicate a risk at metal concentrations near or below background levels. This presents a complex dilemma to regulators, responsible parties, and the public: How can risk be more realistically estimated so that the public is not unnecessarily alarmed into thinking normal exposures pose abnormal risk, and site remediation can be responsible yet cost-effective? One answer is using-ecological and human health studies together to improve the quality of both types of assessments. Mammalian herbivores and roving children are good spatial and temporal integrators of exposure; biomarkers or Monte Carlo-based models of exposure to herbivores can support realistic estimates of exposure to children. Reduced bioavailability of metals in soils at mining sites is well recognized for many metals and is amenable to study in ecological species; such studies reduce the overestimate of risk to humans through direct contact or exposure via the food chain. Recent and current human health studies of lead and arsenic bioavailability also support ecological assessments. Mixtures of metals pose special challenges because of the potential for antagonistic, additive, or synergistic effects with respect to bioavailability, absorption, distribution, excretion, toxic effects and nutritional or physiological essentiality. Combining results from pharmacokinetic, mechanistic, and environmental studies of mixtures enhances the predictive abilities of risk assessments.

  2. Integrating ecological risk assessments across levels of organization using the Franklin-Noss model of biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Brugger, K.E.; Tiebout, H.M. III |

    1994-12-31

    Wildlife toxicologists pioneered methodologies for assessing ecological risk to nontarget species. Historically, ecological risk assessments (ERAS) focused on a limited array of species and were based on a relatively few population-level endpoints (mortality, reproduction). Currently, risk assessment models are becoming increasingly complex that factor in multi-species interactions (across trophic levels) and utilize an increasingly diverse number of ecologically significant endpoints. This trend suggests the increasing importance of safeguarding not only populations of individual species, but also the overall integrity of the larger biotic systems that support them. In this sense, ERAs are in alignment with Conservation Biology, an applied science of ecological knowledge used to conserve biodiversity. A theoretical conservation biology model could be incorporated in ERAs to quantify impacts to biodiversity (structure, function or composition across levels of biological organization). The authors suggest that the Franklin-Noss model for evaluating biodiversity, with its nested, hierarchical approach, may provide a suitable paradigm for assessing and integrating the ecological risk that chemical contaminants pose to biological systems from the simplest levels (genotypes, individual organisms) to the most complex levels of organization (communities and ecosystems). The Franklin-Noss model can accommodate the existing ecotoxicological database and, perhaps more importantly, indicate new areas in which critical endpoints should be identified and investigated.

  3. [Pollution Characteristics and Potential Ecological Risk of Heavy Metals in Urban Surface Water Sediments from Yongkang].

    PubMed

    Qi, Peng; Yu, Shu-quan; Zhang, Chao; Liang, Li-cheng; Che, Ji-lu

    2015-12-01

    In order to understand the pollution characteristics of heavy metals in surface water sediments of Yongkang, we analyzed the concentrations of 10 heavy metals including Ti, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Pb and Fe in 122 sediment samples, explored the underlying source of heavy metals and then assessed the potential ecological risks of those metals by methods of the index of geo-accumulation and the potential ecological risk. The study results showed that: 10 heavy metal contents followed the order: Fe > Ti > Mn > Zn > Cr > Cu > Ph > Ni > As > Co, all heavy metals except for Ti were 1. 17 to 3.78 times higher than those of Zhejiang Jinhua- Quzhou basin natural soils background values; The concentrations of all heavy metals had a significantly correlation between each other, indicating that those heavy metals had similar sources of pollution, and it mainly came from industrial and vehicle pollutions; The pollution extent of heavy metals in sediments by geo-accumulation index (Igeo) followed the order: Cr > Zn > Ni > Cu > Fe > As > Pb >Mn > Ti, thereinto, Cr, Zn, Cu and Ni were moderately polluted or heavily polluted at some sampling sites; The potential ecological risk of 9 heavy metals in sediments were in the following order: Cu > As > Ni > Cr > Pb > Co > Zn > Mn > Ti, Cu and As contributed the most to the total potential ecological risk, accounting for 22.84% and 21. 62% , others had a total of 55.54% , through the ecological risk assessment, 89. 34% of the potential ecological risk indexes ( RI) were low and 10. 66% were higher. The contamination level of heavy metals in Yongkang was slight in total, but was heavy in local areas. PMID:27011984

  4. APPLICATION OF FETAX IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A workshop sponsored by NIEHS in 2000 evaluated the use of FETAX as a screening method for identifying the developmental toxicity potenial of chemical and environmental samples. Workshop recommendations pertinent to environmental risk assessment suggested that additional comparat...

  5. Derivation of Ecological Protective Concentration using the Probabilistic Ecological Risk Assessment applicable for Korean Water Environment: (I) Cadmium

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Sun-Hwa; Lee, Woo-Mi

    2012-01-01

    Probabilistic ecological risk assessment (PERA) for deriving ecological protective concentration (EPC) was previously suggested in USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Netherland. This study suggested the EPC of cadmium (Cd) based on the PERA to be suitable to Korean aquatic ecosystem. First, we collected reliable ecotoxicity data from reliable data without restriction and reliable data with restrictions. Next, we sorted the ecotoxicity data based on the site-specific locations, exposure duration, and water hardness. To correct toxicity by the water hardness, EU’s hardness corrected algorithm was used with slope factor 0.89 and a benchmark of water hardness 100. EPC was calculated according to statistical extrapolation method (SEM), statistical extrapolation methodAcute to chronic ratio (SEMACR), and assessment factor method (AFM). As a result, aquatic toxicity data of Cd were collected from 43 acute toxicity data (4 Actinopterygill, 29 Branchiopoda, 1 Polychaeta, 2 Bryozoa, 6 Chlorophyceae, 1 Chanophyceae) and 40 chronic toxicity data (2 Actinopterygill, 23 Branchiopoda, 9 Chlorophyceae, 6 Macrophytes). Because toxicity data of Cd belongs to 4 classes in taxonomical classification, acute and chronic EPC (11.07 μg/l and 0.034 μg/l, respectively) was calculated according to SEM technique. These values were included in the range of international EPCs. This study would be useful to establish the ecological standard for the protection of aquatic ecosystem in Korea. PMID:24278601

  6. Ecological risk assessment of genetically modified crops based on cellular automata modeling.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jun; Wang, Zhi-Rui; Yang, De-Li; Yang, Qing; Yan, Jun; He, Ming-Feng

    2009-01-01

    The assessment of ecological risk in genetically modified (GM) biological systems is critically important for decision-making and public acceptance. Cellular automata (CA) provide a potential modeling and simulation framework for representing relationships and interspecies interactions both temporally and spatially. In this paper, a simple subsystem contains only four species: crop, target pest, non-target pest and enemy insect, and a three layer arrangement of LxL stochastic cellular automata with a periodic boundary were established. The simulation of this simplified system showed abundant and sufficient complexity in population assembly and densities, suggesting a prospective application in ecological risk assessment of GM crops. PMID:19477260

  7. Toward Guidelines for Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment: Results of a U.S. EPA Risk Assessment Forum Workshop

    EPA Science Inventory

    The choice of levels of biological organization reflected in ecological risk assessment (ERA) is receiving increasing attention. Most ERAs conducted for chemicals by the U.S. EPA, and indeed by most organizations worldwide, focus on organism-level attributes (e.g., survival, gro...

  8. Ecological risk of estrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals in sewage plant effluent and reclaimed water.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yan; Huang, Huang; Sun, Ying; Wang, Chao; Shi, Xiao-Lei; Hu, Hong-Ying; Kameya, Takashi; Fujie, Koichi

    2013-09-01

    The long-term ecological risk of micropollutants, especially endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has threatened reclaimed water quality. In this study, estrogenic activity and ecological risk of eight typical estrogenic EDCs in effluents from sewage plants were evaluated. The estrogenic activity analysis showed that steroidal estrogens had the highest estrogenic activity (ranged from 10(-1) to 10(3) ng-E2/L), phenolic compounds showed weaker estrogenic activity (mainly ranged from 10(-3) to 10 ng-E2/L), and phthalate esters were negligible. The ecological risk of the estrogenic EDCs which was characterized by risk quotient ranged from 10(-4) to 10(3), with an order in descending: steroids estrogens, phenolic compounds and phthalate esters. The eight estrogenic EDCs were scored and sorted based on the comparison of the estrogenic activity and the ecological risk, suggesting that 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2) should be the priority EDCs to control in municipal sewage plants. PMID:23735815

  9. The integration of ecological risk assessment and structured decision making into watershed management.

    PubMed

    Ohlson, Dan W; Serveiss, Victor B

    2007-01-01

    Watershed management processes continue to call for more science and improved decision making that take into account the full range of stakeholder perspectives. Increasingly, the core principles of ecological risk assessment (i.e., the development and use of assessment endpoints and conceptual models, conducting exposure and effects analysis) are being incorporated and adapted in innovative ways to meet the call for more science. Similarly, innovative approaches to adapting decision analysis tools and methods for incorporating stakeholder concerns in complex natural resource management decisions are being increasingly applied. Here, we present an example of the integration of ecological risk assessment with decision analysis in the development of a watershed management plan for the Greater Vancouver Water District in British Columbia, Canada. Assessment endpoints were developed, ecological inventory data were collected, and watershed models were developed to characterize the existing and future condition of 3 watersheds in terms of the potential risks to water quality. Stressors to water quality include sedimentation processes (landslides, streambank erosion) and forest disturbance (wildfire, major insect or disease outbreak). Three landscape-level risk management alternatives were developed to reflect different degrees of management intervention. Each alternative was evaluated under different scenarios and analyzed by explicitly examining value-based trade-offs among water quality, environmental, financial, and social endpoints. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how the integration of ecological risk assessment and decision analysis approaches can support decision makers in watershed management. PMID:17283600

  10. [Ecological risk assessment of sediment pollution based on triangular fuzzy number].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiao-Wei; Wang, Li-Ping; Zheng, Bing-Hui

    2008-11-01

    Based on the characteristics of random and fuzziness, and the shortage and imprecision of datum information of water environmental system, environment background value of sediments and concentration of pollution is calculated by means of triangle fuzzy number and fuzzy risk assessment model of the potential ecological risk index is established. Using this method heavy metal pollution and ecological risk in the Yangtze Estuary and its adjacent waters were analyzed. The result shows that the environment of the foundation of the study area is subject to varying degrees of pollution. The pollution extents are correspondingly Cu, Hg, Zn, Pb, As, Cd. RI by that method and the Hakanson ecological risk method is in similar trend. RI of the estuary, turbidity maximum zone and Hangzhou bay is greater than that at outside of the estuary and sea area nearby Zhousan, and the potential ecological risk rate increases one. The assessment result is good in the validation based on the corresponding period macrobenthic community parameters. PMID:19186829

  11. Ecological risk assessment guidance for preparation of remedial investigation/feasibility study work plans

    SciTech Connect

    Pentecost, E.D.; Vinikour, W.S.

    1993-08-01

    This guidance document (1) provides instructions on preparing the components of an ecological work plan to complement the overall site remedial assessment investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) work plan and (2) directs the user on how to implement ecological tasks identified in the plan. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfired Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), an RI/FS work plan win have to be developed as part of the site-remediation scoping the process. Specific guidance on the RI/FS process and the preparation of work plans has been developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1988a). This document provides guidance to US Department of Energy (DOE) staff and contractor personnel for incorporation of ecological information into environmental remediation planning and decision making at CERCLA sites. An overview analysis of early ecological risk assessment methods (i.e., in the 1980s) at Superfund sites was conducted by the EPA (1989a). That review provided a perspective of attention given to ecological issues in some of the first RI/FS studies. By itself, that reference is of somewhat limited value; it does, however, establish a basis for comparison of past practices in ecological risk with current, more refined methods.

  12. Supplemental risk-assessment guidance for the Superfund program. Part 1. Guidance for Public-Health Risk Assessments. Part 2. Guidance for ecological Risk Assessments. Draft report (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-06-01

    This guidance manual was developed to address the practical aspects and issues pertaining to the Superfund risk-assessment process for both public health and environment concerns. Part 1, Guidance for Public Health Risk Assessments, supplements the Superfund Public Health Evaluation Manual and Superfund Exposure Assessment Manual and the Endangerment Assessment Handbook. Explicit guidance on technical matters which should be followed in developing public health risk assessments for EPA Region 1. The guidance addresses hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and uncertainty/limitations. Part 2 of the manual, Guidance for Ecological Risk Assessments, addresses the collection of site-specific data needed to support an ecological risk assessment, describes a framework for conducting the assessments, and provides several specific approaches for assessing risks to systems exposed to chemical contamination in different media.

  13. Adolescent Sexual Activity: An Ecological, Risk-Factor Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Small, Stephen A.; Luster, Tom

    1994-01-01

    Examined relationship between adolescent sexual intercourse and history of physical abuse, neighborhood monitoring, and adolescent's attachment to school. Findings from 2,108 adolescents suggest that there are many significant risk factors related to whether adolescents are sexually experienced and that importance of some factors vary by gender.…

  14. [Radiation risk, health and quality of life: the medico-psychological and social-ecological aspects].

    PubMed

    Davydov, B I; Ponomarenko, V A; Baluev, O T; Ushakov, I B

    1993-01-01

    Complexity and contradictoriness of the triplet life quality-health-risk gain particular acuity owing to the extensive and intensive nature of radiation and non-radiation risks in the modern technological society. Improvement of life standards issue new risks. Unavoidability of existing risks, emergence of new ones, and necessity of qualitative, first of all energetic, life maintenance come into conflict with the principles of ecological stability. The concept of life quality is in many respects irrational and in the future will largely hinge on traditions, ideological and religious maxims. PMID:8012301

  15. Ecological risk assessment of multimedia hazardous air pollutants: estimating exposure and effects.

    PubMed

    Efroymson, R A; Murphy, D L

    2001-07-01

    Hazardous air pollutants, some of which have the potential for multimedia distribution, raise several hurdles for ecological risk assessment including: (1) the development of an adequate transport, fate and exposure model; and (2) the selection of exposure-response models that can accommodate multiple exposure routes for ecological receptors. To address the first issue, the EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards has developed TRIM.FaTE, a mass-balance, fate, transport, and ecological exposure model that is a component of the Total Risk Integrated Methodology (TRIM) for air pollutants. In addition to abiotic transfers and transformations, TRIM.FaTE estimates the uptake of a chemical by terrestrial and aquatic organisms with time. Measures of exposure that TRIM.FaTE can provide include: (1) body burdens or tissue concentrations; (2) doses averaged over any time period; or (3) concentrations of chemicals in abiotic media. The model provides the user with the flexibility to choose the exposure-response thresholds or dose-response relationships that are best suited to data availability, routes of exposure, and the mechanism of toxicity of the chemical to an ecological receptor. One of the challenges of incorporating TRIM.FaTE into a risk assessment methodology lies in defining a streamlined model simulation scenario for initial screening-level risk assessments. These assessments may encompass multiple facilities that emit a variety of pollutants near diverse ecosystems. The information on ecological risk assessment methodology that is described is applicable to the EPA Residual Risk Program with emphasis on multimedia pollutants and the role of TRIM.FaTE. PMID:11453299

  16. [Distribution and potential ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in sediments of Zhalong Wetland].

    PubMed

    Ye, Hua-Xiang; Zang, Shu-Ying; Zhang, Li-Juan; Zhang, Yu-Hong

    2013-04-01

    This study investigated the concentrations of heavy metals in the sediments of the Zhalong Wetland using ICP-MS, analyzed their spatial distributions, evaluated the potential ecological risk, and explored the pollution sources and environmental influencing factors. The results can be summarized as the followings: (1) The concentrations of Hg, Cd, As, Cu, Pb, Zn and Cr were 0.065, 0.155, 10.26, 18.20, 21.35, 52.08 and 46.47 mg x kg(-1), respectively, which were all above the soil background values of the Songnen Plain. Their spatial distributions were distinctly different. The concentration of heavy metals in the north was higher than that in the south, and the east was higher than the west. Particularly in the eastern region, the concentrations of Hg and Cd were 20.8 and 32.4 times the minimum values of the whole area. And in the core zone, the concentration was relatively low. (2) The sequence of the potential ecological risk posed by the metals was Hg > Cd > As > Pb > Cu > Cr > Zn. The average potential ecological risk index (RI) of the Zhalong Wetland was 171.9 (ranged from 76.9-473.5), suggesting a moderate ecological risk. However, the potential ecological risk was extremely high in the east which should be treated as the major heavy metal pollution prevention site in the future. (3) Except for Hg and Pb, the concentrations of all heavy metals were significantly correlated to each other, indicating that those heavy metals had homology. (4) Organic matter was the major environmental influencing factor. However, the trend of land salinization in the Zhalong Wetland has been intensified, indicating a higher risk of heavy metal releasing from the sediments, to which the local authorities should pay enough attention. PMID:23798110

  17. Integrating diverse scientific and practitioner knowledge in ecological risk analysis: a case study of biodiversity risk assessment in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dana, G V; Kapuscinski, A R; Donaldson, J S

    2012-05-15

    Ecological risk analysis (ERA) is a structured evaluation of threats to species, natural communities, and ecosystem processes from pollutants and toxicants and more complicated living stressors such as invasive species, genetically modified organisms, and biological control agents. Such analyses are typically conducted by a narrowly-focused group of scientific experts using technical information. We evaluate whether the inclusion of more diverse experts and practitioners in ERA improved the ecological knowledge base about South African biodiversity and the potential impacts of genetically modified (GM) crops. We conducted two participatory ERA workshops in South Africa, analyzing potential impacts of GM maize on biodiversity. The first workshop involved only four biological scientists, who were joined by 18 diverse scientists and practitioners in the second, and we compared the ERA process and results between the two using descriptive statistics and semi-structured interview responses. The addition of diverse experts and practitioners led to a more comprehensive understanding of biological composition of the agro-ecosystem and a more ecologically relevant set of hazards, but impeded hazard prioritization and the generation of precise risk assessment values. Results suggest that diverse participation can improve the scoping or problem formulation of the ERA, by generating an ecologically robust set of information on which to base the subsequent, more technical risk assessment. The participatory ERA process also increased the transparency of the ERA by exposing the logic and rationale for decisions made at each step. PMID:22266478

  18. Ecological Risk Assessment of Land Use Change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone, China

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Hualin; Wang, Peng; Huang, Hongsheng

    2013-01-01

    Land use/land cover change has been attracting increasing attention in the field of global environmental change research because of its role in the social and ecological environment. To explore the ecological risk characteristics of land use change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone of China, an eco-risk index was established in this study by the combination of a landscape disturbance index with a landscape fragmentation index. Spatial distribution and gradient difference of land use eco-risk are analyzed by using the methods of spatial autocorrelation and semivariance. Results show that ecological risk in the study area has a positive correlation, and there is a decreasing trend with the increase of grain size both in 1995 and 2005. Because the area of high eco-risk value increased from 1995 to 2005, eco-environment quality declined slightly in the study area. There are distinct spatial changes in the concentrated areas with high land use eco-risk values from 1995 to 2005. The step length of spatial separation of land use eco-risk is comparatively long—58 km in 1995 and 11 km in 2005—respectively. There are still nonstructural factors affecting the quality of the regional ecological environment at some small-scales. Our research results can provide some useful information for land eco-management, eco-environmental harnessing and restoration. In the future, some measures should be put forward in the regions with high eco-risk value, which include strengthening land use management, avoiding unreasonable types of land use and reducing the degree of fragmentation and separation. PMID:23343986

  19. [Characteristics of speciation and evaluation of ecological risk of heavy metals in sewage sludge of Guangzhou].

    PubMed

    Guo, Peng-Ran; Lei, Yong-Qian; Cai, Da-Chuan; Zhang, Tao; Wu, Rui; Pan, Jia-Chuan

    2014-02-01

    Contents of heavy metals in different sewage sludges were analyzed and the speciation distribution and bioavailability of heavy metals were investigated, and the risk assessment code (RAC) and toxicity characteristic leaching procedure for solid waste were used to evaluate the potential ecological risk and leaching toxicity risk of heavy metals in sludge samples, respectively. The results showed that contents of Cu, Cr, Pb and Zn were high and presented a great difference by different sources in sewage sludges. Most of heavy metals existed in non-residual fractions and percentages of the mobile fraction (acid soluble fraction) of heavy metals in acidic sludge were higher. According to the results of single extraction, 1 mol x L(-1) NaOAc solution (pH 5.0) and 0.02 mol x L(-1) EDTA + 0.5 mol x L(-1) NH4OAc solution (pH 4.6) were suitable for evaluating bioavailable heavy metals in acidic and alkaline sludge, respectively. Percentages of bioavailable heavy metals were higher with the stronger of sludge acidity. The mobile ability of heavy metals resulted in the high ecological risk of sludge samples, and the bioavailability of heavy metals caused acidic sludges with a very high ecological risk but alkaline sludges with the middle ecological risk. Leaching toxicity risk was very high in sludge samples except domestic sewage sludge. After the removal of bioavailable heavy metals, leaching toxicity risk of sludge samples was still high in spite of its decrease; however, part type of sludges could be implemented landfill disposal. PMID:24812965

  20. UNDERSTANDING ECOLOGICAL RISK IN RURAL WATERSHEDS THROUGH MEASURMENTS OF STREAM COMMUNITY METABOLISM, NUTRIENT AND SEDIMENT DYNAMICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The goal of this project, and associated research, is to establish thresholds for ecological response to watershed disturbance and to develop tools and insights that will help us manage risks and evaluate best management practice (BMP) effectiveness. Changes in the amount and typ...

  1. NONINDIGENOUS PATHOGENIC SHRIMP VIRUS INTRODUCTIONS INTO THE UNITED STATES: DEVELOPING A QUALITATIVE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nonindigenous Pathogenic Shrimp Virus Introductions into the United States: Developing a Qualitative Ecological Risk Assessment. Austin, R.K.; van der Schalie, W.R.; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC; Menzie, C.; Menzie-Cura and Associates, Chelmsford, MA; Fair...

  2. THE INTERSECTION OF INDEPENDENT LIES: INCREASING REALISM IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    In 1966, Levins presented a philosophical discussion on making inference about populations using clusters of models. In this article we provide an overview of model inference in ecological risk assessment, discuss the benefits and trade-offs of increasing model realism, show the...

  3. A PROBABALISTIC ANALYSIS TO DETERMINE ECOLOGICAL RISK DRIVERS, 10TH VOLUME ASTM STP 1403

    EPA Science Inventory

    A probabilistic analysis of exposure and effect data was used to identify chemicals most likely responsible for ecological risk. The mean and standard deviation of the natural log-transformed chemical data were used to estimate the probability of exposure for an area of concern a...

  4. [Heavy Metals Pollution in Topsoil from Dagang Industry Area and Its Ecological Risk Assessment].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Chen, Zong-juan; Peng, Chang-sheng; Li, Fa-sheng; Gu, Qing-bao

    2015-11-01

    Based on previous studies and field investigation of Dagang industry area in Tianjin, a total of 128 topsoil samples were collected, and contents of 10 heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Pb, Ni, V, Zn and Hg) were determined. The geoaccumulation index and geostatistics were applied to examine the degree of contamination and spatial distribution of heavy metals in topsoil. The assessment on ecological risk of heavy metals was carried out using Hakanson's method, and the main resources of the heavy metals were analyzed as well. It was found that As, Cd and Co had the highest proportions exceeding Tianjin background value, which were 100%, 97.66% and 96.88%, respectively; the heavy-metal content increased to some extent comparing with that in 2004, and the pollutions of As and Cd were the worst, and other metals were at moderate pollution level or below. The ecological risks of heavy metals were different in topsoil with different land use types, the farmland soil in the southwest as well as soils adjacent to the industrial land were at relatively high potential ecological risk level, and the integrated ecological risk index reached up to 1 437.37. Analysis of correlation and principal component showed that traffic and transportation as well as agricultural activities might be the main resources of heavy metals in the area, besides, the industrial activities in the region might also affect the accumulation of heavy metals. PMID:26911014

  5. Ecological Factors Associated with STD Risk Behaviors among Detained Female Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Voisin, Dexter R.; DiClemente, Ralph J.; Salazar, Laura F.; Crosby, Richard A.; Yarber, William L.

    2006-01-01

    The authors used Bronfenbrenner's conceptual framework of an ecological systems model to examine factors that are independently associated with sexually transmitted disease (STD) risk behaviors among 280 sexually active detained female adolescents. Using computer-assisted self-interviewing procedures, the authors assessed individual…

  6. Ecological risk assessment for radionuclides and metals: A radiological and chemical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Mahini, X.; Mahini, R.; Fan, A.

    1995-12-31

    In response to the regulatory concern over the adverse effects of depleted uranium (DU) on ecological receptors at two sites contaminated with DU and metals, an ecological risk assessment (ERA) was performed, in conjunction with a radiological/chemical human health risk assessment (HRA). To date, most research on the harmful effects of radiation has focused only on humans. With regard to radiation protection of the environment, national and international radiation protection advisory committees have concluded that levels protecting human health should be sufficient to protect the environment as well. To select chemicals of potential ecological concern, a qualitative ERA was first performed by comparing chemical stressor concentrations in abiotic media with various benchmarked criteria. The results indicate that, as with the case of human health, DU was the ecological risk-driving chemical at these sites. Both radiological and chemical effects posed by DU were then estimated for the bald eagle, an endangered species that represents the assessment end point of the quantitative ERA. Abiotic media and food webs evaluated were: soils, surface water, plants, terrestrial (both mammalian and avian) species, and aquatic species. The results of the quantitative ERA indicate that the decision to cleanup DU contamination at these sites can solely be based on human health effects as limiting criteria. The risk assessments were well received by the regulatory agencies overseeing the project.

  7. PUBLIC HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT LINKED TO CLIMATIC AND ECOLOGICAL CHANGE. (R824995)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Disturbances of climatic and ecological systems can present risks to human health, which are becoming more evident from health studies linked to climate variability, landuse change and global climate change. Waterborne disease agents, such as Giardia cy...

  8. A CONCEPTUAL MODEL FOR EVALUATING RELATIVE POTENCY DATA FOR USE IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    For chemicals with a common mechanism of toxicity, relative potency factors (RPFs) allow dose and exposure measures to be normalized to an equivalent toxicity amount of a model chemical... In ecological risk assessments the large number of possible target species, variety of expo...

  9. INTEGRATING ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT AND ECONOMIC ANALYSIS IN WATERSHEDS: A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH AND THREE CASE STUDIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document reports on a program of research to investigate the integration of ecological risk assessment (ERA) and economics, with an emphasis on the watershed as the scale for analysis. In 1993, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiated watershed ERA (W-ERA) in five...

  10. HUMAN AND ECOLOIGCAL RISK: CORRELATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIORNMENTAL MONITORING DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  11. 78 FR 17201 - Pesticide Chemicals; Registration Review; Draft Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-20

    ...This notice announces the availability of EPA's draft human health and ecological risk assessments for the registration review of ancymidol, fosthiazate, lactofen, polybutene resins, quizalofop, and soap salts and opens a public comment period on these documents. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the......

  12. Social Ecological Model of Illness Management in High-Risk Youths with Type 1 Diabetes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naar-King, Sylvie; Podolski, Cheryl-Lynn; Ellis, Deborah A.; Frey, Maureen A.; Templin, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    In this study, the authors tested a social ecological model of illness management in high-risk, urban adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. It was hypothesized that management behaviors would be associated with individual adolescent characteristics as well as family, peer, and provider relationships. Questionnaires were collected from 96 adolescents…

  13. An ecological risk assessment of lead shot exposure in upland game birds and raptors

    SciTech Connect

    Kendall, R.I.; Lacher, T.E. Jr.; Bunck, C.

    1995-12-31

    There is concern about exposure of birds in terrestrial ecosystems to spent lead shot. Upland birds, particularly mourning doves, ingest spent lead shot; raptors ingest lead shot by consuming wounded game. Mortality, neurological dysfunction, immune suppression and reproductive impairment are effects of exposure to lead. The authors conducted an ecological risk assessment (using the new USEPA Ecological Risk Assessment Paradigm) on the impact of lead shot exposure in upland birds. Large amounts of lead shot are released into the environment each year from shooting and hunting. Doves collected from fields cultivated to attract mourning doves for hunting contain ingested spent lead shot. This might underestimate risk because doves ingesting shot may experience lead toxicosis and not be collected by hunters. Because lead can cause both acute and chronic toxicity if ingested and there is evidence of widespread liberation of lead shot in terrestrial ecosystems, concern for impacts on upland game birds and raptors is warranted. Although this ecological risk assessment does not clearly define a significant risk of upland game birds to lead shot, there is little evidence to rebut the presumption of risk. This issue merits continued scrutiny to protect upland game bird and raptor resources.

  14. Ecological determinants of distribution decline and risk of extinction in moths.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Niina; Kaitala, Veijo; Komonen, Atte; Kotiaho, Janne S; Päivinen, Jussi

    2006-08-01

    For successful conservation of species it is important to identify traits that predispose species to the risk of extinction. By identifying such traits conservation efforts can be directed toward species that are most at risk of becoming threatened. We used data derived from the literature to determine ecological traits that affect distribution, distribution change, and the risk of extinction in Finnish noctuid moths (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae). The ecological traits we examined included body size, larval specificity, length of the flight period, and overwintering stage. In addition, in monophagous species we examined the effects of resource distribution. Larval specificity, length of the flight period, and the overwintering stage each had an independent effect on the risk of extinction when the effects of other traits were controlled by entering all traits into the same regression model. Not a single trait predicted the risk of extinction when analysis was conducted without controlling for the other traits. This discrepancy among the results suggests that a single trait may not be enough to allow prediction of the risk of extinction. Instead, it seems that for successful, predictive conservation science data on several ecological characteristics are needed. PMID:16922232

  15. Response to Ecological Risk Assessment Forum Request for Information on the Benefits of PCB Congener-Specific Analyses

    EPA Science Inventory

    In August, 2001, the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF) submitted a formal question to the Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) on the benefits of evaluating PCB congeners in environmental samples. This question was developed by ERAF members Bruce Duncan and Cla...

  16. Ecological risk of methylmercury in Everglades National Park, Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Rumbold, D G; Lange, T R; Axelrad, D M; Atkeson, T D

    2008-10-01

    Dramatic declines in mercury levels have been reported in Everglades biota in recent years. Yet, methylmercury (MeHg) hot spots remain. This paper summarizes a risk assessment of MeHg exposure to three piscivorous wildlife species (bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus; wood stork, Mycteria americana; and great egret, Ardea albus) foraging at a MeHg hot spot in northern Everglades National Park (ENP). Available data consisted of literature-derived life history parameters and tissue concentrations measured in 60 largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), 60 sunfish (Lepomis spp.), and three composite samples of mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) collected from 2003 to 2005. To assess risk, daily MeHg intake was estimated using Monte Carlo methods and compared to literature-derived effects thresholds. The results indicated the likelihood was very high, ranging from 98-100% probability, that these birds would experience exposures above the acceptable dose when foraging in northern ENP. Moreover, the likelihood that these birds would experience exposures above the lowest-observed-adverse-effect level (LOAEL) ranged from a 14% probability for the wood stork to 56% probability for the eagle. Data from this study, along with the results from several other surveys suggest that biota in ENP currently contain the highest MeHg levels in South Florida and that these levels are similar to or greater than other known MeHg hot spots in the United States. Given these findings, this paper also outlines a strategic plan to obtain additional measured and modeled information to support risk-based management decisions in ENP. PMID:18679795

  17. Ecological risk assessment of elemental pollution in sediment from Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Sabah

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elias, Md Suhaimi; Hamzah, Mohd Suhaimi; Rahman, Shamsiah Ab; Salim, Nazaratul Ashifa Abdullah; Siong, Wee Boon; Sanuri, Ezwiza

    2014-02-01

    Eleven (11) surface sediment samples were collected from Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Sabah. The neutron activation analysis (NAA) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) techniques were applied for the determinations metal contents and their distributions in sediment samples. The results shown that Arsenic (As) concentrations are enriched at all sampling stations except for station TAR 09, with enrichment factor (EF) values ranged from 1.1 to 7.2. The elements such as Cd, Cr, Sb and U showed enrichment at a few stations and other elements (Cr, Cu, Pb, Th, Zn) shown as background levels in all stations. Degrees of contamination in this study were calculated base on concentrations of six elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn). TAR 11 station can be categorized as very high degree of contamination with degree of contamination value of 43.2. TAR 07 station can be categorized as a considerable degree of contamination (contamination value of 16.9). Six stations (TAR 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 08, 10) showed moderate degree of contamination, with contamination values ranging from 8.0 to 16.0. TAR 02 and TAR 09 stations showed low degree of contaminations (< 8.0). TAR 11 showed very high ecological risk index (RI) with RI value is 916. TAR 07 and TAR 10 showed moderate ecological risk index with RI value 263 and 213, respectively. Other stations showed low ecological risk with RI values ranging from 42.3 to 117 (< 150). Very high ecological risk index could give an adverse effect to the benthic organism. The data obtained from the enrichment factor, degree of contamination and ecological risk index provided vital information, which can be used for future comparison. Information from the present study will be useful to the relevant government agencies and authorities in preparing preventive action to control direct discharge of heavy metals from industries, agro-base activities and domestic waste to the rivers and the sea.

  18. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in soils surrounding oil waste disposal areas.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jianling; Wang, Hanxi; Liu, Yuanyuan; Ma, Mengchao; Zhang, Tian; Zheng, Xiaoxue; Zong, Meihan

    2016-02-01

    More attention is being devoted to heavy metal pollution because heavy metals can concentrate in higher animals through the food chain, harm human health and threaten the stability of the ecological environment. In this study, the effects of heavy metals (Cu, Cr, Zn, Pb, Cd, Ni and Hg) emanating from oil waste disposal on surrounding soil in Jilin Province, China, were investigated. A potential ecological risk index was used to evaluate the damage of heavy metals and concluded that the degree of potential ecological damage of heavy metals can be ranked as follows: Hg > Cd > Pb > Cu > Ni > Cr > Zn. The average value of the potential ecological harm index (Ri) is 71.93, thereby indicating light pollution. In addition, this study researched the spatial distribution of soil heavy metals by means of ArcGIS (geographic information system) spatial analysis software. The results showed that the potential ecological risk index (R) of the large value was close to the distance from the oil waste disposal area; it is relatively between the degree of heavy metals in soil and the distance from the waste disposal area. PMID:26832722

  19. Developing ecological scenarios for the prospective aquatic risk assessment of pesticides.

    PubMed

    Rico, Andreu; Van den Brink, Paul J; Gylstra, Ronald; Focks, Andreas; Brock, Theo Cm

    2016-07-01

    The prospective aquatic environmental risk assessment (ERA) of pesticides is generally based on the comparison of predicted environmental concentrations in edge-of-field surface waters with regulatory acceptable concentrations derived from laboratory and/or model ecosystem experiments with aquatic organisms. New improvements in mechanistic effect modeling have allowed a better characterization of the ecological risks of pesticides through the incorporation of biological trait information and landscape parameters to assess individual, population and/or community-level effects and recovery. Similarly to exposure models, ecological models require scenarios that describe the environmental context in which they are applied. In this article, we propose a conceptual framework for the development of ecological scenarios that, when merged with exposure scenarios, will constitute environmental scenarios for prospective aquatic ERA. These "unified" environmental scenarios are defined as the combination of the biotic and abiotic parameters that are required to characterize exposure, (direct and indirect) effects, and recovery of aquatic nontarget species under realistic worst-case conditions. Ideally, environmental scenarios aim to avoid a potential mismatch between the parameter values and the spatial-temporal scales currently used in aquatic exposure and effect modeling. This requires a deeper understanding of the ecological entities we intend to protect, which can be preliminarily addressed by the formulation of ecological scenarios. In this article we present a methodological approach for the development of ecological scenarios and illustrate this approach by a case-study for Dutch agricultural ditches and the example focal species Sialis lutaria. Finally, we discuss the applicability of ecological scenarios in ERA and propose research needs and recommendations for their development and integration with exposure scenarios. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:510-521.

  20. Reducing uncertainty in ecological risk assessment: The pros of measuring contaminant exposures

    SciTech Connect

    Burris, J.A.; Pease, A.

    1995-12-31

    Wildlife species (mammals, birds and reptiles) are primarily exposed to contamination in soils via ingestion of food. Uncertainties in risk analyses for this pathway are largely associated with the estimation of the amount of contamination in food items. The benefits of measuring contaminant concentrations in food items are examined based on comparison of risk results with and without measurements of exposure. At two hazardous waste sites, plants and earthworms were analyzed for metals and organics. Site-specific bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) were calculated and compared to literature reported values. In general, the metals concentrations in plant samples were higher than those predicted by literature values with the exception of cadmium and copper. Metal concentrations measured in invertebrates (worms) were lower than those predicted by literature values with the exception of arsenic. Literature BAFs did not adequately predict concentrations of barium, mercury or copper in invertebrate tissue. In the ecological risk assessments for both of the sites, if site-specific measurements were used, risks for wildlife species were not predicted. However if literature BAF values were used, unacceptable risks were predicted. The higher estimates of risks were associated with overestimates of dietary exposures of lead, cadmium, chromium, copper and zinc. Measurement of contaminant exposures provided for a more realistic and cost-effective estimate of ecological risks. The effect of using the empirical data on the magnitude of risks were evaluated including decisions concerning remediation. A cost-benefit analysis will be provided comparing the costs of measurement of exposures versus remediation.

  1. Environmental monitoring and ecological risk assessment for pesticide contamination and effects in Lake Pamvotis, northwestern Greece.

    PubMed

    Hela, Dimitra G; Lambropoulou, Dimitra A; Konstantinou, Ioannis K; Albanis, Triantafyllos A

    2005-06-01

    Monitoring of pesticide residues in water and sediments was conducted as a basis for subsequent ecotoxicological risk assessment for the shallow eutrophic Lake Pamvotis, northwestern Greece. During a one-year study period, atrazine, desethylatrazine (DEA), simazine, diazinon, malathion, oxamyl, carbofuran, and ethion were detected in water and atrazine, desethylatrazine, diazinon, and s-ethyl dipropylthiocarbamate (EPTC) in sediments, all at ppb concentration level. Temporal variation in pesticide concentrations was observed. Highest residue levels for most pesticides in both water and sediment matrices occurred in the May to July period with the exception of atrazine and DEA, which show highest levels in water during the September to November period. The ecological risk associated with pesticide contamination was assessed using two different methods: The toxic unit method, which provides a first indication of the relative contribution of detected pesticides to the total toxicity and a probabilistic approach, and the inverse method of Van Straalen and Denneman, which is used to quantify the ecological risk. The maximum percentage of the ecological risk was 10.3 and 51.8% for water and 17.2 and 70.6% for sediment, based on acute and chronic level, respectively. These results show that pesticides exert a significant pressure on the aquatic system of Lake Pamvotis, especially for the chronic-effect level. Simple quotient methods should be coupled with higher-tier risk assessment, especially if restoration activities on lake ecosystems are to be undertaken for sustainable development. PMID:16117136

  2. Potential ecological risk assessment and prediction of soil heavy metal pollution around coal gangue dump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, X.; Lu, W. X.; Yang, Q. C.; Yang, Z. P.

    2014-03-01

    Aim of the present study is to evaluate the potential ecological risk and predict the trend of soil heavy metal pollution around a~coal gangue dump in Jilin Province (Northeast China). The concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr and Zn were monitored by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The potential ecological risk index method developed by Hakanson (1980) was employed to assess the potential risk of heavy metal pollution. The potential ecological risk in an order of E(Cd) > E(Pb) > E(Cu) > E(Cr) > E(Zn) have been obtained, which showed that Cd was the most important factor led to risk. Based on the Cd pollution history, the cumulative acceleration and cumulative rate of Cd were estimated, and the fixed number of years exceeding standard prediction model was established, which was used to predict the pollution trend of Cd under the accelerated accumulation mode and the uniform mode. Pearson correlation analysis and correspondence analysis are employed to identify the sources of heavy metal, and the relationship between sampling points and variables. These findings provide some useful insights for making appropriate management strategies to prevent and decrease heavy metal pollution around coal gangue dump in Yangcaogou coal mine and other similar areas elsewhere.

  3. Potential ecological risk assessment and prediction of soil heavy-metal pollution around coal gangue dump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, X.; Lu, W. X.; Zhao, H. Q.; Yang, Q. C.; Yang, Z. P.

    2014-06-01

    The aim of the present study is to evaluate the potential ecological risk and trend of soil heavy-metal pollution around a coal gangue dump in Jilin Province (Northeast China). The concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr and Zn were monitored by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The potential ecological risk index method developed by Hakanson (1980) was employed to assess the potential risk of heavy-metal pollution. The potential ecological risk in the order of ER(Cd) > ER(Pb) > ER(Cu) > ER(Cr) > ER(Zn) have been obtained, which showed that Cd was the most important factor leading to risk. Based on the Cd pollution history, the cumulative acceleration and cumulative rate of Cd were estimated, then the fixed number of years exceeding the standard prediction model was established, which was used to predict the pollution trend of Cd under the accelerated accumulation mode and the uniform mode. Pearson correlation analysis and correspondence analysis are employed to identify the sources of heavy metals and the relationship between sampling points and variables. These findings provided some useful insights for making appropriate management strategies to prevent or decrease heavy-metal pollution around a coal gangue dump in the Yangcaogou coal mine and other similar areas elsewhere.

  4. Ecological risk assessment of the impact of a landfill associated with karst terrain

    SciTech Connect

    Farmer, J.J.; Bailey, F.C.; Hollyday, E.F.; Byle, T.D.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment is underway on an active sanitary landfill in Bedford County, Tennessee. The overall objective is to determine the probability of risk from landfill-associated toxicants to both the aquatic ecological communities and to human health through drinking water contamination. During the problem formulation phase, an EPA Rapid Bioassessment (Protocol I) of streams around the landfill indicated a lower diversity and abundance of benthic macroinvertebrates in streams adjacent to the landfill compared to reference streams. During the analysis phase, water chemistry analyses were conducted on samples from 176 sites around the landfill, including seeps and springs, and the direction of movement of ground water under the site was determined by potentiometric mapping. Water flowing into Anderton Branch from landfill-associated tributaries, seeps and springs showed elevated specific conductance and elevated levels of chloride, manganese, iron, and nickel. GC-FID analysis indicated the presence of unidentified organic compounds in a small seep adjacent to the landfill. From these data it was concluded that there is potential for exposure of aquatic ecological communities and drinking water supplies to landfill-associated chemicals. In order to more thoroughly characterize ecological and human health risk associated with the landfill, more intensive analyses are underway, including quantitative seasonal macroinvertebrate biomonitoring, laboratory toxicity tests with Daphnia magna using water from selected monitoring sites, and monitoring of drinking water wells.

  5. Polychlorinated biphenyls and Hudson River white perch: implications for population-level ecological risk assessment and risk management.

    PubMed

    Barnthouse, Lawrence W; Glaser, David; DeSantis, Liane

    2009-07-01

    Risk assessments and risk management decisions concerning risks to wild fish populations resulting from exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and related chemicals have been based primarily on observations of effects of chemicals on individual organisms. Although the development and application of population-level ecological risk-assessment methods is proceeding at a rapid pace, the organism-level approach is still being justified by arguments that population-level ecological risk assessment is in an early stage of development and has not been shown to be reliable. This article highlights the importance of including population-level effects in risk-management decision-making, by examining the effects of exposures to PCBs on fish populations inhabiting the Hudson River, New York, USA, a system in which data have been collected for approximately 30 y concerning both concentrations of PCBs in sediment and fish tissue and the abundance and reproduction of exposed fish populations. We previously tested hypotheses concerning the effects of PCBs on the striped bass population of the Hudson River, and found that the available data conflicted with all of these hypotheses. Here, we report results of similar analyses of effects of historic PCB exposures on the Hudson River white perch population, using an extended data set that recently became available. As with striped bass, we found no correlation between maternal PCB tissue concentrations and any measure of reproductive success in Hudson River white perch during the 30-y period covered by the data set. Together with results of studies performed on fish populations exposed to PCBs at other sites, our results clearly demonstrate that physiological and genetic adaptation, biological compensation, and other ecological processes influence responses of fish populations to PCB exposures and should be considered in risk management decision-making. PMID:20050031

  6. Refuse and the ‘Risk Society’: The Political Ecology of Risk in Inter-war Britain

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Timothy; Bulmer, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    This article responds to current critiques of Ulrich Beck's ‘risk society’ thesis by historians of science and medicine. Those who have engaged with the concept of risk society have been content to accept the fundamental categories of Beck's analysis. In contrast, we argue that Beck's risk society thesis underplays two key themes. First, the role of capitalist social relations as the driver of technological change and the transformation of everyday life; and second, the ways in which hegemonic discourses of risk can be appropriated and transformed by counter-hegemonic forces. In place of ‘risk society’, we propose an approach based upon a ‘political ecology of risk’, which emphasises the social relations that are fundamental to the everyday politics of environmental health. PMID:24771975

  7. [Heavy metals distribution characteristics and ecological risk evaluation in surface sediments of dammed Jinshan lake].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiao-Hong; Liu, Long-Mei; Chen, Xi; Chen, Zhi-Gang; Zhang, Jin-Ping; Li, Yi-Min; Liu, Biao

    2014-11-01

    In order to reveal the pollution loading of heavy metals in Dammed Jinshan lake, six heavy metals (As, Cu, Pb, Cd, Zn, Cr) from 18 sediment samples were analyzed using ICP, and the distribution characteristics of heavy metals in the sediment were comprehensively evaluated through concentration coefficient, geo-acumulation indexes, potential ecological risk evaluation and traceability analysis. The results showed that (1) the average contents of As, Pb, Cu, Zn, Cr, Cd were 23.22, 26.20, 24.42, 143.12, 245.30 and 0.67 mg x kg(-1), respectively, in the surface sediments of dammed Jinshan Lake. The average contents of Pb and Cu were lower than the primary standard and secondary standards of soil environmental quality standards. The average contents of Zn and Cr were lower than the primary standard and higher than the secondary standards of soil environmental quality standards. The average contents of As and Cd were higher than the primary and secondary standards of soil environmental quality standards. From the spatial distribution, the contents of Pb and Zn were the highest at sampling site No. 1, which was located at the Beigushan Square. The contents of As,Cu, Cr, Cd were the highest at sampling sites Nos. 12, 3, 14, and 7, respectively; (2) The order of concentration coefficient was As > Cr > Cd > Pb > Zn > Cu, which indicated that the enrichment amount of As was the highest and that of Cu was the lowest; (3) Based on the geo-acumulation indexes, the Cu is clean and Pb, Zn, Cd is the light pollution and As, Cr moderate pollution; (4) The order of Potential ecological risk coefficient was Cd > As > Cr > Pb > Cu > Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, Zn were of light ecological risk and As, Cd were of medium ecological risk. From the spatial distribution, the sampling sites Nos. 1, 6, 7 and 12 had medium potential ecological risk, and the rest sample points had slight potential ecological risk; (5) The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the main reason for the differences

  8. Residues, Distributions, Sources, and Ecological Risks of OCPs in the Water from Lake Chaohu, China

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wen-Xiu; He, Wei; Qin, Ning; Kong, Xiang-Zhen; He, Qi-Shuang; Ouyang, Hui-Ling; Yang, Bin; Wang, Qing-Mei; Yang, Chen; Jiang, Yu-Jiao; Wu, Wen-Jing; Xu, Fu-Liu

    2012-01-01

    The levels of 18 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the water from Lake Chaohu were measured by a solid phase extraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometer detector. The spatial and temporal distribution, possible sources, and potential ecological risks of the OCPs were analyzed. The annual mean concentration for the OCPs in Lake Chaohu was 6.99 ng/L. Aldrin, HCHs, and DDTs accounted for large proportions of the OCPs. The spatial pollution followed the order of Central Lakes > Western Lakes > Eastern Lakes and water area. The sources of the HCHs were mainly from the historical usage of lindane. DDTs were degraded under aerobic conditions, and the main sources were from the use of technical DDTs. The ecological risks of 5 OCPs were assessed by the species sensitivity distribution (SSD) method in the order of heptachlor > γ-HCH > p,p′-DDT > aldrin > endrin. The combining risks of all sampling sites were MS > JC > ZM > TX, and those of different species were crustaceans > fish > insects and spiders. Overall, the ecological risks of OCP contaminants on aquatic animals were very low. PMID:23251107

  9. Integration of modeling components into ecological and human health risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Chernoff, H.; Tomchuk, D.

    1995-12-31

    The Hudson River is an important recreational and ecological resource in New York State. From 1957 to 1975 between 209,000 and 1.3 million pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were discharged into the Hudson River from two electrical capacitor manufacturing facilities. Many PCBs discharged to the river adhered to the sediment in the Upper River. Aquatic organisms have been exposed to PCBs in the sediment through ingestion or direct contact with sediment. PCBs in the sediment can enter the water column via particulate resuspension and dissolved PCB diffusion from sediment pore water to the overlying water column, providing additional exposure pathways. Multiple exposure pathways can increase the body burden of organisms living in contaminated areas. Ecological and human health risk assessments are being performed as part of a reassessment effort to determine the need and extent of remediation, required for contaminated sediments in the Upper River. Hydrodynamic, water quality and food-chain models based upon and calibrated to recent and historical data collection efforts are integrated into the risk assessments to provide estimates of total PCBs, Aroclors and selected congener concentrations at specific locations in the river under current and future scenarios. The results of both the ecological and human health risk assessments will assist in defining PCB concentrations that pose risks to the biological communities of the Hudson River.

  10. Potential human health risks from metals and As via Odontesthes bonariensis consumption and ecological risk assessments in a eutrophic lake.

    PubMed

    Monferran, Magdalena V; Garnero, Paola Lorena; Wunderlin, Daniel A; Angeles Bistoni, María de Los

    2016-07-01

    The concentration of Al, Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Hg, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Pb and As was analyzed in water, sediment, and muscle of Odontesthes bonariensis from the eutrophic San Roque Lake (Córdoba-Argentina). The monitoring campaign was performed during the wet, dry and intermediate season. The concentration of Cr, Fe, Pb, Zn, Al and Cd in water exceeded the limits considered as hazardous for aquatic life. The highest metal concentrations were observed in sediment, intermediate concentrations, in fish muscle, and the lowest in water, with the exception of Cr, Zn, As and Hg, which were the highest in fish muscle. Potential ecological risk analysis of heavy metal concentrations in sediment indicated that the San Roque Lake posed a low ecological risk in all sampling periods. The target hazard quotients (THQs) and carcinogenic risk (CR) for individual metals showed that As in muscle was particularly hazardous, posing a potential risk for fishermen and the general population during all sampling periods. Hg poses a potential risk for fishermen only in the intermediate season. It is important to highlight that none of these two elements exceeded the limits considered as hazardous for aquatic life in water and sediment. This result proves the importance of performing measurements of contaminants, in both abiotic and biotic compartments, to assess the quality of food resources. These results suggest that the consumption of this fish species from this reservoir is not completely safe for human health. PMID:27060257

  11. Risk Factors for Overweight/Obesity in Preschool Children: An Ecological Approach

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Brent A.; Fiese, Barbara H.; Jones, Blake L.; Cho, Hyunkeun

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Background Identification of risk factors is critical to preventing the childhood obesity epidemic. Risk factors that contribute to obesity are multifactorial. However, limited research has focused on identifying obesity risk factors using an ecological approach. Methods Baseline self-report survey data from the STRONG Kids program were used. The sample consisted of 329 parent-child dyads recruited from childcare programs in east-central Illinois. Child height and weight were measured and converted to age- and sex-specific z-scores using standard growth charts. An ecological model provided the theoretical framework for the selection of 22 previously reported childhood obesity risk factors. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to identify risk factors. Results Of 22 potential risk factors, three were found to be significantly associated with child overweight/obesity. These included child nighttime sleep duration (χ2=8.56; p=0.003), parent BMI (χ2=5.62; p=0.01), and parental restrictive feeding for weight control (χ2=4.77; p=0.02). Children who slept for 8 hours and less were 2.2 times more likely to be overweight/obese [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3–3.7), whereas children with an overweight/obese parent were 1.9 times more likely to be overweight/obese (95% CI: 1.12–3.2). Finally, children whose parents used restrictive feeding practices were 1.75 times more likely to be overweight/obese (95% CI: 1.06–2.9). Conclusions Using an ecological approach, we conclude that childhood obesity prevention efforts may benefit from targeting the key risk factors of child sleep duration, parent BMI, and parental restrictive feeding practices as focus areas for obesity prevention. PMID:24020790

  12. Perceived extrinsic mortality risk and reported effort in looking after health: testing a behavioral ecological prediction.

    PubMed

    Pepper, Gillian V; Nettle, Daniel

    2014-09-01

    Socioeconomic gradients in health behavior are pervasive and well documented. Yet, there is little consensus on their causes. Behavioral ecological theory predicts that, if people of lower socioeconomic position (SEP) perceive greater personal extrinsic mortality risk than those of higher SEP, they should disinvest in their future health. We surveyed North American adults for reported effort in looking after health, perceived extrinsic and intrinsic mortality risks, and measures of SEP. We examined the relationships between these variables and found that lower subjective SEP predicted lower reported health effort. Lower subjective SEP was also associated with higher perceived extrinsic mortality risk, which in turn predicted lower reported health effort. The effect of subjective SEP on reported health effort was completely mediated by perceived extrinsic mortality risk. Our findings indicate that perceived extrinsic mortality risk may be a key factor underlying SEP gradients in motivation to invest in future health. PMID:24990431

  13. Human health and ecological risk assessment of soil-borne arsenic and lead: A site-specific risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, M.; Epp, G.A.; Beukema, P.; Nieboer, E.

    1997-12-31

    Screening level site specific human health and ecological risk assessments (ERA) were conducted at a historical (1908--1921) smelting and refining site in the Niagara Region, Ontario in accordance with the recently released provincial and federal risk assessment guidelines. The purpose of the assessment was to evaluate the risk associated with elevated levels of arsenic and lead in surface soils, and to assess alternative remediation options, prior to property transfer. Future intended land use will be parkland and for the site to remain forested. The identification of potential receptors, exposure pathways, and end-points was conducted at the biological community-level. The ERA involved a toxic cue inventory of the core smelting and refining site, adjacent lands and a reference site. Development of remediation options was based on hazard assessment and the prediction of risks associated with arsenic contamination. An evaluation of remediation options and the selection of a preferred option are discussed.

  14. Structural complexity, movement bias, and metapopulation extinction risk in dendritic ecological networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.

    2011-01-01

    Spatial complexity in metacommunities can be separated into 3 main components: size (i.e., number of habitat patches), spatial arrangement of habitat patches (network topology), and diversity of habitat patch types. Much attention has been paid to lattice-type networks, such as patch-based metapopulations, but interest in understanding ecological networks of alternative geometries is building. Dendritic ecological networks (DENs) include some increasingly threatened ecological systems, such as caves and streams. The restrictive architecture of dendritic ecological networks might have overriding implications for species persistence. I used a modeling approach to investigate how number and spatial arrangement of habitat patches influence metapopulation extinction risk in 2 DENs of different size and topology. Metapopulation persistence was higher in larger networks, but this relationship was mediated by network topology and the dispersal pathways used to navigate the network. Larger networks, especially those with greater topological complexity, generally had lower extinction risk than smaller and less-complex networks, but dispersal bias and magnitude affected the shape of this relationship. Applying these general results to real systems will require empirical data on the movement behavior of organisms and will improve our understanding of the implications of network complexity on population and community patterns and processes.

  15. Hydrologic analysis for ecological risk assessment of watersheds with abandoned mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Gallagher, D.; Babendreier, J.; Cherry, D.

    1999-07-01

    As part of on-going study of acid mine drainage (AMD), a comprehensive ecological risk assessment was conducted in the Leading Creek Watershed in southeast Ohio. The watershed is influenced by agriculture and active and abandoned coal-mining operations. This work presents a broad overview of several quantitative measures of hydrology and hydraulic watershed properties available for in risk assessment and evaluates their relation to metrics of ecology. Data analysis included statistical comparisons of metrics of ecology, ecotoxicology, water quality, and physically based parameters describing land use, geomorphology, flow, velocity, and particle size. A multiple regression analysis indicated that abandoned mining operations dominated impacts upon aquatic ecology. It also indicated low flow velocity measurements and a ratio of maximum velocity to average velocity at low flow where helpful in describing variation in macroinvertebrate Total Taxa scores. Other key parameters also identified strong impact relationships with biodiversity trends and included pH, simple knowledge of any mining upstream, calculated % of the subshed covered by strip mines, and the measured depth of streambed sediments from site to site.

  16. Modified social ecological model: a tool to guide the assessment of the risks and risk contexts of HIV epidemics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Social and structural factors are now well accepted as determinants of HIV vulnerabilities. These factors are representative of social, economic, organizational and political inequities. Associated with an improved understanding of multiple levels of HIV risk has been the recognition of the need to implement multi-level HIV prevention strategies. Prevention sciences research and programming aiming to decrease HIV incidence requires epidemiologic studies to collect data on multiple levels of risk to inform combination HIV prevention packages. Discussion Proximal individual-level risks, such as sharing injection devices and unprotected penile-vaginal or penile-anal sex, are necessary in mediating HIV acquisition and transmission. However, higher order social and structural-level risks can facilitate or reduce HIV transmission on population levels. Data characterizing these risks is often far more actionable than characterizing individual-level risks. We propose a modified social ecological model (MSEM) to help visualize multi-level domains of HIV infection risks and guide the development of epidemiologic HIV studies. Such a model may inform research in epidemiology and prevention sciences, particularly for key populations including men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PID), and sex workers. The MSEM builds on existing frameworks by examining multi-level risk contexts for HIV infection and situating individual HIV infection risks within wider network, community, and public policy contexts as well as epidemic stage. The utility of the MSEM is demonstrated with case studies of HIV risk among PID and MSM. Summary The MSEM is a flexible model for guiding epidemiologic studies among key populations at risk for HIV in diverse sociocultural contexts. Successful HIV prevention strategies for key populations require effective integration of evidence-based biomedical, behavioral, and structural interventions. While the focus of epidemiologic

  17. USDOE study: Human health and ecological risk assessment for produced water discharges

    SciTech Connect

    Meinhold, A.F.; Holtzman, S.; DePhillips, M.; Hamilton, L.D.

    1994-12-31

    Produced water generated during the production of oil and gas can contain high concentrations of radionuclides, organics and heavy metals. There are concerns about potential human health and ecological impacts from the discharge of these contaminants to the Gulf of Mexico. Data collected in the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) field study are being used in a series of human health and ecological risk assessments. These assessments will support scientifically-based regulation and risk management. This presentation: summarizes risk assessments performed for produced water discharges; describes how uncertainties in these assessments are guiding data collection efforts in the USDOE field study; and outlines ongoing risk assessment studies. In these studies, risk assessment is treated as an iterative process. An initial screening-level assessment is performed to identify important contaminants, transport and exposure pathways, and parameters. These intermediate results are used to guide data collection efforts and refinements to the analysis. At this stage in the analysis, risk is described in terms of probabilities; the uncertainties in each measured or modeled parameter are considered explicitly.

  18. Incorporating uncertainity in regional ecological risk assessments: Ozone effects on southeastern USA forests

    SciTech Connect

    Woodbury, P.B.; Smith, J.E.; Weinstein, D.A.

    1995-09-01

    Currently, assessments of how environmental stresses such as tropospheric ozone affect forests employ point estimates of factors such as ozone dose and species sensitivity. However, there is substantial regional heterogeneity in such factors. Hence, we have developed an approach for incorporating probabilistic analysis in estimating ecological risk at a regional scale. As an example, we model the effects of tropospheric ozone on the growth of loblolly pine stands in the southeastern USA. Our approach links software capable of automated Monte Carlo simulation to a Geographic Information System in order to assess the influence of uncertainty in factors such as ozone dose, soil moisture availability, and climate on regional patterns of loblolly growth rate. We demonstrate that this methodology may improve assessments of ecological risk by quantitating regional patterns in the influence of various factors on the predicted response of forests to ozone as well as identifying regions in which uncertainty in model predictions is the greatest.

  19. Produced water discharges to the Gulf of Mexico: Background information for ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Meinhold, A.F.; Holtzman, S.; DePhillips, M.P.

    1996-06-01

    This report reviews ecological risk assessment concepts and methods; describes important biological resources in the Gulf of Mexico of potential concern for produced water impacts; and summarizes data available to estimate exposure and effects of produced water discharges. The emphasis is on data relating to produced water discharges in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, especially in Louisiana. Much of the summarized data and cited literature are relevant to assessments of impacts in other regions. Data describing effects on marine and estuarine fishes, mollusks, crustaceans and benthic invertebrates are emphasized. This review is part of a series of studies of the health and ecological risks from discharges of produced water to the Gulf of Mexico. These assessments will provide input to regulators in the development of guidelines and permits, and to industry in the use of appropriate discharge practices.

  20. Effects of algae growth on cadmium remobilization and ecological risk in sediments of Taihu Lake.

    PubMed

    Ni, Lixiao; Li, Dandan; Su, Lili; Xu, Jiajun; Li, Shiyin; Ye, Xiang; Geng, Hong; Wang, Peifang; Li, Yi; Li, Yiping; Acharya, Kumud

    2016-05-01

    Indoor simulation experiment with 2.76 L microcosms using sediment from Taihu Lake were conducted to investigate the relationship between algae bloom and heavy metals release into a lake aquatic environment. The results showed that Microcystic aeruginosa (M. aeruginosa) growth can enhance cadmium (Cd) mobilization from sediments to overlying water due to increasing pH and DO content of overlying water and changing the redox condition of surface sediment (0-2 cm) from weak oxidation to weak reduction. The dissolved Cd concentration in overlying water can be decreased during algal growth process. The remobilization of Cd from sediment can effectively reduce the ecological risk of total Cd in sediments. The results of this study showed that both Igeo and Er(i) can be used to effectively evaluate the ecological risk of heavy metal Cd in different fractions. PMID:26923240

  1. Remedial investigation report for J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Volume 3: Ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Hlohowskyj, I.; Hayse, J.; Kuperman, R.; Van Lonkhuyzen, R.

    2000-02-25

    The Environmental Management Division of the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, is conducting a remedial investigation (RI) and feasibility study (FS) of the J-Field area at APG, pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended. As part of that activity, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) conducted an ecological risk assessment (ERA) of the J-Field site. This report presents the results of that assessment.

  2. Application of a watershed ecological risk assessment in developing a nitrogen management strategy

    SciTech Connect

    Tyler, P.; Geist, M.; Dow, D.; Clark, H.; Gerritsen, J.

    1995-12-31

    Waquoit Bay is a small estuary on the south shore of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Population in the watershed has increased approximately 1 5 fold in the past 50 years, and residential land use has increased tenfold from 2 percent of the watershed in 1950 to 20 percent in 1990. Of particular concern is nitrogen loading primarily via groundwater from on-site septic systems, fertilizers and atmospheric deposition. Adverse ecological impacts have included: growth of nuisance macroalgae, decreases in water quality, loss of bay scallops and loss of eel grass (Zostera marina) in Waquoit Bay and adjoining coastal ponds. A watershed-based ecological risk assessment was applied to assist in the development of management strategies for the bay. Management goals for the watershed were identified by stakeholders. Endpoints of the risk assessment were derived from the management goals and included: areal extent and patch size of eel grass beds and macroalgal mats, and habitat quality as evidenced by physical, chemical and biological water quality. Ecological response of the endpoints to the nitrogen loading was examined with a regional analysis of eel grass cover, land use, and predicted nitrogen loading in similar embayments of Cape Cod. The uncertainty analysis of the risk assessment allows prediction of the probability of success for a given management strategy; for example, what would be the probability that eel grass would return by reducing the nitrogen load through the implementation of various management strategies. This example shows the utility of the ecological risk assessment approach for developing optimal management strategies to increase the probability of achieving management goals.

  3. Screening of high phytotoxicity priority pollutants and their ecological risk assessment in China's surface waters.

    PubMed

    Yan, Zhenguang; Wang, Weili; Zhou, Junli; Yi, Xianliang; Zhang, Juan; Wang, Xiaonan; Liu, Zhengtao

    2015-06-01

    The protection of aquatic plants has received less attention in ecological risk assessment of pollutants compared with animals. Some pollutants like herbicide, however, are more toxic to aquatic plants than to animals. Aquatic toxicity data of 126 priority pollutants were screened and analyzed in this study. Through data analysis, five priority pollutants namely 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA), 4-nitrophenol (4-NP), butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) were identified to have high phytotoxicity effect. The most sensitive aquatic plants to these five pollutants are all alage, including Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, Gymnodinium breve. The water quality criteria concentration of the five pollutants were derived by the species sensitivity distribution method. The acute criteria concentration for the five pollutants were derived to be 1474, 2180, 54.41, 98.52 and 520.4 μg L(-1), and the chronic criteria concentration for them were 147.4, 218.0, 5.441, 9.852 and 52.04 μg L(-1), respectively. For China's freshwater bodies, the results of ecological risk assessment based on the derived criteria showed that, for the selected pollutants except DBP, there were basically no significant risk in most of the studied water bodies. DBP showed apparent ecological risks in all of the studied water bodies, particularly in the middle Yellow River, the Xuanwu Lake, the Yuehu Lake, etc. Field monitoring data of the Liao River and the Taihu Lake showed that DBP had moderate risks in some of the sampling sites of both the watersheds, while BBP posed moderate risks only on a few sites of the Liao River. PMID:25655815

  4. Development of a conceptual model for ecological risk assessment in the Clinch River, VA

    SciTech Connect

    Diamond, J.; Miller, J.

    1995-12-31

    The Clinch River watershed is one of five selected by the USEPA to: (1) evaluate the methodology given in the USEPA Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment, and (2) provide a case study with which to develop an ecological risk problem formulation framework given a complex watershed with multiple stressors. The Clinch water is perhaps most notable for its high diversity of endemic mussel and fish species, most of which are threatened and endangered. Discussions among most of the resource managers in the watershed revealed four assessment endpoints for this risk assessment, all of which have ecological and societal value, and which are susceptible to a number of stressors common in the recruitment and reproduction; threatened and endangered mussel species recruitment and reproduction; threatened and endangered fish species recruitment and reproduction; aquatic cave fauna abundance and diversity; and riparian corridor extent, connectivity, and species composition. Together, these endpoints address the goals established by the workgroup: self-sustaining populations of native macroinvertebrates and fish; improving surface and subsurface water quality; and establishing and maintaining functional riparian corridors of native vegetation. The heart of the problem formulation was defining the conceptual model for this system. Several sources were addressed including various anthropogenic land-use activities, introduced species, and acid rain.

  5. Development of stressor-response models for an ecological risk assessment case study

    SciTech Connect

    Nacci, D.E.; Munns, W.R.; Cayula, S.; Serbst, J.; Johnston, R.K.; Walker, H.A.

    1994-12-31

    An estuarine ecological risk assessment for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Kittery, ME) is being conducted following the US EPA`s Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). As part of the Analysis phase of the ERA, laboratory studies were conducted to develop stressor-response models for lead, the primary contaminant of concern. Thirty-day exposures to adult sea urchins, Arbacia punctulata, occurred via food or suspended sediment. Exposure media were amended with lead sulfate to 10--100 or 100--300 times uncontaminated levels for the Feeding or Sediment Experiments, respectively. The sea urchin experimental model was selected because it permitted the measurement of biological endpoints with significance at the population level (e.g., adult survival and reproduction success), including those used in standard marine bioassays (i.e., fertilization and larval development). Feeding Experiment treatments produced few effects. Sediment Experiment treatments resulted in reductions in survival, growth and reproductive output of exposed adults and were directly toxic to early lifestages. However, in uncontaminated sea water, gametes from Sediment Experiment adults fertilized and completed larval development normally. Data from these experimental systems will be used to produce models relating lead exposure to specific biological responses and, ultimately, ecological risk.

  6. Baseline ecological risk assessment of the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana: 1. Overview and problem formulation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacDonald, Donald D.; Moore, Dwayne R.J.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; Smorong, Dawn E.; Carr, R. Scott; Gouguet, Ron; Charters, David; Wilson, Duane; Harris, Tom; Rauscher, Jon; Roddy, Susan; Meyer, John

    2011-01-01

    A remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) of the Calcasieu Estuary cooperative site was initiated in 1998. This site, which is located in the southwestern portion of Louisiana in the vicinity of Lake Charles, includes the portion of the estuary from the saltwater barrier on the Calcasieu River to Moss Lake. As part of the RI/FS, a baseline ecological risk assessment (BERA) was conducted to assess the risks to aquatic organisms and aquatic-dependent wildlife exposed to environmental contaminants. The purpose of the BERA was to determine if adverse effects on ecological receptors are occurring in the estuary; to evaluate the nature, severity, and areal extent of any such effects; and to identify the substances that are causing or substantially contributing to effects on ecological receptors. This article describes the environmental setting and site history, identifies the chemicals of potential concern, presents the exposure scenarios and conceptual model for the site, and summarizes the assessment and measurement endpoints that were used in the investigation. Two additional articles in this series describe the results of an evaluation of effects-based sediment-quality guidelines as well as an assessment of risks to benthic invertebrates associated with exposure to contaminated sediment.

  7. Ecological risk and pollution history of heavy metals in Nansha mangrove, South China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qihang; Tam, Nora F Y; Leung, Jonathan Y S; Zhou, Xizhen; Fu, Jie; Yao, Bo; Huang, Xuexia; Xia, Lihua

    2014-06-01

    Owing to the Industrial Revolution in the late 1970s, heavy metal pollution has been regarded as a serious threat to mangrove ecosystems in the region of the Pearl River Estuary, potentially affecting human health. The present study attempted to characterize the ecological risk of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) in Nansha mangrove, South China, by estimating their concentrations in the surface sediment. In addition, the pollution history of heavy metals was examined by determining the concentrations of heavy metals along the depth gradient. The phytoremediation potential of heavy metals by the dominant plants in Nansha mangrove, namely Sonneratia apetala and Cyperus malaccensis, was also studied. Results found that the surface sediment was severely contaminated with heavy metals, probably due to the discharge of industrial sewage into the Pearl River Estuary. Spatial variation of heavy metals was generally unobvious. The ecological risk of heavy metals was very high, largely due to Cd contamination. All heavy metals, except Mn, decreased with depth, indicating that heavy metal pollution has been deteriorating since 1979. Worse still, the dominant plants in Nansha mangrove had limited capability to remove the heavy metals from sediment. Therefore, we propose that immediate actions, such as regulation of discharge standards of industrial sewage, should be taken by the authorities concerned to mitigate the ecological risk posed by heavy metals. PMID:24675443

  8. [Spatial Distribution and Potential Ecological Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Soils and Sediments in Shunde Waterway, Southern China].

    PubMed

    Cai, Yi-min; Chen, Wei-ping; Peng, Chi; Wang, Tie-yu; Xiao, Rong-bo

    2016-05-15

    Environmental quality of soils and sediments around water source area can influence the safety of potable water of rivers. In order to study the pollution characteristics, the sources and ecological risks of heavy metals Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, Ni and Cd in water source area, surface soils around the waterway and sediments in the estuary of main tributaries were collected in Shunde, and ecological risks of heavy metals were assessed by two methods of potential ecological risk assessment. The mean contents of Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, Ni and Cd in the surface soils were 186.80, 65.88, 54.56, 32.47, 22.65 and 0.86 mg · kg⁻¹ respectively, and they were higher than their soil background values except those of Cu and Ni. The mean concentrations of Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, Ni and Cd in the sediments were 312.11, 111.41, 97.87, 92.32, 29.89 and 1.72 mg · kg⁻¹ respectively, and they were higher than their soil background values except that of Ni. The results of principal component analysis illustrated that the main source of Cr and Ni in soils was soil parent materials, and Zn, Pb, Cu and Cd in soils mainly came from wastewater discharge of local manufacturing industry. The six heavy metals in sediments mainly originated from industry emissions around the Shunde waterway. The results of potential ecological risk assessment integrating environmental bioavailability of heavy metals showed that Zn, Cu, Pb and Ni had a slight potential ecological risk. Cd had a slight potential ecological risk in surface soils, but a moderate potential ecological risk in surfaces sediments. Because the potential ecological risk assessment integrating environmental bioavailability of heavy metals took the soil properties and heavy metal forms into account, its results of risks were lower than those of Hakanson methods, and it could avoid overestimating the potential risks of heavy metals. PMID:27506029

  9. Where Lies the Risk? An Ecological Approach to Understanding Child Mental Health Risk and Vulnerabilities in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Atilola, Olayinka

    2014-01-01

    Efforts at improving child-health and development initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa had focused on the physical health of children due to the neglect of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) policy initiatives. A thorough and broad-based understanding of the prevalent child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors is needed to successfully articulate CAMH policies. In this discourse, we present a narrative on the child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors in sub-Saharan Africa. Through an ecological point of view, we identified widespread family poverty, poor availability and uptake of childcare resources, inadequate community and institutional childcare systems, and inadequate framework for social protection for vulnerable children as among the risk and vulnerability factors for CAMH in the region. Others are poor workplace policy/practice that does not support work-family life balance, poor legislative framework for child protection, and some harmful traditional practices. We conclude that an ecological approach shows that child mental-health risks are diverse and cut across different layers of the care environment. The approach also provides a broad and holistic template from which appropriate CAMH policy direction in sub-Saharan Africa can be understood. PMID:24834431

  10. [Ecological risk assessment of land use based on exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA): a case study of Haitan Island, Fujian Province].

    PubMed

    Wu, Jian; Chen, Peng; Wen, Chao-Xiang; Fu, Shi-Feng; Chen, Qing-Hui

    2014-07-01

    As a novel environment management tool, ecological risk assessment has provided a new perspective for the quantitative evaluation of ecological effects of land-use change. In this study, Haitan Island in Fujian Province was taken as a case. Based on the Landsat TM obtained in 1990, SPOT5 RS images obtained in 2010, general layout planning map of Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone in 2030, as well as the field investigation data, we established an ecological risk index to measure ecological endpoints. By using spatial autocorrelation and semivariance analysis of Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), the ecological risk of Haitan Island under different land-use situations was assessed, including the past (1990), present (2010) and future (2030), and the potential risk and its changing trend were analyzed. The results revealed that the ecological risk index showed obvious scale effect, with strong positive correlation within 3000 meters. High-high (HH) and low-low (LL) aggregations were predominant types in spatial distribution of ecological risk index. The ecological risk index showed significant isotropic characteristics, and its spatial distribution was consistent with Anselin Local Moran I (LISA) distribution during the same period. Dramatic spatial distribution change of each ecological risk area was found among 1990, 2010 and 2030, and the fluctuation trend and amplitude of different ecological risk areas were diverse. The low ecological risk area showed a rise-to-fall trend while the medium and high ecological risk areas showed a fall-to-rise trend. In the planning period, due to intensive anthropogenic disturbance, the high ecological risk area spread throughout the whole region. To reduce the ecological risk in land-use and maintain the regional ecological security, the following ecological risk control strategies could be adopted, i.e., optimizing the spatial pattern of land resources, protecting the key ecoregions and controlling the scale of

  11. Ecological risk assessment of Tomsk region groundwater used for drinking purposes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konchakova, N. V.; Ushakova, N. S.; Aikina, T. Yu

    2016-03-01

    The present paper is devoted to the chemical composition analysis of Neogene-quaternary and Paleogene groundwater widely used for drinking in the territory of Tomsk region. It has been shown that groundwater under study contains iron and manganese in excessive concentration. Consequently, this water can negatively affect human health. The ecological and human health risk assessment of Tomsk region groundwater used for drinking has been conducted. According to the calculations, it has been defined that in the overwhelming majority of cases there is a great risk to use groundwater of Tomsk region for drinking purposes.

  12. Factors influencing acquisition of ecological and exposure information about hazards and risks from contaminated sites.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Greenberg, Michael; Gochfeld, Michael; Shukla, Sheila; Lowrie, Karen; Keren, Roger

    2008-02-01

    Considerable research indicates that a wide range of socio-economic factors influence attitudes and perceptions about environmental hazards and risks, and that social trust in those who manage a hazard is strongly correlated to judgements about risks and benefits. We suggest that there are three steps that lead to environmental risk perceptions: acquisition of information, interpretation and synthesis of different pieces of information, and understanding of that information in light of previous knowledge, perceptions, or attitudes. In this study we presented 211 college students in the sciences and non-sciences with ecological and exposure information using text, tables and maps to examine the factors that affect information acquisition and interpretation concerning ecological issues at a fictitious hazardous waste site. Students were allowed about an hour to read the materials and answer questions. The percent of students answering each question correctly varied from 4 to 82%, indicating that some questions were extremely difficult to answer. We attributed these differences to variations in the number of places information was presented (in text, tables, maps, or a combination) and the complexity of the information (how many pieces of information were required to answer the question correctly). The correlation between the number of students answering each question correctly and these combined measures (frequency, complexity) was -0.72. Thus, although there were differences in accuracy concerning ecological information as presented in this study, the major differences were accounted for by how the information was presented, and how much information was required. This suggests that risk communicators should carefully determine which ecological information is critical for the target audience, and ensure that it is presented several times (in different forms). That a lower percentage of people correctly answered questions that required synthesizing several pieces of

  13. Ecological risk assessment of substances with suspected estrogenic activity using standard laboratory fish tests

    SciTech Connect

    Gimeno, S.; Bowmer, C.T.

    1999-07-01

    The assessment of risks to the aquatic environment in the European Union is generally based on a comparison of Predicted Environmental Concentrations (PEC) with Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNEC) for surrogate, or representative, organisms of the receiving waters. Such risk assessments are required for new and priority existing chemicals, pesticides, and, in the near future, biocides; they are dependent on robust in vivo test data. Current strategies for ecological risk assessment were not designed to assess the risk of endocrine disrupters. The selection of suitable fish species and practical in vivo end points for determining endocrine disruption in fish are discussed, including the adaptation of some existing guidelines. This paper is partly based on a series of experiments conducted at the laboratory to look at the effects of a model alkylphenol (4-tert-pentylphenol), an industrial chemical intermediate, acting as a pseudo-estrogen on an all-male population of the common carp, Cyprinus carpio. Exposure to the test substance occurred at critical life stages for endocrine disruption. Biochemical parameters as well as histological parameters were applied, and their suitability to be used in ecological risk assessment is discussed.

  14. Assessment of ecological risks at former landfill site using TRIAD procedure and multicriteria analysis.

    PubMed

    Sorvari, Jaana; Schultz, Eija; Haimi, Jari

    2013-02-01

    Old industrial landfills are important sources of environmental contamination in Europe, including Finland. In this study, we demonstrated the combination of TRIAD procedure, multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA), and statistical Monte Carlo analysis for assessing the risks to terrestrial biota in a former landfill site contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) and metals. First, we generated hazard quotients by dividing the concentrations of metals and PHCs in soil by the corresponding risk-based ecological benchmarks. Then we conducted ecotoxicity tests using five plant species, earthworms, and potworms, and determined the abundance and diversity of soil invertebrates from additional samples. We aggregated the results in accordance to the methods used in the TRIAD procedure, conducted rating of the assessment methods based on their performance in terms of specific criteria, and weighted the criteria using two alternative weighting techniques to produce performance scores for each method. We faced problems in using the TRIAD procedure, for example, the results from the animal counts had to be excluded from the calculation of integrated risk estimates (IREs) because our reference soil sample showed the lowest biodiversity and abundance of soil animals. In addition, hormesis hampered the use of the results from the ecotoxicity tests. The final probabilistic IREs imply significant risks at all sampling locations. Although linking MCDA with TRIAD provided a useful means to study and consider the performance of the alternative methods in predicting ecological risks, some uncertainties involved still remained outside the quantitative analysis. PMID:22762796

  15. Terrestrial population models for ecological risk assessment: A state-of-the-art review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Emlen, J.M.

    1989-01-01

    Few attempts have been made to formulate models for predicting impacts of xenobiotic chemicals on wildlife populations. However, considerable effort has been invested in wildlife optimal exploitation models. Because death from intoxication has a similar effect on population dynamics as death by harvesting, these management models are applicable to ecological risk assessment. An underlying Leslie-matrix bookkeeping formulation is widely applicable to vertebrate wildlife populations. Unfortunately, however, the various submodels that track birth, death, and dispersal rates as functions of the physical, chemical, and biotic environment are by their nature almost inevitably highly species- and locale-specific. Short-term prediction of one-time chemical applications requires only information on mortality before and after contamination. In such cases a simple matrix formulation may be adequate for risk assessment. But generally, risk must be projected over periods of a generation or more. This precludes generic protocols for risk assessment and also the ready and inexpensive predictions of a chemical's influence on a given population. When designing and applying models for ecological risk assessment at the population level, the endpoints (output) of concern must be carefully and rigorously defined. The most easily accessible and appropriate endpoints are (1) pseudoextinction (the frequency or probability of a population falling below a prespecified density), and (2) temporal mean population density. Spatial and temporal extent of predicted changes must be clearly specified a priori to avoid apparent contradictions and confusion.

  16. Work plan for conducting an ecological risk assessment at J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Hlohowskyj, I.; Hayse, J.; Kuperman, R.

    1995-03-01

    The Environmental Management Division of Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, is conducting a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) of the J-Field area at APG pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended. J-Field is within the Edgewood Area of APG in Harford County, Maryland, and activities at the Edgewood Area since World War II have included the development, manufacture, testing, and destruction of chemical agents and munitions. The J-Field site was used to destroy chemical agents and munitions by open burning and open detonation. This work plan presents the approach proposed to conduct an ecological risk assessment (ERA) as part of the RI/FS program at J-Field. This work plan identifies the locations and types of field studies proposed for each area of concern (AOC), the laboratory studies proposed to evaluate toxicity of media, and the methodology to be used in estimating doses to ecological receptors and discusses the approach that will be used to estimate and evaluate ecological risks at J-Field. Eight AOCs have been identified at J-Field, and the proposed ERA is designed to evaluate the potential for adverse impacts to ecological receptors from contaminated media at each AOC, as well as over the entire J-Field site. The proposed ERA approach consists of three major phases, incorporating field and laboratory studies as well as modeling. Phase 1 includes biotic surveys of the aquatic and terrestrial habitats, biological tissue sampling and analysis, and media toxicity testing at each AOC and appropriate reference locations. Phase 2 includes definitive toxicity testing of media from areas of known or suspected contamination or of media for which the Phase 1 results indicate toxicity or adverse ecological effects. In Phase 3, the uptake models initially developed in Phase 2 will be finalized, and contaminant dose to each receptor from all complete pathways will be estimated.

  17. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water from three estuaries of China: Distribution, seasonal variations and ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jinxia; Liu, Jingling; Shi, Xuan; You, Xiaoguang; Cao, Zhiguo

    2016-08-15

    The distribution, seasonal variations and ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water from three estuaries in Hai River Basin of China, which has been suffering from different anthropogenic pressures, were investigated. In three estuaries, the average concentration of ΣPAHs was the lowest in Luan River estuary, followed by Hai River estuary, and the highest in Zhangweixin River estuary. There were significant seasonal variations in ΣPAHs, the concentrations of ΣPAHs were higher in November than in May and August. The composition profiles of PAHs in different sites were significantly different, and illustrated seasonal variations. Generally, 2-ring (Nap) and 3-ring PAHs (Acp, Fl and Phe) were the most abundant components at most sampling sites in three estuaries. The PAHs in three estuaries were mainly originated from pyrogenic sources. A method based on toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) and risk quotient (RQ) was proposed to assess the ecological risk of ΣPAHs, with the ecological risk of individual PAHs being considered separately. The results showed that the ecological risks caused by ΣPAHs were high in Hai River estuary and Zhangweixin River estuary, and moderate in Luan River estuary. The mean values of ecological risk in August were lower than those in November. The contributions of individual PAHs to ecological risk were different in May, August and November. 3-ring and 4-ring PAHs accounted for much more ecological risk than 2-ring, 5-ring and 6-ring, although the contributions of 5-ring and 6-ring to ecological risk were higher than these to PAHs concentrations. PMID:27209122

  18. Ecological risk assessment of elemental pollution in sediment from Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Sabah

    SciTech Connect

    Elias, Md Suhaimi; Hamzah, Mohd Suhaimi; Rahman, Shamsiah Ab; Salim, Nazaratul Ashifa Abdullah; Siong, Wee Boon; Sanuri, Ezwiza

    2014-02-12

    Eleven (11) surface sediment samples were collected from Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Sabah. The neutron activation analysis (NAA) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) techniques were applied for the determinations metal contents and their distributions in sediment samples. The results shown that Arsenic (As) concentrations are enriched at all sampling stations except for station TAR 09, with enrichment factor (EF) values ranged from 1.1 to 7.2. The elements such as Cd, Cr, Sb and U showed enrichment at a few stations and other elements (Cr, Cu, Pb, Th, Zn) shown as background levels in all stations. Degrees of contamination in this study were calculated base on concentrations of six elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn). TAR 11 station can be categorized as very high degree of contamination with degree of contamination value of 43.2. TAR 07 station can be categorized as a considerable degree of contamination (contamination value of 16.9). Six stations (TAR 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 08, 10) showed moderate degree of contamination, with contamination values ranging from 8.0 to 16.0. TAR 02 and TAR 09 stations showed low degree of contaminations (< 8.0). TAR 11 showed very high ecological risk index (R{sub I}) with RI value is 916. TAR 07 and TAR 10 showed moderate ecological risk index with R{sub I} value 263 and 213, respectively. Other stations showed low ecological risk with RI values ranging from 42.3 to 117 (< 150). Very high ecological risk index could give an adverse effect to the benthic organism. The data obtained from the enrichment factor, degree of contamination and ecological risk index provided vital information, which can be used for future comparison. Information from the present study will be useful to the relevant government agencies and authorities in preparing preventive action to control direct discharge of heavy metals from industries, agro-base activities and domestic waste to the rivers and the sea.

  19. Integrating human impacts and ecological integrity into a risk-based protocol for conservation planning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, K.M.; Angermeier, P.L.

    2007-01-01

    Conservation planning aims to protect biodiversity by sustainng the natural physical, chemical, and biological processes within representative ecosystems. Often data to measure these components are inadequate or unavailable. The impact of human activities on ecosystem processes complicates integrity assessments and might alter ecosystem organization at multiple spatial scales. Freshwater conservation targets, such as populations and communities, are influenced by both intrinsic aquatic properties and the surrounding landscape, and locally collected data might not accurately reflect potential impacts. We suggest that changes in five major biotic drivers-energy sources, physical habitat, flow regime, water quality, and biotic interactions-might be used as surrogates to inform conservation planners of the ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems. Threats to freshwater systems might be evaluated based on their impact to these drivers to provide an overview of potential risk to conservation targets. We developed a risk-based protocol, the Ecological Risk Index (ERI), to identify watersheds with least/most risk to conservation targets. Our protocol combines risk-based components, specifically the frequency and severity of human-induced stressors, with biotic drivers and mappable land- and water-use data to provide a summary of relative risk to watersheds. We illustrate application of our protocol with a case study of the upper Tennessee River basin, USA. Differences in risk patterns among the major drainages in the basin reflect dominant land uses, such as mining and agriculture. A principal components analysis showed that localized, moderately severe threats accounted for most of the threat composition differences among our watersheds. We also found that the relative importance of threats is sensitive to the spatial grain of the analysis. Our case study demonstrates that the ERI is useful for evaluating the frequency and severity of ecosystemwide risk, which can

  20. Ecological risk assessment at a hazardous waste site on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Iohowskyi, I.; Hayse, J.W.; Kuperman, R.; Lonkhuyzen, R. van

    1995-12-31

    The Toxic Burning Pits (TBP) area of the J-Field site, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, was used in the past for disposal and destruction of munitions and chemical agents. The TBP area, located at the end of a large peninsula on Chesapeake Bay, covers about 9 acres adjacent to a marsh containing a large freshwater pond. An ecological risk assessment (ERA) was conducted at the site to determine whether current levels of contamination at the site are producing demonstrable ecological effects, whether contaminated media are toxic to biota, and to estimate potential risks to biota from direct and indirect contaminant uptake from site media. The ERA incorporated field studies, tissue residue analyses, media toxicity tests, and uptake modeling for wildlife species. Areas with contaminated soil had lower abundance, diversity, and biomass of terrestrial vegetation and soil-dwelling invertebrates; altered trophic structure of nematode communities; reduced soil respiration and litter decomposition rates; and reduced soil microbial enzyme activities. Test showed that contaminated soils were toxic to vegetation, insect eggs, and earthworms. Contamination and toxicity of aquatic media were limited to adjacent portions of the marsh that receive surface runoff from the TBP area. Uptake modeling indicated current contamination levels at the TBP area may pose unacceptable risks to several wildlife species and that the risks are associated primarily with soil-based uptake pathways. The ERA results identified soil to be the medium posing the greatest risk to ecological receptors, and the assessment results are currently being used to assist in the development and evaluation of remedial alternatives for the contaminated soil.

  1. Ecological risk assessment of copper and cadmium in surface waters of Chesapeake Bay watershed

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, L.W. Jr.; Scott, M.C.; Killen, W.D.

    1998-06-01

    This ecological risk assessment was designed to characterize risk of copper and cadmium exposure in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by comparing the probability distributions of environmental exposure concentrations with the probability distributions of species response data determined from laboratory studies. The overlap of these distributions was a measure of risk to aquatic life. Dissolved copper and cadmium exposure data were available from six primary data sources covering 102 stations in 18 basins in the Chesapeake Bay watershed from 1985 through 1996. Highest environmental concentrations of copper (based on 90th percentiles) were reported in the Chesapeake and Delaware (C and D) Canal, Choptank River, Middle River, and Potomac River; the lowest concentrations of copper were reported in the lower and middle mainstem Chesapeake Bay and Nanticoke River. Based on the calculation of 90th percentiles, cadmium concentrations were highest in the C and D Canal, Potomac River, Upper Chesapeake Bay, and West Chesapeake watershed. Lowest environmental concentrations of cadmium were reported in the lower and middle mainstem Chesapeake Bay and Susquehanna River. The ecological effects data used for this risk assessment were derived primarily from acute copper and cadmium laboratory toxicity tests conducted in both fresh water and salt water; chronic data were much more limited. The 10th percentile (concentration protecting 90% of the species) for all species derived from the freshwater acute copper toxicity database was 8.3 {micro}g/L. For acute saltwater copper data, the 10th percentile for all species was 6.3 {micro}g/L copper. The acute 10th percentile for all saltwater species was 31.7 {micro}g/L cadmium. Highest potential ecological risk from copper exposures was reported in the C and D Canal area of the northern Chesapeake Bay watershed.

  2. Juvenile Delinquency and Teenage Pregnancy: A Comparison of Ecological Risk Profiles among Midwestern White and Black Female Juvenile Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khurana, Atika; Cooksey, Elizabeth C.; Gavazzi, Stephen M.

    2011-01-01

    The authors examined ecological risk factors associated with teen pregnancy with a sample of 1,190 court-involved female juvenile offenders between 11 and 18 years of age. Data were obtained from five Midwestern juvenile county courts using a recently developed youth risk assessment instrument called the global risk assessment device (GRAD). In…

  3. Fate, effect, and ecological risk of mercury from historic releases in the Danvers Estuary (Massachusetts)

    SciTech Connect

    Mauahan, J.; Raddatz, A.

    1995-12-31

    High concentrations (up to 400 mg/kg) of mercury were initially detected in intertidal sediments adjacent to a manufacturing area. Based on the potential for ecological risk from exposure to the sediments, a detailed investigation was initiated to determine the distribution, fate and ecological effects of the mercury. The program consisted of collecting undisturbed sediment cores from an area radiating out from the high concentration area approximately 300 meters. The cores were analyzed for total mercury, grain size, total organic carbon, and methylmercury. Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) were also collected and analyzed for total mercury. Sediments and mussels were also collected from areas of the estuary approximately 1 km away and unaffected by historic mercury releases to serve as an estimate of background concentrations. Concentrations of total mercury, methylmercury and mercury in M. edulis tissue showed very similar distribution patterns and a strong statistical correlation (r{sup 2} of approximately 0.8). The elevated concentrations (10 to 20 mg/kg) were confined to an area with a radius less than 30 meters and dropped off very abruptly. Beyond 30 meters, concentrations were equal to or less than concentrations considered to represent background both from reference samples and sampling reported in the literature. The results were compared to ecological effects levels or benchmarks developed for the investigation. Levels outside the 30 meter radius were determined to pose no imminent hazard or risk or harm (as defined by the Massachusetts Contingency Plan and the benchmarks developed for the project). There was no imminent hazard from the sediments within the 30 meter radius but the comparison to benchmarks within the area indicated risk of ecological harm.

  4. [Pollution characteristics and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in the surface sediments of the Yangtze River].

    PubMed

    Wang, Lan; Wang, Ya-ping; Xu, Chun-xue; An, Zi-yi

    2012-08-01

    The concentrations of Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, As and Hg in surface sediment samples of Yangtze River collected in 2007 were analyzed and evaluated. The results indicated that the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, As and Hg were significantly higher than those measured in 1990s. Principal component analysis showed that the cumulative proportion of the first three components accounted for 86.75% of the total variable, indicating the three major sources of heavy metals were industrial and mining wastewater, weathering and erosion of rocks, and urban electroplating industry wastewater and natural sources. Geoaccumulation index (Igeo) and enrichment factors (EF) also showed that the surface sediments of the Yangtze River were not contaminated with Cr, Co and Ni, lightly contaminated with Cu, Zn, As and Hg, and majorly contaminated with Ph and Cd. The ecological hazards for the heavy metals in the sediments were evaluated with the Hakanson ecological risk index. It was concluded the ecological hazards for each metal in a descending order were Cd > Hg > As > Zn > Pb > Cu > Co > Ni > Cr. The comprehensive index of potential ecological risks for metals indicated that 36% of the 61 sites had moderate potential ecological risks. Three sites had a high potential ecological risk, namely, Chongqing site of the main Yangtze River, Zishui Dongting Lake and Xinjiang site, whereas Xiangjiang Hengyang section, Xiangjiang Zhuzhou section, Xiangjiang Dongting Lake entrance, Dongting Lake and Shunan River belonged to the areas with extremely high potential ecological risk. PMID:23213879

  5. Ecological risk assessment for residual coal fly ash at Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee: Site setting and problem formulation.

    PubMed

    Walls, Suzanne J; Jones, Daniel S; Stojak, Amber R; Carriker, Neil E

    2015-01-01

    A baseline ecological risk assessment (BERA) was performed for residual ash in the Watts Bar Reservoir following a release of fly ash from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant. The site consists of parts of 3 rivers in eastern Tennessee comprising over 32 river kilometers. The purpose of the assessment was to determine if residual ash negatively impacts maintenance and reproduction of balanced communities or populations of potentially exposed ecological receptor groups in these rivers. This introductory article summarizes the site and environmental setting, assessment and measurement endpoints, risk characterization methods, and the study approach. Subsequent articles describe ecological risks to fish, benthic invertebrates, aquatic- and riparian-feeding wildlife, and aerial-feeding insectivores; and the role ecological risk characterization played in determining the most effective management of the residual ash, setting project remediation objectives and targets, and designing long-term monitoring to measure the effectiveness of the selected removal action. PMID:25234753

  6. Ecological Risk Assessment in the 21st Century: The Role of Ecotoxicogenomics and the Need for Multi-disciplinary Research

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessments have traditionally relied on analytical chemistry for exposure assessment and whole animal toxicity testing for hazard/effects assessment. However, these approaches are costly and limited in their applicability to a broad diversity of chemical and non...

  7. Ecological risk assessment of the presence of pharmaceutical residues in a French national water survey.

    PubMed

    Bouissou-Schurtz, Camille; Houeto, Paul; Guerbet, Michel; Bachelot, Morgane; Casellas, Claude; Mauclaire, Anne-Cécile; Panetier, Pascale; Delval, Cécile; Masset, Dominique

    2014-08-01

    In this study, we focused on the list of 33 chemicals that was established through a French national prioritisation strategy. Assessing the potential risks to the environment was a step-wise procedure: (i) we determined the Predicted Environmental Concentration (PEC) of all molecules measured in the national survey based on the highest recommended dose used, (ii) we used the Measured Environmental Concentration (MEC) and the Predicted No-Effect Concentration (PNEC) to establish the Risk Quotient (RQ) based on either a PEC/PNEC (estimated risk) or MEC/PNEC (real risk) ratio. The risk assessment was performed using a binary ecological classification suggesting that appreciable risk is likely (RQ⩾1). Of the 15 molecules quantified in the survey, 12 had a PEC higher than the action limit value of 0.01μg/L. According to the EU Guideline, environmental risk was estimated as likely for the following five compounds: acetaminophen (RQ=1.6), ibuprofen (RQ=600), diclofenac (RQ=15), oxazepam (RQ=2.1) and carbamazepine (RQ=3.2). Only ibuprofen was identified as posing real environmental risk based on its MEC (RQ=1.9). PMID:24768990

  8. [Potential ecological risks assessment of heavy metals in the reservoir sediment of the western Haihe River basin].

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xian; Wang, Rui-lin; Wang, Jian-li; Sun, Ran-hao

    2015-05-01

    The reservoirs distributed in the western part of Haihe River basin play a key role in drinking water supply in the densely populated region. The potential ecological risk of heavy metals stored in the reservoir sediments has drawn more attention during recent decades. In this study, a total of 10 reservoirs in the western Haihe River basin were sampled. The sediment samples were assessed by the Hakanson potential ecological risk evaluation index. The sediments of upstream and downstream rivers were also sampled for comparative analysis with those of the reservoirs. The results indicated the concentration of Cd was significantly higher than the background value in this region, it was 1.67 times of the background value on average and the highest was 2.77 times. The concentration of Pb was higher than the background value for more than half of the reservoirs. The potential ecological risk was evaluated by the toxic coefficient. The ecological risk level was decreased in the order of Cd>As>Pb>Ni>Cu>Cr>Zn. The ecological risk of Cd in most reservoir sediments belonged to a moderate harm. Xidayang Reservior, which supplied the drinking water for Beijing and Baoding, had the highest level of Cd pollution. The ecological risk of Cd in the upstream and downstream rivers was significantly higher than that of the reservoirs. In addition, the ecological risks of Pb, Cu and Ni in the upstream rivers were also higher than the reservoirs. The difference of ecological risks of Zn and Cr was not significant between reservoirs and rivers. PMID:26571670

  9. Assessment of ecological risks linked to the discharge of saline industrial effluent into a river.

    PubMed

    Perrodin, Yves; Volatier, Laurence; Bazin, Christine; Boisson, Jean-Claude

    2013-03-01

    Discharges of saline effluents into rivers can lead to risks for local aquatic ecosystems. A specific ecological risk assessment methodology has been developed to propose a management tool to organisations responsible for managing rivers and industrial companies producing saline effluents. This methodology involves the detailed description of the spatiotemporal system concerned, the choice of ecological targets to be preserved, and the performance of bioassays adapted to each of the compartments of the river. Following development, it was applied to an industrial effluent in eastern France. For the scenario studied, results obtained suggest a high risk for the organisms of the water column and a low risk for the organisms of the periphyton. This difference can be explained by the structure of the latter which integrate extracellular polymers secreted by the organisms of the biofilm, forming a gel with a porous structure that acts as a barrier to diffusion. The methodology formulated permitted identifying the critical points of the spatiotemporal system studied and then using them as the basis for making well-grounded proposals for management. Lastly, proposals to improve the methodology itself are made, especially concerning the integration of the sediment compartment in the version formulated initially. PMID:22684878

  10. An ecological risk assessment for insecticides used in adult mosquito management.

    PubMed

    Davis, Ryan S; Peterson, Robert K D; Macedo, Paula A

    2007-07-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has been a concern for people across the United States since the disease was initially observed in the summer of 1999. Since 1999, WNV has caused the largest arboviral encephalitis epidemic in US history. Vector control management programs have been intensively implemented to control mosquitoes that carry WNV. Our deterministic ecological risk assessment focused on 6 common mosquito adulticides used in vector control, including 3 pyrethroids (d-phenothrin, resmethrin, and permethrin), pyrethrins, and 2 organophosphates (malathion and naled). Piperonyl butoxide, a synergist for the pyrethroids, was also assessed. Both aquatic and terrestrial nontarget organisms were considered for acute and chronic exposures to the adulticides. Tier I exposure estimates were derived from ISCST3 and AERMOD for deposition and air concentrations affecting terrestrial organisms and PRZM-EXAMS for standard pond concentrations affecting aquatic organisms. Nontargets exposed to adulticides included small mammals, birds, as well as aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates in a pond subject to receiving the chemical via drift and runoff. Risk quotients were obtained by comparing exposures to toxic endpoints. All risk quotients were low indicating that risks to ecological receptors most likely were small. PMID:17695110

  11. Ecological Recovery Potential of Freshwater Organisms: Consequences for Environmental Risk Assessment of Chemicals.

    PubMed

    Gergs, Andre; Classen, Silke; Strauss, Tido; Ottermanns, Richard; Brock, Theo C M; Ratte, Hans Toni; Hommen, Udo; Preuss, Thomas G

    2016-01-01

    Chemical contaminants released into the in the environment may have adverse effects on (non-target) species, populations and communities. The return of a stressed system to its pre-disturbance or other reference state, i.e. the ecological recovery, may depend on various factors related to the affected taxon, the ecosystem of concern and the type of stressor with consequences for the assessment and management of risks associated with chemical contaminants. Whereas the effects caused by short-term exposure might be acceptable to some extent, the conditions under which ecological recovery can serve as a decision criterion in the environmental risk assessment of chemical stressors remains to be evaluated. For a generic consideration of recovery in the risk assessment of chemicals, we reviewed case studies of natural and artificial aquatic systems and evaluate five aspects that might cause variability in population recovery time: (1) taxonomic differences and life-history variability, (2) factors related to ecosystem type and community processes, (3) type of disturbance, (4) comparison of field and semi-field studies, and (5) effect magnitude, i.e., the decline in population size following disturbance. We discuss our findings with regard to both retrospective assessments and prospective risk assessment. PMID:26423077

  12. Occurrence, profiles, and ecological risks of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in river sediments of Shanghai, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xue-Tong; Chen, Lei; Wang, Xi-Kui; Zhang, Yuan; Zhou, Jun; Xu, Si-Yue; Sun, Yan-Feng; Wu, Ming-Hong

    2015-08-01

    Fifty-two PBDE congeners in river sediments from Shanghai were analyzed in the present study. The concentrations of Σ51PBDEs (defined as the sum of 51 BDE congeners except BDE209) and BDE209 ranged from 0.231 to 119 ng g(-1) and from nd to 189 ng g(-1), respectively. The most abundant BDE congeners in surface sediments were BDE118, 207, 208, 99, 49, 75, 47, 71 and 209, with median values of 1.67, 1.81, 1.83, 1.87, 1.98, 2.52, 2.73, 4.62 and 45.7 ng g(-1) dw, respectively. The concentrations of Σ52PBDEs were significantly correlated with total organic carbon (TOC) content in sediments (p < 0.05). Weak correlations between all PBDE homologues and TOC (r < 0.32) suggest that TOC had a little influence on sediment PBDE transport and distribution patterns in river sediments of Shanghai. Correspondence analysis (CA) showed that PBDEs in sediments in the studied area originated from commercial BDE formulations, combustion emission sources, and debromination of highly brominated PBDEs by aerobic/anaerobic microbes or sunlight. Risk assessment based on risk quotients (RQ) showed that PBDEs in all river sediments collected from Shanghai posed a high potential ecological risk (RQ > 1) to the sediment dwelling organisms, and pentaBDE, decaBDE and tetraBDE were the major ecological risk drivers. PMID:25840411

  13. Fishing in Dangerous Waters: Ecology, Gender and Economy in HIV Risk

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    This paper focuses on a neglected factor in literature on the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa: the role of the eco-social environment in shaping HIV risk. I argue that the changing ecological environment of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest freshwater lake, mapping onto a gendered economy, shaped fisherfolk’s sexual relationships and sexual mixing patterns in ways that were consequential for their HIV risk. Specifically, I show how disrupted lake and fish ecology had an impact on fishermen’s sexual, domestic and economic partnerships, as well as how it contributed to the “sex for fish” economy in Nyanza Province, Kenya. I also show the consequences of fishermen’s relative wealth on transactional relationships with school girls and women in lakeside communities. The paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork over a seven month period among the Luo ethnic group, which has the highest HIV rates in Kenya. The study included 94 individual, focus group and key informant interviews in communities around Lake Victoria. Additionally, literature reviews on fishing and sexual economies as well as on ecological research in Lake Victoria are employed. Exploring linkages between these literatures and fieldwork findings forms the basis of this paper. I argue that solely focusing on individual level HIV prevention strategies is limited without taking into account the eco-social context of individual sexual decision making. PMID:21146910

  14. A Social Ecological Model of Syndemic Risk affecting Women with and At-Risk for HIV in Impoverished Urban Communities.

    PubMed

    Batchelder, A W; Gonzalez, J S; Palma, A; Schoenbaum, E; Lounsbury, D W

    2015-12-01

    Syndemic risk is an ecological construct, defined by co-occurring interdependent socio-environmental, interpersonal and intrapersonal determinants. We posited syndemic risk to be a function of violence, substance use, perceived financial hardship, emotional distress and self-worth among women with and at-risk for HIV in an impoverished urban community. In order to better understand these interrelationships, we developed and validated a system dynamics (SD) model based upon peer-reviewed literature; secondary data analyses of a cohort dataset including women living with and at-risk of HIV in Bronx, NY (N = 620); and input from a Bronx-based community advisory board. Simulated model output revealed divergent levels and patterns of syndemic risk over time across different sample profiles. Outputs generated new insights about how to effectively explore multicomponent multi-level programs in order to strategically develop more effective services for this population. Specifically, the model indicated that effective multi-level interventions might bolster women's resilience by increasing self-worth, which may result in decreased perceived financial hardship and risk of violence. Overall, our stakeholder-informed model depicts how self-worth may be a major driver of vulnerability and a meaningful addition to syndemic theory affecting this population. PMID:26370203

  15. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metal (HM) pollution in the ambient air using a new bio-indicator.

    PubMed

    Miri, Mohammad; Allahabadi, Ahmad; Ghaffari, Hamid Reza; Fathabadi, Zeynab Abaszadeh; Raisi, Zahra; Rezai, Mehrab; Aval, Mohsen Yazdani

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this descriptive-analytical study was to measure the concentration of heavy metals (HMs) in the leaf and bark of Ulmus carpinifolia as new biological indicators, and the ecological risk assessment of these metals in the ambient air. To achieve these goals, 48 sampling locations were selected in the city and concentration of four HMs-zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and cadmium (Cd)-was measured in the mentioned indicator using atomic absorption spectroscopy method. After this, ecological risk assessment, source appointment, and spatial distribution were conducted. In this regard, the enrichment factor (EF), potential ecological risk factor (E r), potential ecological risk index (RI), correlation coefficient (r), and other indices were calculated. The results showed that the concentration of HMs in the leaf and bark in ascending order is as Cdecological risk in terms of surveyed HMs. The leaf and bark of U. carpinifolia can be applied as bio-indicators of the presence of heavy metals in the ambient air and ecological risk imposed by them. PMID:27053049

  16. Patterning ecological risk of pesticide contamination at the river basin scale.

    PubMed

    Faggiano, Leslie; de Zwart, Dick; García-Berthou, Emili; Lek, Sovan; Gevrey, Muriel

    2010-05-01

    Ecological risk assessment was conducted to determine the risk posed by pesticide mixtures to the Adour-Garonne river basin (south-western France). The objectives of this study were to assess the general state of this basin with regard to pesticide contamination using a risk assessment procedure and to detect patterns in toxic mixture assemblages through a self-organizing map (SOM) methodology in order to identify the locations at risk. Exposure assessment, risk assessment with species sensitivity distribution, and mixture toxicity rules were used to compute six relative risk predictors for different toxic modes of action: the multi-substance potentially affected fraction of species depending on the toxic mode of action of compounds found in the mixture (msPAF CA(TMoA) values). Those predictors computed for the 131 sampling sites assessed in this study were then patterned through the SOM learning process. Four clusters of sampling sites exhibiting similar toxic assemblages were identified. In the first cluster, which comprised 83% of the sampling sites, the risk caused by pesticide mixture toward aquatic species was weak (mean msPAF value for those sites<0.0036%), while in another cluster the risk was significant (mean msPAF<1.09%). GIS mapping allowed an interesting spatial pattern of the distribution of sampling sites for each cluster to be highlighted with a significant and highly localized risk in the French department called "Lot et Garonne". The combined use of the SOM methodology, mixture toxicity modelling and a clear geo-referenced representation of results not only revealed the general state of the Adour-Garonne basin with regard to contamination by pesticides but also enabled to analyze the spatial pattern of toxic mixture assemblage in order to prioritize the locations at risk and to detect the group of compounds causing the greatest risk at the basin scale. PMID:20206965

  17. An ecological-transactional model of significant risk factors for child psychopathology in outer mongolia.

    PubMed

    Kohrt, Holbrook E; Kohrt, Brandon A; Waldman, Irwin; Saltzman, Kasey; Carrion, Victor G

    2004-01-01

    The present study examined significant risk factors, including child maltreatment, for child psychopathology in a cross-cultural setting. Ninety-nine Mongolian boys, ages 3-10 years, were assessed. Primary caregivers (PCG) completed structured interviews including the Emory Combined Rating Scale (ECRS) and the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ). Structural equation modeling identifies eight risk factors affecting child psychopathology: Three with direct effects (severity of physical punishment, PCG's MFQ score, and PCG's education), three with indirect effects (cultural acceptance of violence as discipline, presence of community violence, and contact with extended family), and two with direct and indirect effects (quality of marriage/presence of spousal abuse, and household size). Results support the ecological-transactional theory of developmental psychopathology in a cross-cultural setting. Structural equation modeling provides a useful technique to isolate specific sites for intervention, while maintaining a comprehensive perspective of risk factor interaction. PMID:15577280

  18. [Landscape ecological risk assessment and its spatio-temporal variations in Ebinur Lake region of inland arid area].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yue; Zhang, Fei; Zhou, Mei; Li, Xiao-hang; Ren, Yan; Wang, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The typical region of the Ebinur Lake Basin was chosen as study area. Landsat TM/OLI images for 1998, 2011 and 2013 were obtained. In the study area, landscape was classified into six types, including cropland, woodland, grassland, water body, bare lake bed, salinized land and unutilized land. Landscape indices and ecological risk index were calculated and spatially interpolated for the whole region, which was divided into five different risk zones: extremely low, low, moderate, high and extremely high ecological risk. They were carried out for assessing the spatio-temporal changes in ecological risk for each landscape pattern. The results showed that the regional landscape patterns had experienced significant changes, and the increase in the area of croplands was the main trend in landscape evolution from 1998-2013. The main part of the regional ecosystem faced extremely high risk in 1998, high risk in 2011 and low risk in 2013. The ecological risk level of the study area was significantly decreased in the overall period, and the total area of change from high to low risk was much greater than those from low to high risk. PMID:27228614

  19. Ecological risk assessment in a large river-reservoir. 4: Piscivorous wildlife

    SciTech Connect

    Sample, B.E.; Suter, G.W. II

    1999-04-01

    Over 50 years of operations of facilities on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), Tennessee, has resulted in the release of contaminants into the water, sediment, and biota of the Clinch River and Poplar Creek, downstream of the ORR. An iterative, weight-of-evidence approach was employed to assess risks these contaminants present to four piscivorous wildlife species (osprey [Pandion haliatus], great blue heron [Ardea herodias], mink [Mustela vison], and river otter [Lutra canadensis]) in the Clinch River/Poplar Creek (CR/PC) watershed. Available data consisted of literature-derived NOAELs and LOAELs, field surveys, and toxicity tests. Contaminants of potential ecological concern (COPECs) were identified by comparing point estimates of exposure to NOAELs and included mercury and PCBs. Exposure to COPECs was reestimated using Monte Carlo methods, first at individual locations, then over ecologically relevant spatial scales. These exposure distributions were compared to LOAELs. Estimated exposure for mink was not sufficient to present a risk from any COPEC. Mercury and PCBs presented a significant risk to river otter at one location each. Exposure of osprey and great blue herons to mercury represented a significant risk at one and two locations, respectively. Field surveys of heron rookeries and osprey nests indicated no adverse effects on reproduction. Mink red fish from the Clinch River displayed reduced reproduction only in the most contaminated of five toxicity test diets; this reduction was not statistically significant, however. The maximum mercury and PCB exposures estimated for mink along the Clinch River were significantly lower than the toxicity test exposures associated with adverse effects. The weight of evidence indicates that contaminants from the ORR do not present a risk to mink, great blue heron, or osprey along the Clinch River; river otter, however, may be at risk from mercury and PCBs.

  20. Ecological status classification of the Taizi River Basin, China: a comparison of integrated risk assessment approaches.

    PubMed

    Fan, Juntao; Semenzin, Elena; Meng, Wei; Giubilato, Elisa; Zhang, Yuan; Critto, Andrea; Zabeo, Alex; Zhou, Yun; Ding, Sen; Wan, Jun; He, Mengchang; Lin, Chunye

    2015-10-01

    Integrated risk assessment approaches allow to achieve a sound evaluation of ecological status of river basins and to gain knowledge about the likely causes of impairment, useful for informing and supporting the decision-making process. In this paper, the integrated risk assessment (IRA) methodology developed in the EU MODELKEY project (and implemented in the MODELKEY Decision Support System) is applied to the Taizi River (China), in order to assess its Ecological and Chemical Status according to EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements. The available dataset is derived by an extensive survey carried out in 2009 and 2010 across the Taizi River catchment, including the monitoring of physico-chemical (i.e. DO, EC, NH3-_N, chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand in 5 days (BOD5) and TP), chemical (i.e. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals), biological (i.e. macroinvertebrates, fish, and algae), and hydromorphological parameters (i.e. water quantity, channel change and morphology diversity). The results show a negative trend in the ecological status from the highland to the lowland of the Taizi River Basin. Organic pollution from agriculture and domestic sources (i.e. COD and BOD5), unstable hydrological regime (i.e. water quantity shortage) and chemical pollutants from industry (i.e. PAHs and metals) are found to be the main stressors impacting the ecological status of the Taizi River Basin. The comparison between the results of the IRA methodology and those of a previous study (Leigh et al. 2012) indicates that the selection of indicators and integrating methodologies can have a relevant impact on the classification of the ecological status. The IRA methodology, which integrates information from five lines of evidence (i.e., biology, physico-chemistry, chemistry, ecotoxicology and hydromorphology) required by WFD, allows to better identify the biological communities that are potentially at risk and the stressors that are most

  1. [Human ecology and interdisciplinary cooperation for primary prevention of environmental risk factors for public health].

    PubMed

    Dobrowolski, Jan W

    2007-01-01

    Human ecology makes a scientific base for more effective prevention against contamination of the air, water and food, and other environmental factors making common risk factors for human health. It integrates interdisciplinary cooperation of experts from natural, technological, socio-economical and other sciences. Complex study is necessary for better estimation of real risk factors for an individual person. This risk is connected with the exposure of people to pollutants in working places, housing environment, areas for recreation and by food (including synergistic effects). Such study implicates real tasks for representatives of different sciences (technological and agricultural in particular) as well as for teachers and journalists. Especially dangerous are environmental risk factors when principles of human ecology are not taking into consideration at the intensification of food production, processing and conservation, as well as at designing of housing environment (where the exposure to harmful physical, chemical and biological factors is the longest) and also while selecting of the main directions of development of technical infrastructure for motorization (e.g. designing of cars, roads and their surrounding). EU recognize study of the human ecology as basis for sustainable development (sponsoring e.g. diploma and doctoral studies in this field at the Free University of Brussels). Author's experiences connected with the participation as a visiting professor taking part in related training activity at this University as well as during study visits in several countries were useful for the introduction of human ecology in linkage with ecotoxicology and environmental biotechnology as the subject of study at environmental engineering at the Faculty of Mining Surveying and Environmental Engineering at AGH-UST. Methodological experience of 40 years of interdisciplinary case studies and problem-oriented education in this field may be useful for modernization of

  2. Determining significant endpoints for ecological risk analyses. 1997 annual progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Hinton, T.G.; Congdon, J.; Rowe, C.; Scott, D.; Bedford, J.; Whicker, F.W.

    1997-11-01

    'This report summarizes the first year''s progress of research funded under the Department of Energy''s Environmental Management Science Program. The research was initiated to better determine ecological risks from toxic and radioactive contaminants. More precisely, the research is designed to determine the relevancy of sublethal cellular damage to the performance of individuals and to identify characteristics of non-human populations exposed to chronic, low-level radiation, as is typically found on many DOE sites. The authors propose to establish a protocol to assess risks to non-human species at higher levels of biological organization by relating molecular damage to more relevant responses that reflect population health. They think that they can achieve this by coupling changes in metabolic rates and energy allocation patterns to meaningful population response variables, and by using novel biological dosimeters in controlled, manipulative dose/effects experiments. They believe that a scientifically defensible endpoint for measuring ecological risks can only be determined once its understood the extent to which molecular damage from contaminant exposure is detrimental at the individual and population levels of biological organization.'

  3. Application of ecological risk assessment principles to evaluation of oil spill impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Brannon, E.L.; Neff, J.M.; Pearson, W.H.; Stubblefield, W.A.; Maki, A.W.

    1995-12-31

    Ecological risk assessments are often used prospectively to predict the consequences of human activities on the environment. Laboratory and field studies were conducted to evaluate the ecological impacts to commercial fishery resources resulting from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Using the ecorisk paradigm, each of the studies correlated concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons in different environmental compartments with observed biological effects in local populations of herring and pink salmon. Hydrocarbon concentrations in the water column of the Sound were elevated for a short time after the spill, but 99.7% of the samples remained below the Alaska water quality standard and returned to background levels within a few months. PAH concentrations in sediments and eggs correlated with a very low degree of injury to early life stages of herring and salmon. Overall, effects of the spill on populations of herring and pink salmon were minimal and post-spill harvests of the year classes at greater risk of spill injury in the two years following the spill were at or near record levels. The program underscores the utility and strength of the risk assessment paradigm to identify contaminant related injury while considering effects attributable to natural ecosystem variability.

  4. Occurrence, fate and ecological risk of chlorinated paraffins in Asia: A review.

    PubMed

    Wei, Gao-Ling; Liang, Xiao-Liang; Li, Ding-Qiang; Zhuo, Mu-Ning; Zhang, Si-Yi; Huang, Qiu-Xin; Liao, Yi-Shan; Xie, Zhen-Yue; Guo, Tai-Long; Yuan, Zai-Jian

    2016-01-01

    Chlorinated paraffins (CPs), complex mixtures of polychlorinated alkanes, are widely used in various industries and are thus ubiquitous in the receiving environment. The present study comprehensively reviewed the occurrence, fate and ecological risk of CPs in various environmental matrices in Asia. Releases from the production and consumption of CPs or CP-containing materials, wastewater discharge and irrigation, sewage sludge application, long-range atmospheric transport and aerial deposition have been found to be most likely sources and transport mechanisms for the dispersion of CPs in various environmental matrices, such as air, water, sediment, soil and biota. CPs can be bioaccumulated in biota and biomagnified through food webs, likely causing toxic ecological effects in organisms and posing health risks to humans. Inhalation, dust ingestion and dietary intake are strongly suggested as the major routes of human exposure. Research gaps are discussed to highlight the perspectives of future research to improve future efforts regarding the analysis of CPs, the environmental occurrence and elimination of CPs, the total environmental pressure, and the risks to organisms and populations. PMID:27132163

  5. Ecological risk analysis of pesticides used on irrigated rice crops in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Danielle Cristina; Noldin, José Alberto; Deschamps, Francisco C; Resgalla, Charrid

    2016-11-01

    Based on studies conducted in the past decade in the southern region of Brazil to determine residue levels of the pesticides normally used on irrigated rice crops, changes can be observed in relation to the presence of pesticides in the waters of the main river basins in Santa Catarina State. In previous harvests, the presence of residues of 7 pesticides was determined, with the herbicide bentazon and the insecticide carbofuran being the products showing highest frequency. Following toxicological tests conducted with 8 different test organisms, deterministic and probabilistic risk analysis was performed to assess the situation of the river basins in areas used for the production of irrigated rice. Of the species tested, the herbicide bentazon showed greatest toxicity toward plants, but did not present an ecological risk because in the worst-case scenario the highest concentration of this pesticide in the environment is 37 times lower than the lowest EC50/LC50 value obtained in the tests. The insecticide carbofuran, which had the highest toxicity toward the organisms used in the tests, presented an ecological risk in the deterministic analysis, but without any associated probability. The results highlight the need for increased efforts in training farmers in crop management practices and for the continual monitor of water bodies for the presence of pesticide residues. PMID:27479455

  6. Simulating pesticides in ditches to assess ecological risk (SPIDER): I. Model description.

    PubMed

    Renaud, Fabrice G; Bellamy, Pat H; Brown, Colin D

    2008-05-01

    Risk assessment for pesticides in the aquatic environment relies on a comparison between estimated exposure concentrations in surface water bodies and endpoints from a series of effect tests. Many field- and catchment-scale models have been developed, ranging from simple empirical models to comprehensive, physically-based, distributed models that require complex parameterisation, often through inverse modelling methods. Routine use of catchment models for assessment and management of pesticides requires a tool that is comprehensive in being able to address all major routes of entry of pesticides into surface water and that has reasonable parameter requirements. Current models either focus primarily on transport of pesticides in surface runoff or are restricted in application because they require calibration against data from detailed monitoring programmes. SPIDER (Simulating Pesticides In Ditches to assess Ecological Risk) was developed to address the gap in models available to simulate pesticide exposure within networks of small surface water bodies (ditches and streams) in support of ecological risk assessment for pesticides. SPIDER is a locally distributed, capacitance-based model that accounts for pesticide entry into surface water bodies via spray drift, surface runoff, interlayer flow and drainflow and that can be used for small agricultural catchments. This paper provides a detailed description of the model. PMID:18275984

  7. Use of an ecologically relevant modelling approach to improve remote sensing-based schistosomiasis risk profiling.

    PubMed

    Walz, Yvonne; Wegmann, Martin; Leutner, Benjamin; Dech, Stefan; Vounatsou, Penelope; N'Goran, Eliézer K; Raso, Giovanna; Utzinger, Jürg

    2015-01-01

    Schistosomiasis is a widespread water-based disease that puts close to 800 million people at risk of infection with more than 250 million infected, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Transmission is governed by the spatial distribution of specific freshwater snails that act as intermediate hosts and the frequency, duration and extent of human bodies exposed to infested water sources during human water contact. Remote sensing data have been utilized for spatially explicit risk profiling of schistosomiasis. Since schistosomiasis risk profiling based on remote sensing data inherits a conceptual drawback if school-based disease prevalence data are directly related to the remote sensing measurements extracted at the location of the school, because the disease transmission usually does not exactly occur at the school, we took the local environment around the schools into account by explicitly linking ecologically relevant environmental information of potential disease transmission sites to survey measurements of disease prevalence. Our models were validated at two sites with different landscapes in Côte d'Ivoire using high- and moderate-resolution remote sensing data based on random forest and partial least squares regression. We found that the ecologically relevant modelling approach explained up to 70% of the variation in Schistosoma infection prevalence and performed better compared to a purely pixel-based modelling approach. Furthermore, our study showed that model performance increased as a function of enlarging the school catchment area, confirming the hypothesis that suitable environments for schistosomiasis transmission rarely occur at the location of survey measurements. PMID:26618326

  8. [Temporal characteristics of ecological risk assessment indicators in coal-mining city with the application of LVQ method].

    PubMed

    Peng, Jian; Tao, Jing-Xian; Liu, Yan-xu

    2015-03-01

    Because the ability of selected indicators in assessing ecological risk at different temporal scales is not the same, it is necessary to clear the definite comparability of such indicators at temporal scale to explore a new method for dynamic assessing the ecological risk. In this case, five mining cities in Liaoning Province were selected as the study area, with the application of learning vector quantization (LVQ) neural network, the significance of the indicators for the ecological risk assessment was quantitatively analyzed to clarify their characteristics at temporal scale. The expression with two-dimension (long-term and short-term) of temporal scale was put forward as a new method to assess the ecological risk for mining cities. The results showed that the amount of industrial SO2 removed per output value, the amount of industrial dust removed per output value, coverage rate of urban green space, precipitation, coordination degree among subsystems, percentage of mining practitioners, and current year investment on pollution abatement projects were effective at long-term temporal scale, while the other indicators acted at short-term temporal scale. With the combination of long-term and short-term temporal scales, the dynamic assessment of ecological risk for mining cities could be expressed on two-dimension of temporal scale. It was found that Fuxin City got the highest ecological risk in current status, with the risk increasing most in Fushun City at the short-term temporal scale as well as in Chaoyang City at the long-term temporal scale. The method adopted in this study might act as a significant guidance in dynamic controlling and integrative management of ecological risk for mining cities. PMID:26211071

  9. [Contamination and Ecological Risk Assessment of Mercury in Hengshuihu Wetland, Hebei Province].

    PubMed

    Wang, Nai-shan; Zhang, Man-yin; Cui, Li-juan; Ma, Mu-yuan; Yan, Liang; Mu, Yong-lin; Qin, Peng

    2016-05-15

    Investigation on the concentrations and the distribution characteristics of total mercury in atmosphere, water surface and soil/ sediments of Hengshuihu wetland was carried out based on a uniform set point sampling method. The geoaccumulation index and potential ecological risk index methods were simultaneously used to assess the mercury pollution in Hengshuihu wetland ecosystem. The results showed that: the total mercury content in Hengshuihu wetland atmosphere ranged from 1.0 to 5.0 ng · m⁻³, with an average of (2.9 ± 0.85) ng · m⁻³; the total mercury content in water surface ranged from 0.010 to 0.57 µg · L⁻¹, with the average value of (0.081 ± 0.053) µg · L⁻¹; the total mercury content in soil/sediment ranged from 0.001 0 to 0.058 mg · kg⁻¹, with an average of (0.027 ± 0.013) mg · kg⁻¹. The distribution features of total mercury in Hengshuihu wetland were as follows: the total mercury concentration in surface water of the shore was significantly higher than that in the center (P < 0.05), but the total mercury concentration of sediments in the center of the lake was significantly higher than that at the shore (P < 0.05); the total mercury in the soil of shore had a consistent trend with that in the atmosphere; high concentrations of total mercury pollution were accompanied by severe human activities. The geoaccumulation index showed that mercury pollution in Hengshuihu wetland was at clean level; potential ecological risk index showed mercury contamination had a low ecological risk in Hengshuihu wetland. PMID:27506028

  10. A site-specific ecological risk assessment for corn-associated insecticides.

    PubMed

    Whiting, Sara A; Lydy, Michael J

    2015-07-01

    A site-specific ecological risk assessment (ERA) was conducted to examine the simultaneous use of genetically modified corn (Bt corn) with a neonicotinoid seed coating, clothianidin, and use of a granular insecticide, tefluthrin, to protect crops from pest damage. A field study was conducted on site, and exposure data from the literature were summarized to determine the matrices and exposure concentrations that nontarget species could typically experience within an agricultural ecosystem. To determine ecological effects on nontarget species, acute toxicity bioassays were conducted on earthworms (Eisenia fetida), amphipods (Hyalella azteca), and Elmid riffle beetle larvae (Ancyronyx spp.) in which the test species were exposed to single insecticides as well as the mixture of the 3 insecticides. In the risk characterization section of the ERA, stressor-response profiles for each species tested were compared with field distributions of the insecticides, and a margin of safety at the 10th percentile (MOS10) was calculated to estimate risk. No acute toxicity was observed in any of the 3 nontarget species after exposure to senescent Bt corn leaf tissue. Large MOS10 values were calculated for clothianidin to the nontarget species. When bioassays were compared with tefluthrin field distributions, very low MOS10 values were calculated for earthworms (0.06) and H. azteca (0.08) because the environmental concentrations often exceeded the stressor-response profile. No increased toxicity was observed when nontarget species were exposed to a mixture of the 3 insecticides. In summary, the genetically modified corn insecticidal proteins and clothianidin were not found at environmental concentrations exceeding benchmark values for ecological effects, but tefluthrin was consistently detected in the environment at levels that could be causing toxicity to nontarget species, especially if this pyrethroid is able to travel off site. PMID:25557061

  11. Heavy metal pollution and ecological risk assessment of the paddy soils near a zinc-lead mining area in Hunan.

    PubMed

    Lu, Sijin; Wang, Yeyao; Teng, Yanguo; Yu, Xuan

    2015-10-01

    Soil pollution by Cd, Hg, As, Pb, Cr, Cu, and Zn was characterized in the area of the mining and smelting of metal ores at Guiyang, northeast of Hunan Province. A total of 150 topsoil (0-20 cm) samples were collected in May 2012 with a nominal density of one sample per 4 km(2). High concentrations of heavy metals especially, Cd, Zn, and Pb were found in many of the samples taken from surrounding paddy soil, indicating a certain extent of spreading of heavy metal pollution. Sequential extraction technique and risk assessment code (RAC) were used to study the mobility of chemical forms of heavy metals in the soils and their ecological risk. The results reveal that Cd represents a high ecological risk due to its highest percentage of the exchangeable and carbonate fractions. The metals of Zn and Cu pose a medium risk, and the rest of the metals represent a low environmental risk. The range of the potential ecological risk of soil calculated by risk index (RI) was 123.5~2791.2 and revealed a considerable-high ecological risk in study area especially in the neighboring and surrounding the mining activities area. Additionally, cluster analyses suggested that metals such as Pb, As, Hg, Zn, and Cd could be from the same sources probably related to the acidic drainage and wind transport of dust. Cluster analysis also clearly distinguishes the samples with similar characteristics according to their spatial distribution. The results could be used during the ecological risk screening stage, in conjunction with total concentrations and metal fractionation values to better estimate ecological risk. PMID:26373302

  12. Evaluation of vegetable production management practices to reduce the ecological risk of pesticides.

    PubMed

    Rice, Pamela J; Hapeman, Cathleen J; McConnell, Laura L; Sadeghi, Ali M; Teasdale, John R; Coffman, C Benjamin; McCarty, Gregory W; Abdul-Baki, Aref A; Starr, James L

    2007-11-01

    The ability of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risks of pesticides was evaluated. Risk quotients, a mathematical description of the relationship between exposure and toxicity, and hazard ratings, a rank of the potential risk of pesticides to aquatic environments, were calculated for conventional and alternative cultivation practices for tomatoes: Poly-Bare, raised beds covered with polyethylene mulch with bare-soil furrows; Poly-Rye, raised beds covered with polyethylene mulch with cereal rye (Secale cereale) grown in the furrows; and Vetch, raised beds and furrows planted with hairy vetch seed (Vicia villosa). Evaluations were conducted using measured pesticide concentrations in runoff at the edge-of-field and estimated environmental concentrations in an adjacent creek and a theoretical pond receiving the runoff. Runoff from Poly-Bare presented the greatest risk to ecosystem health and to sensitive organisms, whereas the use of Vetch minimized these risks. Previous studies have shown that harvest yields were maintained and that runoff volume, soil loss, and off-site transport of pesticides measured in runoff were reduced using the alternative management practices (Poly-Rye and Vetch). Together, these results indicate that the alternative management practices (Poly-Rye and Vetch) have a less adverse impact on the environment than the conventional management practice (Poly-Bare) while providing growers with an acceptable economic return. In addition, the present study demonstrates the need to consider the management practice when assessing the potential risks and hazards for certain pesticides. PMID:17941735

  13. Assessing Ecological Flow Needs and Risks for Springs and Baseflow Streams With Growth and Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Springer, A. E.; Stevens, L. E.

    2008-12-01

    Ecological flow needs assessments are beginning to become an important part of regulated river management, but are more challenging for unregulated rivers. Water needs for ecosystems are greater than just consumptive use by riparian and aquatic vegetation and include the magnitude, frequency, duration and timing of flows and the depth and annual fluctuations of groundwater levels of baseflow supported streams. An ecological flow needs assessment was adapted and applied to an unregulated, baseflow dependent river in the arid to semi-arid Southwestern U.S. A separate process was developed to determine groundwater sources potentially at risk from climate, land management, or groundwater use changes in a large regional groundwater basin in the same semi-arid region. In 2007 and 2008, workshops with ecological, cultural, and physical experts from agencies, universities, tribes, and other organizations were convened. Flow-ecology response functions were developed with either conceptual or actual information for a baseflow dependent river, and scoring systems were developed to assign values to categories of risks to groundwater sources in a large groundwater basin. A reduction of baseflow to the river was predicted to lead to a decline in cottonwood and willow tree abundance, decreases in riparian forest diversity, and increases in non-native tree species, such as tamarisk. These types of forest vegetation changes would likely cause reductions or loss of some bird species. Loss of riffle habitat through declines in groundwater discharge and the associated river levels would likely lead to declines in native fish and amphibian species. A research agenda was developed to develop techniques to monitor, assess and hopefully better manage the aquifers supporting the baseflow dependent river to prevent potential threshold responses of the ecosystems. The scoring system for categories of risk was applied to four systems (aquifers, springs, standing water bodies, and streams) in

  14. Ecological risk and resilience perspective: a theoretical framework supporting evidence-based practice in schools.

    PubMed

    Powers, Joelle D

    2010-10-01

    Multidisciplinary school practitioners are clearly being called to use evidence-based practices from reputable sources such as their own professional organizations and federal agencies. In spite of this encouragement, most schools are not regularly employing empirically supported interventions. This paper further promotes the use of this approach by describing the theoretical support for evidence-based practice in schools. The ecological risk and resilience theoretical framework presented fills a gap in the literature and advocates for evidence-based practice in schools by illustrating how it can assist practitioners such as school social workers to better address problems associated with school failure. PMID:21082473

  15. Ecological Risk Assessment of Chemicals Migrated from a Recycled Plastic Product

    PubMed Central

    Roh, Ji-Yeon; Kim, Min-Hyuck; Kim, Woo Il; Kang, Young-Yeul; Shin, Sun Kyoung; Kim, Jong-Guk

    2013-01-01

    Objectives Potential environmental risks caused by chemicals that could be released from a recycled plastic product were assessed using a screening risk assessment procedure for chemicals in recycled products. Methods Plastic slope protection blocks manufactured from recycled plastics were chosen as model recycled products. Ecological risks caused by four model chemicals -di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb)- were assessed. Two exposure models were built for soil below the block and a hypothetic stream receiving runoff water. Based on the predicted no-effect concentrations for the selected chemicals and exposure scenarios, the allowable leaching rates from and the allowable contents in the recycled plastic blocks were also derived. Results Environmental risks posed by slope protection blocks were much higher in the soil compartment than in the hypothetic stream. The allowable concentrations in leachate were 1.0×10-4, 1.2×10-5, 9.5×10-3, and 5.3×10-3 mg/L for DEHP, DINP, Cd, and Pb, respectively. The allowable contents in the recycled products were 5.2×10-3, 6.0×10-4, 5.0×10-1, and 2.7×10-1 mg/kg for DEHP, DINP, Cd, and Pb, respectively. Conclusions A systematic ecological risk assessment approach for slope protection blocks would be useful for regulatory decisions for setting the allowable emission rates of chemical contaminants, although the method needs refinement. PMID:24303349

  16. Binational ecological risk assessment of bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) for the Great Lakes Basin.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cudmore, B.; Mandrak, N.E.; Dettmers, J.; Chapman, D.C.; Kolar, C.S.

    2012-01-01

    Bigheaded carps (Bighead and Silver carps) are considered a potential threat to the Great Lakes basin. A binational ecological risk assessment was conducted to provide scientifically defensible advice for managers and decision-makers in Canada and the United States. This risk assessment looked at the likelihood of arrival, survival, establishment, and spread of bigheaded carps to obtain an overall probability of introduction. Arrival routes assessed were physical connections and human-mediated releases. The risk assessment ranked physical connections (specifically the Chicago Area Waterway System) as the most likely route for arrival into the Great Lakes basin. Results of the risk assessment show that there is enough food and habitat for bigheaded carp survival in the Great Lakes, especially in Lake Erie and productive embayments in the other lakes. Analyses of tributaries around the Canadian Great Lakes and the American waters of Lake Erie indicate that there are many suitable tributaries for bigheaded carp spawning. Should bigheaded carps establish in the Great Lakes, their spread would not likely be limited and several ecological consequences can be expected to occur. These consequences include competition for planktonic food leading to reduced growth rates, recruitment and abundance of planktivores. Subsequently this would lead to reduced stocks of piscivores and abundance of fishes with pelagic, early life stages. Overall risk is highest for lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie, followed by Lake Ontario then Lake Superior. To avoid the trajectory of the invasion process and prevent or minimize anticipated consequences, it is important to continue to focus efforts on reducing the probability of introduction of these species at either the arrival, survival, establishment, or spread stage (depending on location).

  17. Ecological risks associated with the application of sewage sludge to non-agricultural ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.; Sample, B.E.; Luxmoore, R.J.; Tharp, M.L.; Barnthouse, L.W.; Daniel, F.B.

    1995-12-31

    The Clean Water Act of 1977 directed EPA to establish standards for use and disposal of sewage sludge (biosolids). The application of biosolids to non-agricultural lands is becoming increasingly important as a method of waste disposal. Ecological endpoints at the population, community, and/or ecosystem level have not previously been emphasized in the development of regulatory standards for municipal sewage sludge. This risk assessment focuses on terrestrial endpoints in four ecosystem types to which substantial quantities of sludge have been applied or are expected to be applied in the future: northwest Douglas-fir forest, southeastern loblolly pine plantation, eastern deciduous forest, and semi-arid rangeland. Conceptual models suitable for all ecosystems were developed that depict the links among assessment endpoints. Estimates of risks to wildlife from contaminants and simulations of impacts of nitrogen in sewage sludge on the structure and function of forest communities are presented in detail elsewhere at this conference. This project overview integrates these two assessment components and adds contaminant risks to plants, soil invertebrates, and microbial processes and risk of leaching and erosion altered by biosolids application. Management practices and empirical measures of bioavailability are considered for each ecosystem. Concentrations of constitutents of sewage sludge used for the analyses have been obtained from the 1988 USEPA National Sewage Sludge Survey. Existing regulatory standards that are primarily human health-based are also evaluated for the adequacy of protection of ecological systems and populations. Predicted impacts of sewage sludge applications are presented, even if they may be regarded as benefits rather than risks.

  18. Occurrence and ecological risks from fipronil in aquatic environments located within residential landscapes.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jun; Lu, Jian; Lu, Hai; Lin, Youjian; Wilson, P Chris

    2015-06-15

    This study investigated the occurrence of fipronil and its metabolites in aquatic environments in residentially-developed landscapes, including five canals and three retention ponds. Fipronil was detected at four of the sites, with concentrations of 0.5-207.3 ng L(-1). Fipronil sulfone and fipronil sulfide were detected at three sampling sites, with concentrations ranging from 0.46 to 57.75 and 0.40-26.92 ng L(-1), respectively. Multiple risk assessment methods were performed to characterize potential ecological risks, including deterministic screening and probabilistic risk assessment techniques. The deterministic method indicated no risk to certain biotic groups (i.e. aquatic plants, fish, molluscs, and algae-moss-fungi), but did indicate risks to larval insects and crustaceans. Results from the probabilistic risk assessment indicated significant ecological risks (acute and chronic) ranging from 0.75 to 58.9% and 3.9-35.0% when organisms were exposed to the maximum and median concentrations detected, respectively. The potentially affected fraction of species (PAF) likely to be acutely impacted ranged from 4.6 to 8.1% (fipronil), 0.2-1.6% (fipronil sulfone), and 1.9-3.1% (fipronil sulfide) in the ponds with frequent detectable concentrations. The PAF likely to be impacted at chronic toxicity levels ranged from 16.5 to 23.8% for fipronil. Joint probability curve analysis indicated that concentrations exceeded the LC50 of the most sensitive 5% of species 8.5-18.8% of the time at two of the sites with the most frequent detections. Using the more conservative NOEC/LOEC values, there was a 75-78% probability that concentrations were high enough to negatively affect the most sensitive 5% of species at the same two sites, indicating significant risks for chronic toxicity. JPCs indicated a ≤2.6% probability of fipronil sulfone exceeding the LC50 concentrations for the most sensitive 5% of species at the same two sites; and a 4.3-6.8% probability of fipronil sulfide

  19. A vibroseismic method for estimation of the ecological risk of powerful technogenic and natural explosions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khairetdinov, Marat; Voskoboynikova, Gyulnara; Sedukhina, Galina

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the results of experimental investigations of an original ecologically safe approach, proposed by the authors, to assessment of the geoecological risk from powerful mass explosions for the social and natural environment. In this approach, seismic vibrators are used as sources imitating explosions but having, in contrast to them, a much smaller power. Such sources can simultaneously excite in the medium seismic and acoustic (vibro-seismo-acoustic) oscillations with precision power and frequency-time characteristics. A comparative analysis of seismic and acoustic wave levels allows us to conclude that the major ecologically dangerous effect of ground-based test site explosions is due to acoustic waves whose energy is an order of magnitude greater than that of seismic waves. Calculated azimuthal dependencies of the focusing effect of acoustic waves in the infralow frequency range at different wind velocities and "source-receiver" distances by vibrator CV-40 were obtained . It was found that meteorological conditions have a greater influence on acoustic wave focusing in experiments that according to theoretical results. The effects of focusing of acoustic oscillations in space were revealed and estimated quantitatively. Specifically, it was proved that even at a weak wind of 2-4 m/s the ratio between the maximal and minimal acoustic wave levels depending on the azimuthal direction can reach 50. This can be a reason for great ecological hazard of technogenic explosions. The received results are new and original. The received results are new and original.

  20. Selected vaginal bacteria and risk of preterm birth: an ecological perspective.

    PubMed

    Wen, Ai; Srinivasan, Usha; Goldberg, Deborah; Owen, John; Marrs, Carl F; Misra, Dawn; Wing, Deborah A; Ponnaluri, Sreelatha; Miles-Jay, Arianna; Bucholz, Brigette; Abbas, Khadija; Foxman, Betsy

    2014-04-01

    We examined the community ecology of vaginal microbial samples taken from pregnant women with previous preterm birth experience to investigate whether targeted pathogenic and commensal bacteria are related to risk of preterm birth in the current pregnancy. We found a significant correlation between the community structure of selected bacteria and birth outcome, but the correlation differed among self-reported racial/ethnic groups. Using a community ordination analysis, we observed infrequent co-occurrence of Mycoplasma and bacteria vaginosis associated bacteria 3 (BVAB3) among black and Hispanic participants. In addition, we found that the vaginal bacteria responded differently in different racial/ethnic groups to modifications of maternal behavioral (ie, douching and smoking) and biological traits (ie, body mass index [BMI]). Even after accounting for these maternal behaviors and traits, the selected vaginal bacteria was significantly associated with preterm birth among black and Hispanic participants. By contrast, white participants did not exhibit significant correlation between microbial community and birth outcome. Findings from this study affirm the necessity of considering women's race/ethnicity when evaluating the correlation between vaginal bacteria and preterm birth. The study also illustrates the importance of studying the vaginal microbiota from an ecological perspective, and demonstrates the power of ecological community analysis to improve understanding of infectious disease. PMID:24273044

  1. Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF) for Assessment of Risks of Military Training and Testing to Natural Resources

    SciTech Connect

    Suter II, G.W.

    2003-06-18

    The objective of this research is to provide the DoD with a framework based on a systematic, risk-based approach to assess impacts for management of natural resources in an ecosystem context. This risk assessment framework is consistent with, but extends beyond, the EPA's ecological risk assessment framework, and specifically addresses DoD activities and management needs. MERAF is intended to be consistent with existing procedures for environmental assessment and planning with DoD testing and training. The intention is to supplement these procedures rather than creating new procedural requirements. MERAF is suitable for use for training and testing area assessment and management. It does not include human health risks nor does it address specific permitting or compliance requirements, although it may be useful in some of these cases. Use of MERAF fits into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process by providing a consistent and rigorous way of organizing and conducting the technical analysis for Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) (Sigal 1993; Carpenter 1995; Canter and Sadler 1997). It neither conflicts with, nor replaces, procedural requirements within the NEPA process or document management processes already in place within DoD.

  2. Using wildlife as receptor species: a landscape approach to ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Gaines, Karen F; Porter, Dwayne E; Dyer, Susan A; Wein, Gary R; Pinder, John E; Brisbin, I Lehr

    2004-10-01

    To assist risk assessors at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS), a Geographic Information System (GIS) application was developed to provide relevant information about specific receptor species of resident wildlife that can be used for ecological risk assessment. Information was obtained from an extensive literature review of publications and reports on vertebrate- and contaminant-related research since 1954 and linked to a GIS. Although this GIS is a useful tool for risk assessors because the data quality is high, it does not describe the species' site-wide spatial distribution or life history, which may be crucial when developing a risk assessment. Specific receptor species on the SRS were modeled to provide an estimate of an overall distribution (probability of being in an area). Each model is a stand-alone tool consisting of algorithms independent of the GIS data layers to which it is applied and therefore is dynamic and will respond to changes such as habitat disturbances and natural succession. This paper describes this modeling process and demonstrates how these resource selection models can then be used to produce spatially explicit exposure estimates. This approach is a template for other large federal facilities to establish a framework for site-specific risk assessments that use wildlife species as endpoints. PMID:15747408

  3. Revealing ecological risks of priority endocrine disrupting chemicals in four marine protected areas in Hong Kong through an integrative approach.

    PubMed

    Xu, Elvis Genbo; Ho, Philip Wing-Lok; Tse, Zero; Ho, Shu-Leong; Leung, Kenneth Mei Yee

    2016-08-01

    Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Hong Kong are situated in close proximity to urbanized areas, and inevitably influenced by wastewater discharges and antifouling biocides leached from vessels. Hence, marine organisms inhabiting these MPAs are probably at risk. Here an integrative approach was employed to comprehensively assess ecological risks of eight priority endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in four MPAs of Hong Kong. We quantified their concentrations in environmental and biota samples collected in different seasons during 2013-2014, while mussels (Septifer virgatus) and semi-permeable membrane devices were deployed to determine the extent of accumulation of the EDCs. Extracts from the environmental samples were subjected to the yeast estrogen screen and a novel human cell-based catechol-O-methyltransferase ELISA to evaluate their estrogenic activities. The results indicated ecological risks of EDCs in the Cape d'Aguilar Marine Reserve. This integrated approach can effectively evaluate ecological risks of EDCs through linking their concentrations to biological effects. PMID:27179329

  4. Wastewater treatment plants as chemical observatories to forecast ecological and human health risks of manmade chemicals.

    PubMed

    Venkatesan, Arjun K; Halden, Rolf U

    2014-01-01

    Thousands of chemicals have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), but prioritizing them concerning ecological and human health risks is challenging. We explored the use of sewage treatment plants as chemical observatories to conveniently identify persistent and bioaccumulative CECs, including toxic organohalides. Nationally representative samples of sewage sludge (biosolids) were analyzed for 231 CECs, of which 123 were detected. Ten of the top 11 most abundant CECs in biosolids were found to be high-production volume chemicals, eight of which representing priority chemicals, including three flame retardants, three surfactants and two antimicrobials. A comparison of chemicals detected in nationally representative biological specimens from humans and municipal biosolids revealed 70% overlap. This observed co-occurrence of contaminants in both matrices suggests that the analysis of sewage sludge can inform human health risk assessments by providing current information on toxic exposures in human populations and associated body burdens of harmful environmental pollutants. PMID:24429544

  5. Wastewater Treatment Plants as Chemical Observatories to Forecast Ecological and Human Health Risks of Manmade Chemicals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venkatesan, Arjun K.; Halden, Rolf U.

    2014-01-01

    Thousands of chemicals have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), but prioritizing them concerning ecological and human health risks is challenging. We explored the use of sewage treatment plants as chemical observatories to conveniently identify persistent and bioaccumulative CECs, including toxic organohalides. Nationally representative samples of sewage sludge (biosolids) were analyzed for 231 CECs, of which 123 were detected. Ten of the top 11 most abundant CECs in biosolids were found to be high-production volume chemicals, eight of which representing priority chemicals, including three flame retardants, three surfactants and two antimicrobials. A comparison of chemicals detected in nationally representative biological specimens from humans and municipal biosolids revealed 70% overlap. This observed co-occurrence of contaminants in both matrices suggests that the analysis of sewage sludge can inform human health risk assessments by providing current information on toxic exposures in human populations and associated body burdens of harmful environmental pollutants.

  6. Wastewater Treatment Plants as Chemical Observatories to Forecast Ecological and Human Health Risks of Manmade Chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Venkatesan, Arjun K.; Halden, Rolf U.

    2014-01-01

    Thousands of chemicals have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), but prioritizing them concerning ecological and human health risks is challenging. We explored the use of sewage treatment plants as chemical observatories to conveniently identify persistent and bioaccumulative CECs, including toxic organohalides. Nationally representative samples of sewage sludge (biosolids) were analyzed for 231 CECs, of which 123 were detected. Ten of the top 11 most abundant CECs in biosolids were found to be high-production volume chemicals, eight of which representing priority chemicals, including three flame retardants, three surfactants and two antimicrobials. A comparison of chemicals detected in nationally representative biological specimens from humans and municipal biosolids revealed 70% overlap. This observed co-occurrence of contaminants in both matrices suggests that the analysis of sewage sludge can inform human health risk assessments by providing current information on toxic exposures in human populations and associated body burdens of harmful environmental pollutants. PMID:24429544

  7. Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment Work Plan Mud Pit Release Sites, Amchitka Island, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    DOE /NV

    2001-03-12

    This Work Plan describes the approach that will be used to conduct human health and ecological risk assessments for Amchitka Island, Alaska, which was utilized as an underground nuclear test site between 1965 and 1971. During this period, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (now the U.S. Department of Energy) conducted two nuclear tests (known as Long Shot and Milrow) and assisted the U.S. Department of Defense with a third test (known as Cannikin). Amchitka Island is approximately 42 miles long and located 1,340 miles west-southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, in the western end of the Aleutian Island archipelago in a group of islands known as the Rat Islands. Historically including deep drilling operations required large volumes of drilling mud, a considerable amount of which was left on the island in exposed mud pits after testing was completed. Therefore, there is a need for drilling mud pit remediation and risk assessment of historical mud pit releases. The scope of this work plan is to document the environmental objectives and the proposed technical site investigation strategies that will be utilized for the site characterization of the constituents in soil, surface water, and sediment at these former testing sites. Its goal is the collection of data in sufficient quantity and quality to determine current site conditions, support a risk assessment for the site surfaces, and evaluate what further remedial action is required to achieve permanent closure of these three sites that will protect both human health and the environment. Suspected compounds of potential ecological concern for investigative analysis at these sites include diesel-range organics, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, volatile organic compounds, and chromium. The results of these characterizations and risk assessments will be used to evaluate corrective action alternatives to include no further action, the implementation of institutional controls, capping on site, or off-sit e

  8. The ecological risk of heavy metals in sediment from the Danube Delta.

    PubMed

    Gati, Gabriel; Pop, Cristian; Brudaşcă, Florin; Gurzău, Anca Elena; Spînu, Marina

    2016-05-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the sediment contamination with heavy metals and to investigate accordingly the ecological risk posed in the SE of the Danube Delta. Sediments are important in assessing the contamination as they act as reservoirs, transporters and contamination sources. Sediment samples were collected and analysed for lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury, revealing levels higher than the background, especially for cadmium and mercury (Pb > As > Cd > Hg). Concentrations exceeding the probable effect limit were noticed for arsenic and mercury. The contamination indexes describe the study area as having almost half of the samples as contaminated (pollution load index-PLI 1.04), however the contamination is mostly low-to moderate (modified contamination degree-mCd 1.36). The sediment contamination poses mostly a low ecological risk (RI 94.8). The sediment quality guideline quotient (SQG-Q 0.29) describes a moderate impact, while the probable effect concentration quotient (PEC-Q 0.16) confirms that there are no levels likely to affect the aquatic biota. In our study area, the main Branch of the Danube River and the Secondary Delta are the most affected by contamination, while the narrow, reed abundant channels as the preferred habitat of most aquatic organisms, have a low contamination level. PMID:26944291

  9. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in sediment in the upper reach of the Yangtze River.

    PubMed

    Yi, Yu-Jun; Sun, Jie; Tang, Cai-Hong; Zhang, Shang-Hong

    2016-06-01

    Heavy metal pollution in China's Yangtze River basin has been of high concern. The concentrations of heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Hg, Cu, Zn, Pb, and As) in the sediment were investigated in the upper reaches of the river, China. Sediment quality guidelines (SQGs), an enrichment factor (EF), an index of geo-accumulation (I geo), and potential ecological risk were used to evaluate the extent of contamination from the heavy metal concentrations in the sediment. Among the seven metals, a noticeable degree of pollution was seen only in the case of Cd and Cd posed a considerable ecological risk at some sample sites. The Pearson correlation analysis was implemented to determine the relationships among the heavy metals, and principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to determine the most common pollution sources. The elements As, Cd, Pb, and Zn were grouped together, and the anthropogenic sources of these heavy metals were closely related. The sites with higher Cd concentrations were mainly confined to the river's reach near industrial areas. Controlling the pollution sources will effectively reduce the pollutant concentrations in the sediment. PMID:26903129

  10. Ecological risk assessment in a large river-reservoir. 5: Aerial insectivorous wildlife

    SciTech Connect

    Baron, L.A.; Sample, B.E.; Suter, G.W. II

    1999-04-01

    Risks to aerial insectivores (e.g., rough-winged swallows, little brown bats, and endangered gray bats) were assessed for the remedial investigation of the Clinch River/Poplar Creek (CR/PC) system. Adult mayflies and sediment were collected from three locations and analyzed for contaminants. Sediment-to-mayfly contaminant uptake factors were generated from these data and used to estimate contaminant concentrations in mayflies from 13 additional locations. Contaminants of potential ecological concern (COPECs) were identified by comparing exposure estimates generated using point estimates of parameter values to NOAELs. To incorporate the variation in exposure parameters and to provide a better estimate of the potential exposure, the exposure model was recalculated using Monte Carlo methods. The potential for adverse effects was estimated based on the comparison of exposure distribution and the LOAEL. The results of this assessment suggested that population-level effects to rough-winged swallows and little brown bats are considered unlikely. However, because gray bats are endangered, effects on individuals may be significant from foraging in limited subreaches of the CR/PC system. This assessment illustrates the advantage of an iterative approach to ecological risk assessments, using fewer conservative assumptions and more realistic modeling of exposure.

  11. Importance of environmental and biomass dynamics in predicting chemical exposure in ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Morselli, Melissa; Semplice, Matteo; De Laender, Frederik; Van den Brink, Paul J; Di Guardo, Antonio

    2015-09-01

    In ecological risk assessment, exposure is generally modelled assuming static conditions, herewith neglecting the potential role of emission, environmental and biomass dynamics in affecting bioavailable concentrations. In order to investigate the influence of such dynamics on predicted bioavailable concentrations, the spatially-resolved dynamic model "ChimERA fate" was developed, incorporating macrophyte and particulate/dissolved organic carbon (POC/DOC) dynamics into a water-sediment system. An evaluation against three case studies revealed a satisfying model performance. Illustrative simulations then highlighted the potential spatio-temporal variability of bioavailable concentrations after a pulsed emission of four chemicals in a system composed of a pond connected to its inflow and outflow streams. Changes in macrophyte biomass and POC/DOC levels caused exposure variations which were up to a factor of 4.5 in time and even more significant (several orders of magnitude) in space, especially for highly hydrophobic chemicals. ChimERA fate thus revealed to be a useful tool to investigate such variations and to identify those environmental and ecological conditions in which risk is expected to be highest. PMID:25967479

  12. Distribution, sources and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments from Lake Taihu, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Hongbin; Gao, Yongnian; Fan, Chengxin

    2011-10-01

    The distribution, sources and ecological risk of heavy metals in surface sediments from Lake Taihu were studied. Results showed that the measured heavy metals had varied spatial distribution patterns, indicating that they had complex origins and controlling factors. Pearson's correlation analysis revealed that the total phosphorus and the loss on ignition were positively correlated with the measured metals except Cd. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis demonstrated that Hg, Cu, Cr, Cd and Pb might originate from domestic sewage and industrial wastewater, whereas As predominantly originated from natural processes. Potential ecological risk indices indicated that sediment from Wuli Lake, Gonghu Bay and the Northwest Area suffered high pollution, whereas other areas of Lake Taihu were moderately polluted. A comparison of metal levels with the effects range low (ERL) and effects range median (ERM) showed that metals exceeded their corresponding ERL limit at 13.6-72.3% (72.3% for As, 52.4% for Pb, 27.7% for Cu, 22.8% for Cd, 16.0 for Hg and 13.6% for Cr) of the sites investigated. Moreover, 3.90% and 0.50% of the sites sampled exceeded the ERM thresholds for Hg and Pb, respectively.

  13. Toxicological foundations of ecological risk assessment: biomarker development and interpretation based on laboratory and wildlife species.

    PubMed Central

    Dickerson, R L; Hooper, M J; Gard, N W; Cobb, G P; Kendall, R J

    1994-01-01

    Ecological risk assessments based on chemical residue analysis and species demographics tend to ignore the bioavailability and bioaccumulation of the chemicals of concern. This study describes the incorporation of mechanistically based biomarkers into an ecological risk assessment of a poly-cyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated site. A combination of soil residue analysis, tissue residue analysis, biomarkers in one-site trapped animals and biomarkers in animals confined to enclosures was used. In particular, the use of captured deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) for these studies is compared to the use of laboratory-raised deer mice placed in enclosures. This study indicates that the higher degree of variability in the responses of wild deer mice make the use of enclosure studies advantageous. Positive control studies performed by dosing laboratory-raised deer mice with the same PAHs as found on the site were used to validate this approach. These studies indicate that immune suppression occurred at PAH concentrations an order of magnitude below those required for the induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase activity. PMID:7713037

  14. Assessment of Ecological Risk of Heavy Metal Contamination in Coastal Municipalities of Montenegro

    PubMed Central

    Mugoša, Boban; Đurović, Dijana; Nedović-Vuković, Mirjana; Barjaktarović-Labović, Snežana; Vrvić, Miroslav

    2016-01-01

    Assessment of heavy metal concentrations in the soil samples of urban parks and playgrounds is very important for the evaluation of potential risks for residents, especially children. Until recently, there has been very little data about urban parks pollution in Montenegro. To evaluate the sources of potential contamination and concentration of heavy metals, soil samples from coastal urban parks and kindergartens of Montenegro were collected. Based on the heavy metal concentrations, multivariate analysis combined with geochemical approaches showed that soil samples in coastal areas of Montenegro had mean Pb and Cd concentrations that were over two times higher than the background values, respectively. Based on principal component analysis (PCA), soil pollution with Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn is contributed by anthropogenic sources. Results for Cr in the surface soils were primarily derived from natural sources. Calculation of different ecological contamination factors showed that Cd is the primary contribution to ecological risk index (RI) origins from anthropogenic, industry, and urbanization sources. This data provides evidence about soil pollution in coastal municipalities of Montenegro. Special attention should be paid to this problem in order to continue further research and to consider possible ways of remediation of the sites where contamination has been observed. PMID:27043601

  15. Assessment of Ecological Risk of Heavy Metal Contamination in Coastal Municipalities of Montenegro.

    PubMed

    Mugoša, Boban; Đurović, Dijana; Nedović-Vuković, Mirjana; Barjaktarović-Labović, Snežana; Vrvić, Miroslav

    2016-01-01

    Assessment of heavy metal concentrations in the soil samples of urban parks and playgrounds is very important for the evaluation of potential risks for residents, especially children. Until recently, there has been very little data about urban parks pollution in Montenegro. To evaluate the sources of potential contamination and concentration of heavy metals, soil samples from coastal urban parks and kindergartens of Montenegro were collected. Based on the heavy metal concentrations, multivariate analysis combined with geochemical approaches showed that soil samples in coastal areas of Montenegro had mean Pb and Cd concentrations that were over two times higher than the background values, respectively. Based on principal component analysis (PCA), soil pollution with Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn is contributed by anthropogenic sources. Results for Cr in the surface soils were primarily derived from natural sources. Calculation of different ecological contamination factors showed that Cd is the primary contribution to ecological risk index (RI) origins from anthropogenic, industry, and urbanization sources. This data provides evidence about soil pollution in coastal municipalities of Montenegro. Special attention should be paid to this problem in order to continue further research and to consider possible ways of remediation of the sites where contamination has been observed. PMID:27043601

  16. Geomatic techniques for assessing ecological and health risk at U.S. Department of Energy facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Regens, J.L.; White, L.; Albers, B.J.; Purdy, C.

    1994-12-31

    Hazardous substances, including radionuclides, heavy metals, and chlorinated hydrocarbons, pose unique challenges in terms of environmental restoration and waste management, especially in aquatic environments. When stored, used or disposed of improperly, hazardous materials including transuranic wastes, high level wastes, low level wastes, greater than class C wastes, mixed wastes or chemical wastes can contaminate an array of environmental receptors ranging from soils, sediments, groundwater to surface water. Depending on the specific hazardous substance and site attributes, assessing ecological and health risk as a basis for environmental restoration and waste management can be a complex, problematic activity. This is basis for environmental restoration and waste management can be a complex, problematic activity. This is particularly true for the major Defense Programs facilities managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The Environmental Restoration (ER) program of DOE was initiated in 1987 to consolidate and coordinate those regulatory activities designed to identify and remediate sites at installations contaminated with radioactive, chemical or mixed wastes. To supply the tools necessary for defining, describing, and characterizing the nature of contaminants within the DOE complex and identifying alternative post-remediation land use options, DOE has implemented a program for the research and development of spatial data technologies to aid in assessing ecological and health risk.

  17. SERAFM: AN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR EVALUATING WILDLIFE EXPOSURE RISK ASSOCIATED WITH MERCURY-CONTAMINATED SEDIMENT IN LAKE AND RIVER SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A spreadsheet model, SERAFM, Spreadsheet-based Ecological Risk Assessment for the Fate of Mercury, was developed that can be used as a risk assessment tool for mercury contaminated ecosystems. In this tool, process-based understanding of the chemical, physical, and biological pro...

  18. Development of Triad approach based system for ecological risk assessment for contaminated areas of Kyrgyzstan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kydralieva, Kamilia; Uzbekov, Beksultan; Khudaibergenova, Bermet; Terekhova, Vera; Jorobekova, Sharipa

    2014-05-01

    This research is aimed to develop a high-effective system of an ecological risk assessment and risk-based decision making for anthropogenic ecosystems, with particular focus on the soils of the Kyrgyz Republic. The study is focused on the integration of Triad data including chemical, biological and ecotoxicological soil markers to estimate the potential risk from soils of highly anthropized areas impacted by deposition of different pollutants from mining operation. We focus on technogenic areas of Kyrgyzstan, the former uranium-producing province. Triad-based ecological risk assessment for technogenic sites are not currently used in Kyrgyzstan. However, the vitality of such research is self-evident. There are about 50 tailing dumps and more than 80 tips of radioactive waste which are formed as a result of uranium and complex ores (mercury, antimony, lead, cadmium and etc) mining around the unfavorable aforementioned places. According to the Mining Wastes' Tailings and Fills Rehabilitation Centre established in 1999 by a special Government's Resolution, one of the most ecologically dangerous uranium tailings resides in Kadzhi-Say. Although uranium processing is no longer practiced in Kadzhi-Say, a large number of open landfills and uranium ore storages still remain abandoned at the vicinity of this settlement. These neglected sites have enormous problems associated with soil erosion known as "technogenic deserts". The upper soil horizons are deprived of humus and vegetation, which favor the formation of low-buffer landscapes in the zones of maximum contamination. As a result, most of these areas are not re-cultivated and remain in critical environmental condition (Bykovchenko, et al., 2005; Tukhvatshin, 2005; Suranova, 2006). Triad data for assessing environmental risk and biological vulnerability at contaminated sites will be integrated. The following Triad-based parameters will be employed: 1) chemical soil analyses (revealing the presence of potentially dangerous

  19. Assessing and classifying plant-related ecological risk under water management scenarios in China's Yellow River Delta Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhifeng; Qin, Yan; Yang, Wei

    2013-11-30

    The Yellow River Delta is one of the most vigorous delta areas in the world. The wetlands in this delta are ecologically important due to their hydrologic attributes and their role as ecotones between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In recent years, the Yellow River Delta Wetlands have gradually shrunk and degraded due to inadequate environmental flows. Water managers have attempted to balance the needs of the environment with the need to protect water supplies for agriculture and urban needs. Despite the need for environmental protection, a broad-scale, integrated way to characterize the degree of ecological stress in the wetlands has been lacking to date. To provide a framework for evaluating various potential water regimes, we developed a model that can be used to estimate the ecological risk for wetland plants, and used the model to determine the degree of ecological risk for different soil moisture conditions based on an ecological value at risk model that we developed and the fuzzy clustering method. The results revealed the spatial distribution of areas with high, medium, or low risks associated with water stress in the study area. These results can serve as a preliminary template to guide managers in their evaluation of water stress-related risk. PMID:24095790

  20. A comparative ecological risk assessment of Orimulsion and Fuel Oil No. 6 in the coastal marine environment

    SciTech Connect

    Harwell, M.; Ault, J.; Gentile, J.

    1995-12-31

    The conduct of comparative ecological risk assessments (CERA) resulting from the release of anthropogenic stressors into coastal marine environments requires theoretical and methodological innovations to integrate contaminant exposure with populations at risk over time and space scales. Consequently, predicted risks must be scaled to allow comparisons of relative ecological impacts in three physical dimensions plus time. This study was designed to compare the risks from hypothetical spills of Orimulsion and Fuel Oil No. 6 into the Tampa Bay ecosystem. The CERA framework used in this study integrates numerical hydrodynamic and transport-and-fate, toxicological, and biological models with extensive spatially explicit databases that describe the distributions of critical species and habitats. The presentation of the comparative ecological risks is facilitated by visualization and GIS techniques to allow realistic comparisons of toxicant exposures and their co-occurrence with key biological resources over time and across the seascape. A scaling methodology is presented that uses toxicological data as scalars for graphically representing the ecological effects associated with exposure levels for each scenario simulation. The CERA model serves as an interactive tool for assessing the relative ecological consequences of a range of potential exposure scenarios and for forecasting the longer-term productivity of critical biological resources and habitats that are key to ecosystem structure and function.

  1. Assessing Freshwater Ecosystem Service Risk over Ecological, Socioeconomic, and Cultural Gradients: Problem Space Characterization and Methodology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, T. C.; Villamizar, S. R.; Conde, D.; Rusak, J.; Reid, B.; Astorga, A.; Perillo, G. M.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zilio, M.; London, S.; Velez, M.; Hoyos, N.; Escobar, J.

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater ecosystems and the services they provide are under increasing anthropogenic pressure at local (e.g., irrigation diversions, wastewater discharge) and global scales (e.g., climate change, global trading). The impact depends on an ecosystem's sensitivity, which is determined by its geophysical and ecological settings, and the population and activities in its surrounding watershed. Given the importance of ecosystem services, it is critical that we improve our ability to identify and understand changes in aquatic ecosystems, and translate them to risk of service loss. Furthermore, to inspire changes in human behavior, it is equally critical that we learn to communicate risk, and pose risk mitigation strategies, in a manner acceptable to a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Quantifying the nature and timing of the risk is difficult because (1) we often fail to understand the connection between anthropogenic pressures and the timing and extent of ecosystem changes; and (2) the concept of risk is inherently coupled to human perception, which generally differs with cultural and socio-economic conditions. In this study, we endeavor to assess aquatic ecosystem risks across an international array of six study sites. The challenge is to construct a methodology capable of capturing the marked biogeographical, socioeconomic, and cultural differences among the sites, which include: (1) Muskoka River watershed in humid continental Ontario, Canada; (2) Lower San Joaquin River, an impounded snow-fed river in semi-arid Central California; (3) Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, a tropical coastal lagoon in Colombia; (4) Senguer River basin in the semi-arid part of Argentina; (5) Laguna de Rocha watershed in humid subtropical Uruguay; and (6) Palomas Lake complex in oceanic Chilean Patagonia. Results will include a characterization of the experimental gradient over the six sites, an overview of the risk assessment methodology, and preliminary findings for several of the sites.

  2. The accumulation of heavy metals in agricultural land and the associated potential ecological risks in Shenzhen, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jiansheng; Song, Jing; Li, Weifeng; Zheng, Maokun

    2016-01-01

    Accumulation of heavy metals in agricultural land and their ecological risks are key issues in soil security studies. This study investigated the concentrations of six heavy metals--copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), and chromium (Cr) in Shenzhen's agricultural lands and examined the potential hazards and possible sources of these metals. Eighty-two samples from agricultural topsoil were collected. Potential ecological risk index was used to calculate the potential risk of heavy metals. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to explore pollution sources of the metals. Finally, Kriging was used to predict the spatial distribution of the metals' potential ecological risks. The concentrations of the heavy metals were higher than their background values. Most of them presented little potential ecological risk, except for the heavy metal cadmium (Cd). Four districts (Longgang, Longhua, Pingshan, and Dapeng) exhibited some degree of potential risk, which tended to have more industries and road networks. Three major sources of heavy metals included geochemical processes, industrial pollutants, and traffic pollution. The heavy metal Cd was the main contributor to the pollution in agricultural land during the study period. It also poses the potential hazard for the future. High potential risk is closely related to industrial pollution and transportation. Since the 1980s, the sources of heavy metals have evolved from parent rock weathering, erosion, degradation of organics, and mineralization to human disturbances resulting in chemical changes in the soil. PMID:26370814

  3. Ecology of Alcohol and Other Drug Use: Helping Black High-Risk Youth. Proceedings of the Howard University School of Human Ecology Forum (Washington, D.C., October 26-27, 1987). OSAP Prevention Monograph-7.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oyemade, Ura Jean, Ed.; Brandon-Monye, Deloris, Ed.

    Five plenary session presentations and summaries of 10 panel sessions held at a forum entitled "The Ecology of Substance Abuse: Toward Primary Prevention among High-Risk Youth" are provided in this document, which focuses on black youth at high risk for alcohol and drug problems. Experts describe a comprehensive ecological approach to addressing…

  4. The value of ecologic studies: mercury concentration in ambient air and the risk of autism.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, K Stephen; Palmer, Raymond F; Stein, Zachary

    2011-01-01

    Ecologic studies of the spatial relationship between disease and sources of environmental contamination can help to ascertain the degree of risk to populations from contamination and to inform legislation to ameliorate the risk. Population risks associated with persistent low-level mercury exposure have recently begun to be of concern and current reports implicate environmental mercury as a potential contributor in the etiology of various developmental and neurodegenerative diseases including autism and Alzheimer's disease. In this demonstration of preliminary findings, we demonstrate for Bexar County Texas and Santa Clara County California, the hypothesis that the spatial structure of the occurrence of autism has a positive co-variation with the spatial structure of the distribution of mercury in ambient air. The relative risk of autism is greater in the geographic areas of higher levels of ambient mercury. We find that the higher levels of ambient mercury are geographically associated with point sources of mercury emission, such as coal-fired power plants and cement plants with coal-fired kilns. Although this does not indicate a cause, these results should not be dismissed, but rather seen as a preliminary step for generating a hypothesis for further investigation. PMID:21905454

  5. Use of RAMAS to estimate ecological risk: Two fish species case studies

    SciTech Connect

    Ferson, S.; Akcakaya, R.; Ginzburg, L.; Krause, M. )

    1991-02-01

    RAMAS, (Risk Analysis Management Alternative System), a microcomputer simulation package for stochastic age-structured population models, was used to assess the population-level ecological risks associated with anthropogenic mortality in two species of fish. RAMAS facilitated comparison of the effects of fishing and entrainment/impingement mortality on Hudson River striped bass populations. The highest likely mortality levels associated with power generation did not yield increases in risk of overall population decline as large as did the pressure from sport fishing alone (33 in. limit, 5/day). Qualitative differences associated with the life stages affected by these industries account for most of the variation observed. Simulations performed under a range of assumptions about density-dependent parameters for the striped bass population gave similar conclusions. However, strengthening density dependence decreased the probability of quasi-extinction slightly. Density-dependent stochastic demographic modeling of a bluegill population in selenium (Se) affected power plant cooling lake in North Carolina revealed intrinsic cycling of population abundance. This cycling increases the risk that population abundances will fall to low levels in natural as well as anthropogenically impacted populations. The dynamics of bluegills affected by Se contrasts sharply with that of the undisturbed fish. Continuation of the Se discharge will most likely result in the suppression of the affected bluegill population. The bluegill population, however, could recover to natural levels of abundance within two or three generations if Se discharge were significantly curtailed. 9 refs., 29 figs., 7 tabs.

  6. Marine ecological-risk assessment pilot study for Allen Harbor, Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Professional paper

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, R.K.; Munns, W.R.; Mueller, C.; Nelson, W.G.; Pesch, G.G.

    1992-01-01

    An ecological risk assessment framework was applied to characterize aquatic risks associated with hazardous waste disposal at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Davisville, Rhode Island. An initial screening phase (I) assessed exposure and related that exposure to toxicological endpoints for bivalves, amphipods, sea urchins, and biomarker assays. Results showed little evidence of major contamination in sediments or tissues except for relatively high levels of polychlorinated biphenols (PBC), butyltins compounds (TBT), and fecal coliforms observed in Allen Harbor. Effects were detected in mussel physiology, sea urchin fertilization and development, biomarker responses, and soft shell clam histology. Possible sources of contamination and toxicity from the landfill leachate, surface runoff, and recreational boating were examined using a temporaland spatial sampling scheme. Chemical and toxicological information obtained implicated all three sources as affecting Allen Harbor water quality. Laboratory bioassays of landfill exposure media, employing a variety of marine species using acute and chronic endpoints, are being used to provide data for the development of an exposure-response model for risk to the marine environment. The model will define current risk and provide an interpretive framework for long-term monitoring.

  7. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Field Office Environmental Restoration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W. II; Redfearn, A.; White, R.K.; Shaw, R.A.

    1992-07-01

    This document is intended to supplement exiting US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance for ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites by providing guidance that is more specific and more tailored to US Department of Energy sites than the guidance available from the EPA. However, it is a conceptual strategy document and does not include specific guidance on data, assumptions, and models. That detailed guidance is under development and will be presented in subsequent documents. Ecological risk assessments are equal to human health risk assessments in regulatory importance and can use many of the same data and some of the same estimation methods. However, they also have peculiar data needs and methods. Ecological risk assessments begin with an initial scoping phase, termed hazard definition, that characterizes the sources, the potentially environment, and the assessment endpoints. In the subsequent measurement and estimation phase, in which data are obtained concerning source of the endpoint biota to the contaminants and the effects of those exposures, and assumptions and models are used to relate the data to the desired exposure and effects parameters. Finally, in an integration phase, termed risk characterization, the various exposure and effects estimates are combined to infer the existence, cause, magnitude, and extent of effects of contaminants on the ecological endpoints. This phase is much more complicated for ecological risk assessments than for human health assessments because more types of data are available. Ecological risk assessments estimate effects using laboratory toxicity test results, like human health assessments, but also use results of ambient toxicity tests and biological surveys.

  8. Demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF): Apache Longbow - Hell Missile Test at Yuma Proving Ground

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.

    2002-05-09

    This ecological risk assessment for a testing program at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, is a demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF; Suter et al. 2001). The demonstration is intended to illustrate how risk assessment guidance concerning-generic military training and testing activities and guidance concerning a specific type of activity (e.g., low-altitude aircraft overflights) may be implemented at a military installation. MERAF was developed with funding from the Strategic Research and Development Program (SERDP) of the Department of Defense. Novel aspects of MERAF include: (1) the assessment of risks from physical stressors using an ecological risk assessment framework, (2) the consideration of contingent or indirect effects of stressors (e.g., population-level effects that are derived from habitat or hydrological changes), (3) the integration of risks associated with different component activities or stressors, (4) the emphasis on quantitative risk estimates and estimates of uncertainty, and (5) the modularity of design, permitting components of the framework to be used in various military risk assessments that include similar activities. The particular subject of this report is the assessment of ecological risks associated with a testing program at Cibola Range of Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. The program involves an Apache Longbow helicopter firing Hellfire missiles at moving targets, i.e., M60-A1 tanks. Thus, the three component activities of the Apache-Hellfire test were: (1) helicopter overflight, (2) missile firing, and (3) tracked vehicle movement. The demonstration was limited, to two ecological endpoint entities (i.e., potentially susceptible and valued populations or communities): woody desert wash communities and mule deer populations. The core assessment area is composed of about 126 km{sup 2} between the Chocolate and Middle Mountains. The core time of the program is a three-week period, including fourteen days of

  9. Determining significant endpoints for ecological risk analyses. 1998 annual progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Hinton, T.G.; Congdon, J.; Scott, D.; Rowe, C.; Bedford, J.; Whicker, W.

    1998-06-01

    'The goal of this report is to establish a protocol for assessing risks to non-human populations exposed to environmental stresses typically found on many DOE sites. The authors think that they can achieve this by using novel biological dosimeters in controlled, manipulative dose/effects experiments, and by coupling changes in metabolic rates and energy allocation patterns to meaningful population response variables (such as age-specific survivorship, reproductive output, age at maturity and longevity). This research is needed to determine the relevancy of sublethal cellular damage to the performance of individuals and populations exposed to chronic, low-level radiation, and radiation with concomitant exposure to chemicals. They believe that a scientifically defensible endpoint for measuring ecological risks can only be determined once its understood the extent to which molecular damage from contaminant exposure is detrimental at the individual and population levels of biological organization. The experimental facility will allow them to develop a credible assessment tool for appraising ecological risks, and to evaluate the effects of radionuclide/chemical synergisms on non-human species. This report summarizes work completed midway of a 3-year project that began in November 1996. Emphasis to date has centered on three areas: (1) developing a molecular probe to measure stable chromosomal aberrations known as reciprocal translocations, (2) constructing an irradiation facility where the statistical power inherent in replicated mesocosms can be used to address the response of non-human organisms to exposures from low levels of radiation and metal contaminants, and (3) quantifying responses of organisms living in contaminated mesocosms and field sites.'

  10. Uncertainty analysis in regulatory programs: Application factors versus probabilistic methods in ecological risk assessments of chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, D.R.J.; Elliot, B.

    1995-12-31

    In assessments of toxic chemicals, sources of uncertainty may be dealt with by two basic approaches: application factors and probabilistic methods. In regulatory programs, the most common approach is to calculate a quotient by dividing the predicted environmental concentration (PEC) by the predicted no effects concentration (PNEC). PNECs are usually derived from laboratory bioassays, thus requiring the use of application factors to account for uncertainty introduced by the extrapolation from the laboratory to the field, and from measurement to assessment endpoints. Using this approach, often with worst-case assumptions about exposure and species sensitivities, the hope is that chemicals with a quotient of less than one will have a very low probability of causing adverse ecological effects. This approach has received widespread criticism recently, particularly because it tends to be overly conservative and does not adequately estimate the magnitude and probability of causing adverse effects. On the plus side, application factors are simple to use, accepted worldwide, and may be used with limited effects data in a quotient calculation. The alternative approach is to use probabilistic methods such as Monte Carlo simulation, Baye`s theorem or other techniques to estimate risk. Such methods often have rigorous statistical assumptions and may have large data requirements. Stating an effect in probabilistic terms, however, forces the identification of sources of uncertainty and quantification of their impact on risk estimation. In this presentation the authors discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using application factors and probabilistic methods in dealing with uncertainty in ecological risk assessments of chemicals. Based on this analysis, recommendations are presented to assist in choosing the appropriate approach for different types of regulatory programs dealing with toxic chemicals.

  11. [Heavy metal pollution characteristics and ecological risk analysis for soil in Phyllostachys praecox stands of Lin'an].

    PubMed

    Fang, Xiao-bo; Shi, Han; Liao, Xin-feng; Lou, Zhong; Zhou, Lyu-yan; Yu, Hai-xia; Yao, Lin; Sun, Li-ping

    2015-06-01

    An investigation was carried out in an attempt to reveal the characteristics of heavy metals contamination in the soils of Phyllostachys praecox forest in Lin' an. Based on the concentrations of Hg, As, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Cr, Ni, Co and Mn in 160 topsoil samples, the pollution status and ecological risks of heavy metals in the soils were assessed by single factor pollution index, Nemerow integrated pollution index and Hankanson potential ecological risk index. The spatial variability of heavy metal concentrations in the soils closely related to the distribution of traffic, industrial and livestock pollution sources. The average concentrations of Hg, As, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Cr, Ni, Co and Mn in the soils were 0.16, 7.41, 34.36, 87.98, 103.98, 0.26, 59.12, 29.56, 11.44 and 350.26 mg · kg(-1), respectively. Pb, Cd, Zn and Cu concentrations were as 2.89, 1.70, 1.12 and 1.12 times as the background values of soil in Zhejiang Province, respectively. But their concentrations were all lower than the threshold values of the National Environmental Quality Standard for Soil (GB 15618-1995). The average single factor pollution index revealed that the level of heavy metal pollution in the soils was in order of Pb>Cd>Cu= Zn>Hg>As>Ni>Co>Cr>Mn. Pb pollution was of moderate level while Cd, Cu and Zn pollutions were slight. There was no soil pollution caused by the other heavy metals. However, the Nemerow integrated pollution index showed that all the 160 soil samples were contaminated by heavy metals to a certain extent. Among total 160 soil samples, slight pollution level, moderate pollution level and heavy pollution level accounted for 55.6%, 29.4% and 15.0%, respectively. The average single factor potential ecological risk index (Er(i)) implied that the potential ecological risk related to Cd reached moderate level, while the others were of slight level. Furthermore, Cd and Hg showed higher potential ecological risk indices which reached up to 256.82 and 187.33 respectively

  12. A method of ecological and economic risk assessment during the development of the shelf based on mathematical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solovyova, N. V.; Lobkovsky, L. I.

    2015-09-01

    This paper proposes a method of mathematical modelling of ecological risk based on a synthesis of dynamic and probabilistic risk assessment techniques. The probability of assessment of an acceptable probability of an anthropogenic impact to minimize economic costs is proposed. The dependence of an acceptable probability of an anthropogenic impact on the ecological risk is demonstrated with an example calculation. The results of the modelling of the state of a shelf ecosystem based on the dynamic model are used for the calculation as source information. Based on this synthesis, the calculation results bring about the opportunity to balance ecological-economic goals of achieving safe development of the shelf and to satisfy the involuntary necessity to reduce the costs on environmental protection measures, while maintaining the priority of environmental requirements.

  13. Heavy Metal Pollution, Fractionation, and Potential Ecological Risks in Sediments from Lake Chaohu (Eastern China) and the Surrounding Rivers

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lei; Liao, Qianjiahua; Shao, Shiguang; Zhang, Nan; Shen, Qiushi; Liu, Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Heavy metal (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb) pollution, fractionation, and ecological risks in the sediments of Lake Chaohu (Eastern China), its eleven inflowing rivers and its only outflowing river were studied. An improved BCR (proposed by the European Community Bureau of Reference) sequential extraction procedure was applied to fractionate heavy metals within sediments, a geoaccumulation index was used to assess the extent of heavy metal pollution, and a risk assessment code was applied to evaluate potential ecological risks. Heavy metals in the Shuangqiao and Nanfei Rivers were generally higher than the other studied sites. Of the three Lake Chaohu sites, the highest concentrations were identified in western Chaohu. Heavy metal pollution and ecological risks in the lake’s only outflowing river were similar to those in the eastern region of the lake, to which the river is connected. Heavy metal concentrations occurred in the following order: Cd > Zn > Cu > Pb ≈ Ni ≈ Cr. Cr, Ni, and Cu made up the largest proportion of the residual fraction, while Cd was the most prominent metal in the exchangeable and carbonate-included fraction. Cd posed the greatest potential ecological risk; the heavy metals generally posed risks in the following order: Cd > Zn > Cu > Ni > Pb > Cr. PMID:26561822

  14. Heavy Metal Pollution, Fractionation, and Potential Ecological Risks in Sediments from Lake Chaohu (Eastern China) and the Surrounding Rivers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Liao, Qianjiahua; Shao, Shiguang; Zhang, Nan; Shen, Qiushi; Liu, Cheng

    2015-11-01

    Heavy metal (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb) pollution, fractionation, and ecological risks in the sediments of Lake Chaohu (Eastern China), its eleven inflowing rivers and its only outflowing river were studied. An improved BCR (proposed by the European Community Bureau of Reference) sequential extraction procedure was applied to fractionate heavy metals within sediments, a geoaccumulation index was used to assess the extent of heavy metal pollution, and a risk assessment code was applied to evaluate potential ecological risks. Heavy metals in the Shuangqiao and Nanfei Rivers were generally higher than the other studied sites. Of the three Lake Chaohu sites, the highest concentrations were identified in western Chaohu. Heavy metal pollution and ecological risks in the lake's only outflowing river were similar to those in the eastern region of the lake, to which the river is connected. Heavy metal concentrations occurred in the following order: Cd > Zn > Cu > Pb ≈ Ni ≈ Cr. Cr, Ni, and Cu made up the largest proportion of the residual fraction, while Cd was the most prominent metal in the exchangeable and carbonate-included fraction. Cd posed the greatest potential ecological risk; the heavy metals generally posed risks in the following order: Cd > Zn > Cu > Ni > Pb > Cr. PMID:26561822

  15. Levels and ecological risk assessment of metals in soils from a typical e-waste recycling region in southeast China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Weituo; Ding, Lei; Gu, Xiaowen; Luo, Jie; Liu, Yunlang; Guo, Li; Shi, Yi; Huang, Ting; Cheng, Shenggao

    2015-11-01

    Due to the high threat to human health and the ecosystem from metals, the levels and distribution of As, Hg, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Mn, V, Sn, Sb, Li and Be in various layers of soil from an e-waste recycling area in Guiyu, China were investigated. The extent of pollution from the metals in soil was assessed using enrichment factors (EFs) and the Nemerow pollution index (P N ). To determine the metals' integrated potential ecological risks, the potential ecological risk index (RI) was chosen. The concentrations of Hg, Ni, Cu, Cd, Pb, Sn and Sb were mainly enriched in the topsoil. EF values (2-5) of the elements Hg, Co, Ni, Zn, Sn, Li and Be revealed their moderate enrichment status in the topsoil, derived from e-waste recycling activities. P N presented a decreasing trend in different layers in the order topsoil (0-20 cm) > deep soil (100-150 cm) > middle soil (50-100 cm) > shallow soil (20-50 cm). With higher potential ecological risk factor (E(i)), Hg and Cd are the main contributors to the potential ecological risk. With respect to the RI, all the values in soil from the study area exceeded 300, especially for the soil at sites S2, S4, S5, S7 and S8, where RI was greater than 600. Therefore, immediate remediation of the contaminated soil is necessary to prevent the release of metals and potential ecological harm. PMID:26318052

  16. Plant characterization of Roundup Ready 2 Yield ® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Horak, Michael J; Rosenbaum, Eric W; Kendrick, Daniel L; Sammons, Bernard; Phillips, Samuel L; Nickson, Thomas E; Dobert, Raymond C; Perez, Tim

    2015-04-01

    During the development of a genetically modified (GM) crop product, extensive phenotypic and agronomic data are collected to characterize the plant in comparison to a conventional control with a similar genetic background. The data are evaluated for potential differences resulting from the genetic modification process or the GM trait, and the differences--if any--are subsequently considered in the context of contributing to the pest potential of the GM crop. Ultimately, these study results and those of other studies are used in an ecological risk assessment of the GM crop. In the studies reported here, seed germination, vegetative and reproductive growth, and pollen morphology of Roundup Ready 2 Yield(®) soybean, MON 89788, were compared to those of A3244, a conventional control soybean variety with the same genetic background. Any statistically significant differences were considered in the context of the genetic variation known to occur in soybean and were evaluated as indicators of an effect of the genetic modification process and assessed for impact on plant pest (weed) characteristics and adverse ecological impact (ecological risk). The results of these studies revealed no effects attributable to the genetic modification process or to the GM trait in the plant that would result in increased pest potential or adverse ecological impact of MON 89788 compared with A3244. These results and the associated risk assessments obtained from diverse geographic and environmental conditions in the United States and Argentina can be used by regulators in other countries to inform various assessments of ecological risk. PMID:25248506

  17. Population-level ecological risk assessment of planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons in great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) around Tokyo Bay, Japan.

    PubMed

    Murata, Mariko; Masunaga, Shigeki; Nakanishi, Junko

    2003-10-01

    Assessment of population-level ecological risk posed by planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons (p-PCAHs; including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and dioxintike polychlorinated biphenyls) in sediment of Tokyo Bay (Japan) and rivers via fish ingestion to the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) population was conducted by means of a probabilistic approach. Population decline risk was used as an indicator of population-level effects and compared with other indicators of effects. The increment of egg mortality risk posed by current p-PCAH levels was estimated to be 11.7%. This risk was interpreted in terms of both the increase of the risk of population decline in a 10-year period on a recently abundant cormorant population, and the reduction in population growth rate (r). Population decline risks of 20% and below were estimated to be 16% for the reference population and 32% for the exposed population, whereas the reduction in r was estimated to be 10%. The risk expressed in terms of population viability is a more susceptible measure and a more easily understandable indicator than both egg mortality risk as an individual-level risk and the reduction in r. Translating the effects due to pollutants into the risk on population viability will make ecological risk assessment more conductive to risk management. PMID:14552017

  18. Ecological analysis of social risk factors for Rotavirus infections in Berlin, Germany, 2007–2009

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Socioeconomic factors are increasingly recognised as related to health inequalities in Germany and are also identified as important contributing factors for an increased risk of acquiring infections. The aim of the present study was to describe in an ecological analysis the impact of different social factors on the risk of acquiring infectious diseases in an urban setting. The specific outcome of interest was the distribution of Rotavirus infections, which are a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis among infants and also a burden in the elderly in Germany. The results may help to generate more specific hypothesis for infectious disease transmission. Methods We analysed the spatial distribution of hospitalized patients with Rotavirus infections in Berlin, Germany. The association between the small area incidence and different socio-demographic and economic variables was investigated in order to identify spatial relations and risk factors. Our spatial analysis included 447 neighbourhood areas of similar population size in the city of Berlin. We included all laboratory-confirmed cases of patients hospitalized due to Rotavirus infections and notified between 01/01/2007 and 31/12/2009. We excluded travel-associated and nosocomial infections. A spatial Bayesian Poisson regression model was used for the statistical analysis of incidences at neighbourhood level in relation to socio-demographic variables. Results Altogether, 2,370 patients fulfilled the case definition. The disease mapping indicates a number of urban quarters to be highly affected by the disease. In the multivariable spatial regression model, two risk factors were identified for infants (<4 year olds): Rotavirus incidence increased by 4.95% for each additional percent of unemployed inhabitants in the neighbourhood (95% credibility interval (CI): 3.10%-6.74%) and by 0.53% for each additional percent of children attending day care in the neighbourhood (95% CI: 0.00%-1.06%). We found no evidence

  19. [Uncertainty characterization approaches for ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon in Taihu Lake].

    PubMed

    Guo, Guang-Hui; Wu, Feng-Chang; He, Hong-Ping; Feng, Cheng-Lian; Zhang, Rui-Qing; Li, Hui-Xian

    2012-04-01

    Probabilistic approaches, such as Monte Carlo Sampling (MCS) and Latin Hypercube Sampling (LHS), and non-probabilistic approaches, such as interval analysis, fuzzy set theory and variance propagation, were used to characterize uncertainties associated with risk assessment of sigma PAH8 in surface water of Taihu Lake. The results from MCS and LHS were represented by probability distributions of hazard quotients of sigma PAH8 in surface waters of Taihu Lake. The probabilistic distribution of hazard quotient were obtained from the results of MCS and LHS based on probabilistic theory, which indicated that the confidence intervals of hazard quotient at 90% confidence level were in the range of 0.000 18-0.89 and 0.000 17-0.92, with the mean of 0.37 and 0.35, respectively. In addition, the probabilities that the hazard quotients from MCS and LHS exceed the threshold of 1 were 9.71% and 9.68%, respectively. The sensitivity analysis suggested the toxicity data contributed the most to the resulting distribution of quotients. The hazard quotient of sigma PAH8 to aquatic organisms ranged from 0.000 17 to 0.99 using interval analysis. The confidence interval was (0.001 5, 0.016 3) at the 90% confidence level calculated using fuzzy set theory, and the confidence interval was (0.000 16, 0.88) at the 90% confidence level based on the variance propagation. These results indicated that the ecological risk of sigma PAH8 to aquatic organisms were low. Each method has its own set of advantages and limitations, which was based on different theory; therefore, the appropriate method should be selected on a case-by-case to quantify the effects of uncertainties on the ecological risk assessment. Approach based on the probabilistic theory was selected as the most appropriate method to assess the risk of sigma PAH8 in surface water of Taihu Lake, which provided an important scientific foundation of risk management and control for organic pollutants in water. PMID:22720551

  20. Predicted distribution and ecological risk assessment of a "segregated" hydrofluorrother in the Japanese environment.

    PubMed

    Newsted, John L; Nakanishi, Junko; Cousins, Ian; Werner, Kurt; Giesy, John P

    2002-11-15

    An assessment of HFE-7500, a 'segregated' hydrofluoroether, was conducted to evaluate the potential for exposure to and subsequent effects on humans and wildlife in Japan. The segregated hydrofluoroethers belong to a class of fluorochemicals currently being proposed as replacements for traditional fluorochemicals (CFCs and PFCs) that are currently being used in several industries, in particular, the semiconductor industry. These traditional compounds have been implicated as ozone-depleting or potent "greenhouse gases". The segregated hydrofluoroethers have useful physical and chemical properties, but do not contribute to ozone depletion and have lower "global warming potential" (GWP) indices. Although the physical properties of these materials (low H2O solubility and high vapor pressure) suggest there would be a very low level of risk to aquatic systems, a thorough analysis had not been previously performed. Predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) of HFE-7500 in Japan were determined with the Higashino model, a Gausian puff and plume model that used an approximation of environmental releases to the atmosphere as input to the model. Allowable concentrations to protect aquatic life, wildlife, and humans from noncancer effects were determined as detailed in USEPA's final Water Quality Guidance for the Great Lakes Systems. Potential risk to ecological receptors and humans was determined by calculating hazard quotients and margins of safety. The results of the risk assessment indicate that HFE-7500 poses no significant risk to either aquatic or terrestrial wildlife species or humans living in the Japanese environment. The least margin of safety for any ecological receptor was 100,000, and a margin of safety greater than 100,000,000 for most receptors indicated that HFE-7500 poses no threat to human health. Because of a scarcity of toxicity and exposure data, the risk assessment was based on very conservative assumptions. Therefore, the actual margins of safety for

  1. Ecological Risk Assessment Framework for Low-Altitude Overflights by Fixed-Wing and Rotary-Wing Military Aircraft

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.

    2001-01-12

    This is a companion report to the risk assessment framework proposed by Suter et al. (1998): ''A Framework for Assessment of Risks of Military Training and Testing to Natural Resources,'' hereafter referred to as the ''generic framework.'' The generic framework is an ecological risk assessment methodology for use in environmental assessments on Department of Defense (DoD) installations. In the generic framework, the ecological risk assessment framework of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1998) is modified for use in the context of (1) multiple and diverse stressors and activities at a military installation and (2) risks resulting from causal chains, e.g., effects on habitat that indirectly impact wildlife. Both modifications are important if the EPA framework is to be used on military installations. In order for the generic risk assessment framework to be useful to DoD environmental staff and contractors, the framework must be applied to specific training and testing activities. Three activity-specific ecological risk assessment frameworks have been written (1) to aid environmental staff in conducting risk assessments that involve these activities and (2) to guide staff in the development of analogous frameworks for other DoD activities. The three activities are: (1) low-altitude overflights by fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft (this volume), (2) firing at targets on land, and (3) ocean explosions. The activities were selected as priority training and testing activities by the advisory committee for this project.

  2. Description of Spreadsheet Calculations for Populating Data Tables of the Ecological Risk Assessment (Appendix B of the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment Document) for the Explosives Waste Treatment Facility (EWTF) at Site 300

    SciTech Connect

    Daniels, J

    2007-10-01

    This ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a supplement to the human health risk assessment (HRA) for the Explosive Waste Treatment Facility (EWTF). The EWTF is located near the center of Site 300 in a small, isolated canyon (see Figures 2 through 6 in the text). The ERA described in detail in Appendix B was prepared in accordance with guidance on currently accepted practice provided by the Human and Ecological Risk Division (HERD) at the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DSTC) of the State of California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) in Sacramento, California. The technical basis for this ERA is an analysis that involves a series of screening calculations to assess each of 21 contaminants of potential ecological concern (CPECs) for its potential to produce an adverse ecological impact in particular wildlife species, including vegetation, considered representative receptors of ecological interest (RREI) in the trophic levels of the food network at Site 300. This series of screening calculations is designed to illustrate whether CPECs identified as being of possible consequence in the most conservative screening calculation actually may be of lesser or no significance when more information is considered in subsequent screening calculations.

  3. Estimating functional connectivity of wildlife habitat and its relevance to ecological risk assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, A.R.; Allen, C.R.; Simpson, K.A.N.

    2004-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a major threat to the viability of wildlife populations and the maintenance of biodiversity. Fragmentation relates to the sub-division of habitat intq disjunct patches. Usually coincident with fragmentation per se is loss of habitat, a reduction in the size of the remnant patches, and increasing distance between patches. Natural and anthropogenic processes leading to habitat fragmentation occur at many spatial scales, and their impacts on wildlife depend on the scales at which species interact with the landscape. The concept of functional connectivity captures this organism-based view of the relative ease of movement or degree of exchange between physically disjunct habitat patches. Functional connectivity of a given habitat arrangement for a given wildlife species depends on details of the organism's life history and behavioral ecology, but, for broad categories of species, quantities such as home range size and dispersal distance scale allometrically with body mass. These relationships can be incorporated into spatial analyses of functional connectivity, which can be quantified by indices or displayed graphically in maps. We review indices and GIS-based approaches to estimating functional connectivity, presenting examples from the literature and our own work on mammalian distributions. Such analyses can be readily incorporated within an ecological risk framework. Estimates of functional connectivity may be useful in a screening-level assessment of the impact of habitat fragmentation relative to other stressors, and may be crucial in detailed population modeling and viability analysis.

  4. Environmental release, environmental concentrations, and ecological risk of N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET).

    PubMed

    Aronson, Dallas; Weeks, John; Meylan, Bill; Guiney, Patrick D; Howard, Philip H

    2012-01-01

    N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide's (DEET) commercial use as an insect repellent and other reported uses are reviewed. Evidence that DEET is reaching the environment mainly from consumer use of DEET-containing insect repellent includes studies reporting higher concentrations of DEET in surface water and wastewater samples during the summer months, the presence of DEET in on-site septic tank effluent at concentrations similar to that reported in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) influent, and changes in WWTP effluent concentrations before and after the introduction of a DEET replacement in Germany. Its detected concentrations in influent and effluent of WWTP and surface water worldwide are reviewed and correlations between DEET usage and wastewater effluent concentrations are analyzed. The removability during wastewater treatment is also evaluated. A correlation between commercial DEET use in a metropolitan area and concentrations in WWTP effluents was assessed, and 2 different models were used to predict DEET concentrations in rivers and streams throughout the United States. Ecological toxicity data are reviewed for acute studies and for chronic values that are available for Daphnia magna and algae. The ecological risk of DEET usage is evaluated by examining the relationship of the expected dose/response to observed concentrations. PMID:21913321

  5. Ecological risk assessment in a large river-reservoir. 3: Benthic invertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, D.S.; Barnthouse, L.W.; Suter, G.W. II; Efroymson, R.A.; Field, J.M.; Beauchamp, J.J.

    1999-04-01

    The sediments of Poplar Creek and the Clinch River are contaminated with a wide variety of chemicals, including heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and PCBs. Sources include the US Department of Energy`s Oak Ridge Reservation as well as both known and unidentified upstream activities. The authors investigated the risks to benthic invertebrates posed by chemicals in these sediments as part of a comprehensive ecological risk assessment performed to support Superfund clean-up decisions. Poplar Creek was the only river reach for which significant risks were determined. This conclusion was based on several lines of reasoning: sediment-associated organisms at most sites were exposed to levels of several contaminants that have been observed to be toxic; the biosurvey results show a greater than 20% reduction relative to reference sites in taxa richness and abundance; the statistical analysis of the physical, contaminant, and biosurvey data did not exclude contaminants as possible causal factors; and the sediment toxicity tests were too ambiguous to definitively exclude impacts in this reach. This assessment demonstrates the importance of collecting biological data, including sediment toxicity tests and biological surveys; statistically analyzing the relationships of chemicals, physical variables, and measured effects (e.g., toxicity or benthic invertebrate densities); and using sediment chemical and effects distributions in addition to point estimates of exposure and screening benchmarks.

  6. Lead bioaccessibility in food web intermediates and the influence on ecological risk characterization.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Claire A; Bennett, Joseph R; Koch, Iris; Reimer, Kenneth J

    2007-08-15

    Models simulating gastric conditions of mammalian (eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus; short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda) and avian (American robin, Turdus migratorius) receptors were used to investigate the proportion of lead (Pb) mobilized into the digestive juices (the bioaccessible fraction) from soil, earthworms, and vegetation collected at a rifle and pistol (RP) range in eastern Ontario, Canada. Pb concentrations averaged 5044 mg kg(-1) in RP range surface soils, 727 mg kg(-1) in earthworm tissue, and 2945 mg kg(-1) in unwashed vegetation. For mammalian gastric models, the bioaccessible fraction of Pb in soils was 66 +/- 22%, in earthworm tissue was 77 +/- 14%, and in unwashed vegetation was 50 +/- 37%. For the avian gastric model, the bioaccessible fraction of Pb in soil was 53 +/- 43% and in earthworm tissue was 73 +/- 13%. The incorporation of soil and food web intermediate bioaccessibility data into standard risk calculations resulted in predicted risk being reduced for all receptors. The inclusion of bioaccessibility during ecological risk assessment affords a more realistic estimate of contaminant exposure, and is a valuable tool for use in contaminated sites management. PMID:17874804

  7. Methods for aquatic ecological risk assessments of 2,3,7,8-TCDD and related chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, P.; Erickson, R.; Spehar, R.; Bradbury, S.; Ankley, G.; Burkhard, L.

    1994-12-31

    As part of USEPA`s ongoing assessment of the aquatic ecological risk of 2,3,7,8-TCDD and related polyhalogenated aromatic chemicals, available information on bioaccumulation and effects of these chemicals was analyzed to determine major uncertainties and approaches for addressing these uncertainties. Reported effects vary widely among chemicals, exposure conditions, and organisms. Considerable variability can be explained by relating effects to chemical accumulation, so measurement or prediction of chemical concentrations in tissues of aquatic organisms is essential in assessing risk. However, many of the most toxic of these compounds are difficult to measure in water and have uncertain activities based on available octanol-water partition coefficients. The biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF), through direct measurement of the fugacity gradient between sediments and organisms, can be used to predict bioaccumulation. When TCDD toxicity is expressed on the basis of accumulation, fish early-life-stage survival appears to be the most sensitive endpoint for aquatic organisms. For aquatic-associated wildlife, limited data requires that dose be referenced to TCDD concentration in food. Reproductive effects on certain fish-eating birds and mammals are of greatest concern. Such effect concentrations can be used to assess risk based on fish contamination surveys or, when combined with BSAFs and BAFs, on sediment and water concentrations. However, such assessments are made uncertain by limited toxicity information for certain taxonomic groups and endpoints.

  8. Ecological, Social and Biological Risk Factors for Continued Trypanosoma cruzi Transmission by Triatoma dimidiata in Guatemala

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Dulce M.; De Urioste-Stone, Sandra M.; Juárez, José G.; Pennington, Pamela M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Chagas disease transmission by Triatoma dimidiata persists in Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America under undefined ecological, biological and social (eco-bio-social) conditions. Methodology Eco-bio-social risk factors associated with persistent domiciliary infestation were identified by a cross-sectional survey and qualitative participatory methods. Quantitative and qualitative data were generated regarding Trypanosoma cruzi reservoirs and triatomine hosts. Blood meal analysis and infection of insects, dogs and rodents were determined. Based on these data, multimodel inference was used to identify risk factors for domestic infestation with the greatest relative importance (>0.75). Principal Findings Blood meal analysis showed that 64% of 36 bugs fed on chickens, 50% on humans, 17% on dogs; 24% of 34 bugs fed on Rattus rattus and 21% on Mus musculus. Seroprevalence among 80 dogs was 37%. Eight (17%) of 46 M. musculus and three (43%) of seven R. rattus from households with infected triatomines were infected with T. cruzi Distinct Typing Unit I. Results from interviews and participatory meetings indicated that vector control personnel and some householders perceived chickens roosting and laying eggs in the house as bug infestation risk factors. House construction practices were seen as a risk factor for bug and rodent infestation, with rodents being perceived as a pest by study participants. Multimodel inference showed that house infestation risk factors of high relative importance are dog density, mouse presence, interior wall plaster condition, dirt floor, tile roofing and coffee tree presence. Conclusions/Significance Persistent house infestation is closely related to eco-bio-social factors that maintain productive T. dimidiata habitats associated with dogs, chickens and rodents. Triatomine, dog and rodent infections indicate active T. cruzi transmission. Integrated vector control methods should include actions that consider the role of

  9. Veterinary antibiotic resistance, residues, and ecological risks in environmental samples obtained from poultry farms, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Dahshan, Hesham; Abd-Elall, Amr Mohamed Mohamed; Megahed, Ayman Mohamed; Abd-El-Kader, Mahdy A; Nabawy, Ehab Elsayed

    2015-02-01

    In Egypt, poultry production constitutes one of the main sources of pollution with veterinary antibiotics (VAs) into the environment. About 80 % of meat production in Egypt is of poultry origin, and the potential environmental risks associated with the use of VAs in these farms have not yet been properly evaluated. Thus, the main purpose of this research was to evaluate the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant enteric key bacteria and the incidence of residual antibiotics in poultry farm environmental samples and to determine whether fertilizing soils with poultry litter from farms potentially brings ecological risks. From December 2011 to September 2012, a total of 225 litter, bird dropping, and water samples were collected from 75 randomly selected boiler poultry farms. A high prevalence of Escherichia coli (n = 179; 79.5 %) in contrast to the low prevalence of Salmonella spp. (n = 7; 3.1 %) was detected. Amongst E. coli isolates, serotypes O142:K86, O125:K70, O91:K, and O119:K69 were the most common. Meanwhile, Salmonella enterica serotypes emek and enteritidis were recovered. The antibiograms using the disc diffusion method revealed significantly more common resistant and multi-resistant isolates in broiler poultry farms. Residues of tetracycline and ciprofloxacin were detected at 2.125 and 1.401 mg kg(-1) mean levels, respectively, in environmental samples contaminated with E. coli-resistant strains by HPLC. The risk evaluations highlighted that tetracycline residues in poultry litter significantly display environmental risks with a hazard quotient value above 1 (1.64). Our study implies that ineffective implementation of veterinary laws which guide and guard against incorrect VA usage may potentially bring health and environmental risks. PMID:25600402

  10. How uncertainty analysis in ecological risk assessment is used in the courtroom

    SciTech Connect

    Hacker, C.; Watson, J.

    1995-12-31

    The prevalence of uncertainty analysis in environmental decision-making is increasing. Specific methods for estimating and expressing uncertainty are available and continually being improved. Although these methods are intended to provide a measure of the suitability of the data upon which a decision is based, their application in litigation may result in outcomes that are unanticipated by some in the scientific community. This divergence between those estimating uncertainty in assessing ecological risk and those judging its application can be attributed in part to the different ways evidence is used in science and law. This presentation will explain how scientific evidence is used in the courtroom. This explanation will use examples from case law to describe how courts decide who can be qualified to present evidence, what evidence can be presented, and how this evidence will be used in reaching a decision.

  11. Spatially interpolated disease prevalence estimation using collateral indicators of morbidity and ecological risk.

    PubMed

    Congdon, Peter

    2013-10-01

    This paper considers estimation of disease prevalence for small areas (neighbourhoods) when the available observations on prevalence are for an alternative partition of a region, such as service areas. Interpolation to neighbourhoods uses a kernel method extended to take account of two types of collateral information. The first is morbidity and service use data, such as hospital admissions, observed for neighbourhoods. Variations in morbidity and service use are expected to reflect prevalence. The second type of collateral information is ecological risk factors (e.g., pollution indices) that are expected to explain variability in prevalence in service areas, but are typically observed only for neighbourhoods. An application involves estimating neighbourhood asthma prevalence in a London health region involving 562 neighbourhoods and 189 service (primary care) areas. PMID:24129116

  12. Emerging pollutants in the environment: present and future challenges in biomonitoring, ecological risks and bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Gavrilescu, Maria; Demnerová, Kateřina; Aamand, Jens; Agathos, Spiros; Fava, Fabio

    2015-01-25

    Emerging pollutants reach the environment from various anthropogenic sources and are distributed throughout environmental matrices. Although great advances have been made in the detection and analysis of trace pollutants during recent decades, due to the continued development and refinement of specific techniques, a wide array of undetected contaminants of emerging environmental concern need to be identified and quantified in various environmental components and biological tissues. These pollutants may be mobile and persistent in air, water, soil, sediments and ecological receptors even at low concentrations. Robust data on their fate and behaviour in the environment, as well as on threats to ecological and human health, are still lacking. Moreover, the ecotoxicological significance of some emerging micropollutants remains largely unknown, because satisfactory data to determine their risk often do not exist. This paper discusses the fate, behaviour, (bio)monitoring, environmental and health risks associated with emerging chemical (pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors, hormones, toxins, among others) and biological (bacteria, viruses) micropollutants in soils, sediments, groundwater, industrial and municipal wastewaters, aquaculture effluents, and freshwater and marine ecosystems, and highlights new horizons for their (bio)removal. Our study aims to demonstrate the imperative need to boost research and innovation for new and cost-effective treatment technologies, in line with the uptake, mode of action and consequences of each emerging contaminant. We also address the topic of innovative tools for the evaluation of the effects of toxicity on human health and for the prediction of microbial availability and degradation in the environment. Additionally, we consider the development of (bio)sensors to perform environmental monitoring in real-time mode. This needs to address multiple species, along with a more effective exploitation of specialised microbes or enzymes

  13. Ecological Niche Modeling of Risk Factors for H7N9 Human Infection in China

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Min; Cao, Chunxiang; Li, Qun; Jia, Peng; Zhao, Jian

    2016-01-01

    China was attacked by a serious influenza A (H7N9) virus in 2013. The first human infection case was confirmed in Shanghai City and soon spread across most of eastern China. Using the methods of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ecological niche modeling (ENM), this research quantitatively analyzed the relationships between the H7N9 occurrence and the main environmental factors, including meteorological variables, human population density, bird migratory routes, wetland distribution, and live poultry farms, markets, and processing factories. Based on these relationships the probability of the presence of H7N9 was predicted. Results indicated that the distribution of live poultry processing factories, farms, and human population density were the top three most important determinants of the H7N9 human infection. The relative contributions to the model of live poultry processing factories, farms and human population density were 39.9%, 17.7% and 17.7%, respectively, while the maximum temperature of the warmest month and mean relative humidity had nearly no contribution to the model. The paper has developed an ecological niche model (ENM) that predicts the spatial distribution of H7N9 cases in China using environmental variables. The area under the curve (AUC) values of the model were greater than 0.9 (0.992 for the training samples and 0.961 for the test data). The findings indicated that most of the high risk areas were distributed in the Yangtze River Delta. These findings have important significance for the Chinese government to enhance the environmental surveillance at multiple human poultry interfaces in the high risk area. PMID:27322296

  14. Ecological Niche Modeling of Risk Factors for H7N9 Human Infection in China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Min; Cao, Chunxiang; Li, Qun; Jia, Peng; Zhao, Jian

    2016-01-01

    China was attacked by a serious influenza A (H7N9) virus in 2013. The first human infection case was confirmed in Shanghai City and soon spread across most of eastern China. Using the methods of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ecological niche modeling (ENM), this research quantitatively analyzed the relationships between the H7N9 occurrence and the main environmental factors, including meteorological variables, human population density, bird migratory routes, wetland distribution, and live poultry farms, markets, and processing factories. Based on these relationships the probability of the presence of H7N9 was predicted. Results indicated that the distribution of live poultry processing factories, farms, and human population density were the top three most important determinants of the H7N9 human infection. The relative contributions to the model of live poultry processing factories, farms and human population density were 39.9%, 17.7% and 17.7%, respectively, while the maximum temperature of the warmest month and mean relative humidity had nearly no contribution to the model. The paper has developed an ecological niche model (ENM) that predicts the spatial distribution of H7N9 cases in China using environmental variables. The area under the curve (AUC) values of the model were greater than 0.9 (0.992 for the training samples and 0.961 for the test data). The findings indicated that most of the high risk areas were distributed in the Yangtze River Delta. These findings have important significance for the Chinese government to enhance the environmental surveillance at multiple human poultry interfaces in the high risk area. PMID:27322296

  15. Applications of contaminant fate and bioaccumulation models in assessing ecological risks of chemicals: A case study for gasoline hydrocarbons

    SciTech Connect

    MacLeod, Matthew; McKone, Thomas E.; Foster, Karen L.; Maddalena, Randy L.; Parkerton, Thomas F.; Mackay, Don

    2004-02-01

    Mass balance models of chemical fate and transport can be applied in ecological risk assessments for quantitative estimation of concentrations in air, water, soil and sediment. These concentrations can, in turn, be used to estimate organism exposures and ultimately internal tissue concentrations that can be compared to mode-of-action-based critical body residues that correspond to toxic effects. From this comparison, risks to the exposed organism can be evaluated. To illustrate the practical utility of fate models in ecological risk assessments of commercial products, the EQC model and a simple screening level biouptake model including three organisms, (a bird, a mammal and a fish) is applied to gasoline. In this analysis, gasoline is divided into 24 components or ''blocks'' with similar environmental fate properties that are assumed to elicit ecotoxicity via a narcotic mode of action. Results demonstrate that differences in chemical properties and mode of entry into the environment lead to profound differences in the efficiency of transport from emission to target biota. We discuss the implications of these results and insights gained into the regional fate and ecological risks associated with gasoline. This approach is particularly suitable for assessing mixtures of components that have similar modes of action. We conclude that the model-based methodologies presented are widely applicable for screening level ecological risk assessments that support effective chemicals management.

  16. Use of sediment risk and ecological/conservation value for strategic management of estuarine environments: Sydney estuary, Australia.

    PubMed

    Birch, Gavin F; Hutson, Philip

    2009-10-01

    Sediment mantling the floor of Sydney estuary contains a wide range of chemicals at highly elevated concentrations over extensive areas. Appropriate sediment management decisions are urgently required to prevent further degradation of sediment quality and to minimize resulting adverse ecological effects. The objective of the present work was to provide a systematic, estuary-wide assessment of sediment risk and ecological/conservation value throughout the harbor to guide sediment management decisions. Sediment risk is the likelihood of sediment chemistry causing adverse biological effects to bottom-dwelling animals and was conducted using national sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) for single contaminants and the mean SQG quotient approach to assess chemical mixtures. Sediment risk was negligible at the mouth of the estuary, but increased strongly landwards. The ecological/conservation value assessment was conducted to identify sites that warrant different levels of protection and was conducted using the value of ecological communities and priority waterway use. Consideration of these two parameters combined enabled the estuary to be prioritized for management attention. The prioritization and identification of appropriate management strategies were determined through the use of management matrices also based on sediment risk and ecological/conservation value. A computer package is being developed to provide managers with information on sediment risk, ecological/conservation value, the urgency and the type of management intervention required for any location in Sydney estuary, in real-time. This approach to estuarine management is unique and will greatly improve effective management of Sydney estuary, and other harbors in urgent need of management action and protection. PMID:19705195

  17. Use of Sediment Risk and Ecological/Conservation Value for Strategic Management of Estuarine Environments: Sydney Estuary, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birch, Gavin F.; Hutson, Philip

    2009-10-01

    Sediment mantling the floor of Sydney estuary contains a wide range of chemicals at highly elevated concentrations over extensive areas. Appropriate sediment management decisions are urgently required to prevent further degradation of sediment quality and to minimize resulting adverse ecological effects. The objective of the present work was to provide a systematic, estuary-wide assessment of sediment risk and ecological/conservation value throughout the harbor to guide sediment management decisions. Sediment risk is the likelihood of sediment chemistry causing adverse biological effects to bottom-dwelling animals and was conducted using national sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) for single contaminants and the mean SQG quotient approach to assess chemical mixtures. Sediment risk was negligible at the mouth of the estuary, but increased strongly landwards. The ecological/conservation value assessment was conducted to identify sites that warrant different levels of protection and was conducted using the value of ecological communities and priority waterway use. Consideration of these two parameters combined enabled the estuary to be prioritized for management attention. The prioritization and identification of appropriate management strategies were determined through the use of management matrices also based on sediment risk and ecological/conservation value. A computer package is being developed to provide managers with information on sediment risk, ecological/conservation value, the urgency and the type of management intervention required for any location in Sydney estuary, in real-time. This approach to estuarine management is unique and will greatly improve effective management of Sydney estuary, and other harbors in urgent need of management action and protection.

  18. Atmospheric deposition of mercury in Atlantic Forest and ecological risk to soil fauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristhy Buch, Andressa; Cabral Teixeira, Daniel; Fernandes Correia, Maria Elizabeth; Vieira Silva-Filho, Emmanoel

    2014-05-01

    The increasing levels of mercury (Hg) found in the atmosphere nowadays has a great contribution from anthropogenic sources and has been a great concern in the past two decades in industrialized countries. Brazil is the seventh country with the highest rate of mercury in the atmosphere. Certainly, the petroleum refineries have significant contribution, seen that 100 million m3 of crude oil are annually processed. These refineries contribute with low generation of solid waste; however, a large fraction of Hg can be emitted to the atmosphere. There are sixteen refineries in Brazil, three of them located in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The Hg is a toxic and hazardous trace element, naturally found in the earth crust. The major input of Hg to ecosystems is through atmospheric deposition (wet and dry), being transported in the atmosphere over large distances. The forest biomes are of great importance in the atmosphere/soil cycling of elemental Hg through foliar uptake and subsequent transfer to the soil through litterfall, which play an important role as Hg sink. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil is the greater contributor of fauna and flora biodiversity in the world and, according to recent studies, this biome has the highest concentrations of mercury in litter in the world, as well as in China, at Subtropical Forest. Ecotoxicological assessments can predict the potential ecological risk of Hg toxicity in the soil can lead to impact the soil fauna and indirectly other trophic levels of the food chain within one or more ecosystems. This study aims to determine mercury levels that represent risks to diversity and functioning of soil fauna in tropical forest soils. The study is conducted in two forest areas inserted into conservation units of Rio de Janeiro state. One area is located next to an important petroleum refinery in activity since fifty-two years ago, whereas the other one is located next to other refinery under construction (beginning activities in 2015), which will

  19. Environmental Risk of Climate Change and Groundwater Abstraction on Ecological Conditions in a Danish Catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seaby, L. P.; Boegh, E.; Jensen, N. H.

    2014-12-01

    The Danish drinking water supply is sourced almost entirely from groundwater. Balancing water abstraction demands and the ecological conditions in streams is one of the major challenges for water resource managers. With projected climate change, characterised by increased annual temperature, precipitation, and evapotranspiration rates for Denmark, the impact to low flows and groundwater levels are especially of interest, as they relate to aquatic habitat and nitrate leaching, respectively. On the island Sjælland, which includes urban and agricultural regions, a doubling of groundwater abstraction rates has been proposed in selected areas to meet water resource demands. This study evaluates the risk to stream ecological conditions for a lowland Danish catchment under multiple scenarios of climate change and groundwater abstraction. Projections of future climate (i.e. precipitation, temperature, reference evapotranspiration) come from the ENSEMBLES climate modelling project. Climate variables from 11 climate models are first bias corrected with a distribution based scaling (DBS) method (Seaby et al., 2013) and then used to force hydrological simulations of stream discharge, groundwater recharge, and nitrate leaching from the root zone under present (1991-2010) and future (2071-2100) climate conditions. Hydrological modelling utilises a sequential coupling methodology with DAISY, a one dimensional crop model describing soil water dynamics in the root zone, and MIKE SHE, a distributed groundwater-surface water model which the National Water Resources Model (DK-model) is set up in (Henriksen et al., 2003). We find low flow and annual discharge to be most impacted by scenarios of climate change, with high variation across climate models (+/- 40% change). Doubling of current groundwater abstraction rates reduces annual discharge by approximately 20%, with higher reductions to low flows seen around 40%. The combined effects of climate change and increased groundwater

  20. Applicability of toxicity bioassays to ecological risk assessment in arid and semiarid ecosystems.

    SciTech Connect

    Markwiese, J. T.; Ryti, R. T.; Hooten, M. M.; Michael, D. I.; Hlohowskyj, I.; Environmental Assessment; Neptune and Company, Inc.

    2001-01-01

    Substantial tracts of land in the southwestern and western U.S. are undergoing or will require ERA. Toxicity bioassays employed in baseline ERAs are, for the most part. representative of mesic systems, and highly standardized test species (e.g., lettuce, earthworm) are generally not relevant to arid system toxicity testing. Conversely, relevant test species are often poorly characterized with regard to toxicant sensitivity and culture conditions. The applicability of toxicity bioassays to ecological risk assessment in arid and semiarid ecosystems was reviewed for bacteria and fungi, plants, terrestrial invertebrates, and terrestrial vertebrates. Bacteria and fungi are critical to soil processes, and understanding their ecology is important to understanding the ecological relevance of bioassays targeting either group. Terrestrial bacteria require a water film around soil particles to be active, while soil fungi can remain active in extremely dry soils. It is therefore expected that fungi will be of greater importance to arid and semiarid systems (Whitford 1989). If microbial processes are to be measured in soils of arid environments, it is recommended that bioassays target fungi. Regardless of the taxa studied, problems are associated with the standardization and interpretability of microbial tests, and regulatory acceptance may hinder widespread incorporation of microbial toxicity bioassays in arid system risk assessments. Plant toxicity bioassays are gaining recognition as sensitive indicators of soil conditions because they can provide a cost-effective and relatively rapid assessment of soil quality for both pre- and postremediation efforts. Although the choices of suitable plant species for assessing mesic system soils are numerous, the choices for arid system soils are limited. Guidance is provided for evaluating plant species with regard to their suitability for serving as representative arid system flora. Terrestrial invertebrates can survive and flourish in

  1. [Pollution Characteristics and Ecological Risk Assessment of PAHs in Water and Fishes from Daqing Lakes].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-di; Zang, Shu-ying; Zhang, Yu-hong; Wang, Fan; Yang, Xing; Zuo, Yi-long

    2015-11-01

    The concentrations of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 30 water samples and 5 tissues (gill, liver, brain, kidney and muscle) of 36 fishes which were collected from 18 typical lakes of the Daqing lakes group, China were measured between February and April 2012. The results of PAHs concentrations in the water showed that the range of total concentrations was 0.2-1.21 μg x L(-1) and the highest concentration was found in the Yueliangpao Lake. Clustering analysis of statistical method was used to classify the concentrations of PAHs in the water of 18 lakes, and PAHs source and evaluation of ecological risk in different lake groups were obtained respectively based on the analysis of PAHs ratio and the species sensitivity distributions method. The results of cluster analysis about PAHs concentrations in the water of 18 lakes showed that all the lakes were divided into 4 lake groups. Yueliangpao (YLP) and dongdahai (DDH) lakes were respectively divided into a separate group and the other 14 lakes were divided into two groups named XHH group and DQSK group. PAHs in the water of lakes were mainly from wood and coal burning except that the PAHs of the water in YLP group was caused by oil contamination. According to the surface water quality standard of the world and China, the concentrations of PAHs in the water of 4 lake groups all exceeded the standard variously. The PAHs concentrations of most water samples in YLP group and XHH group exceeded the 16 PAHs limit value of Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) standard, especially, the concentration of Benz[a] pyrene with the strongest carcinogenicity of YLP group exceeded Chinese surface water quality standard. While in the DQSK lake group and the DDH lake group, several PAHs contaminations of water samples exceeded the standard. The tested and statistical results of 16 PAHs concentrations in 5 tissues of Cyprinus carpio and Hypophthalmichthys molitrix fish species in Daqing lakes showed the concentrations

  2. Spatial ecology of refuge selection by an herbivore under risk of predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, Tammy L.; Rayburn, Andrew P.; Edwards, Thomas C., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    Prey species use structures such as burrows to minimize predation risk. The spatial arrangement of these resources can have important implications for individual and population fitness. For example, there is evidence that clustered resources can benefit individuals by reducing predation risk and increasing foraging opportunity concurrently, which leads to higher population density. However, the scale of clustering that is important in these processes has been ignored during theoretical and empirical development of resource models. Ecological understanding of refuge exploitation by prey can be improved by spatial analysis of refuge use and availability that incorporates the effect of scale. We measured the spatial distribution of pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) refugia (burrows) through censuses in four 6-ha sites. Point pattern analyses were used to evaluate burrow selection by comparing the spatial distribution of used and available burrows. The presence of food resources and additional overstory cover resources was further examined using logistic regression. Burrows were spatially clustered at scales up to approximately 25 m, and then regularly spaced at distances beyond ~40 m. Pygmy rabbit exploitation of burrows did not match availability. Burrows used by pygmy rabbits were likely to be located in areas with high overall burrow density (resource clusters) and high overstory cover, which together minimized predation risk. However, in some cases we observed an interaction between either overstory cover (safety) or understory cover (forage) and burrow density. The interactions show that pygmy rabbits will use burrows in areas with low relative burrow density (high relative predation risk) if understory food resources are high. This points to a potential trade-off whereby rabbits must sacrifice some safety afforded by additional nearby burrows to obtain ample forage resources. Observed patterns of clustered burrows and non-random burrow use improve

  3. Ecological risk assessments for protected migratory birds and marine species at Midway Atoll

    SciTech Connect

    Scatolini, S.; Hope, B.; Lees, D.

    1995-12-31

    In June 1997, the US Navy plans to close its Naval Air Facility on Sand Island and transfer the atoll to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for use as a National Wildlife Refuge. Midway provides breeding and feeding habitat for migratory seabirds, terrestrial and marine mammals, sea turtles and other reptiles, and a variety of reef fishes and invertebrates. As part of the base closure and transfer process, 36 sites of potential environmental concern were identified on Sand and Eastern islands. These sites include landfills and uncontrolled disposal areas, hazardous materials storage areas, abandoned transformers, sewer outfalls, and other potential hazardous waste sites. Potential contaminants include pesticides, PAHs, PCBs, and heavy metals. A screening ecological risk assessment was performed at each site with a goal of determining whether contaminants could pose any current or future risks to protected migratory bird or marine mammal wildlife species. Specific exposure pathways investigated were dermal and inhalation routes for ground-nesting and burrowing seabirds; incidental soil ingestion for shore birds; consumption for monk seals and sea turtles. Exposure analysis involved sediment and soil chemistry, marine invertebrate tissue chemistry, bioassays (bioavailability), and food web modeling. Effects analysis involved benthic infauna community analysis, acute and chronic invertebrate sediment bioassays, and extensive literature reviews. Risk characterization used both toxicity quotient methods and weight-of-evidence analysis. Because work by other investigators suggests that birds and perhaps marine wildlife acquire significant contaminant loads while feeding away from the atoll, on-atoll risk investigations had to consider whether atoll sites made significant marginal contributions to existing contaminant loads, particularly with respect to PCBs.

  4. Mapping the Potential Risk of Mycetoma Infection in Sudan and South Sudan Using Ecological Niche Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Samy, Abdallah M.; van de Sande, Wendy W. J.; Fahal, Ahmed Hassan; Peterson, A. Townsend

    2014-01-01

    In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized mycetoma as one of the neglected tropical conditions due to the efforts of the mycetoma consortium. This same consortium formulated knowledge gaps that require further research. One of these gaps was that very few data are available on the epidemiology and transmission cycle of the causative agents. Previous work suggested a soil-borne or Acacia thorn-prick-mediated origin of mycetoma infections, but no studies have investigated effects of soil type and Acacia geographic distribution on mycetoma case distributions. Here, we map risk of mycetoma infection across Sudan and South Sudan using ecological niche modeling (ENM). For this study, records of mycetoma cases were obtained from the scientific literature and GIDEON; Acacia records were obtained from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. We developed ENMs based on digital GIS data layers summarizing soil characteristics, land-surface temperature, and greenness indices to provide a rich picture of environmental variation across Sudan and South Sudan. ENMs were calibrated in known endemic districts and transferred countrywide; model results suggested that risk is greatest in an east-west belt across central Sudan. Visualizing ENMs in environmental dimensions, mycetoma occurs under diverse environmental conditions. We compared niches of mycetoma and Acacia trees, and could not reject the null hypothesis of niche similarity. This study revealed contributions of different environmental factors to mycetoma infection risk, identified suitable environments and regions for transmission, signaled a potential mycetoma-Acacia association, and provided steps towards a robust risk map for the disease. PMID:25330098

  5. A Unified Multiscale Field/Network/Agent Based Modeling Framework for Human and Ecological Health Risk Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Georgopoulos, Panos G.; Isukapalli, Sastry S.

    2011-01-01

    A conceptual framework is presented for multiscale field/network/agent-based modeling to support human and ecological health risk assessments. This framework is based on the representation of environmental dynamics in terms of interacting networks, agents that move across different networks, fields representing spatiotemporal distributions of physical properties, rules governing constraints and interactions, and actors that make decisions affecting the state of the system. Different deterministic and stochastic modeling case studies focusing on environmental exposures and associated risks are provided as examples, utilizing the bidirectional mapping between discrete, agent based approaches and continuous, equation based approaches. These examples include problems describing human health risk assessment, ecological risk assessment, and environmentally caused disease. PMID:19964423

  6. Heavy metals in estuarine surface sediments of the Hai River Basin, variation characteristics, chemical speciation and ecological risk.

    PubMed

    Lei, Pei; Zhang, Hong; Shan, Baoqing; Lv, Shucong; Tang, Wenzhong

    2016-04-01

    The Hai River Basin (HRB) is considered to be one of the most polluted areas in China due to the high regional population density and rapid economic development. The estuaries of the HRB, which receive pollutants from terrestrial rivers, may subsequently suffer potential pollution and result in ecological risk of heavy metals. Six heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) were measured in estuarine surface sediments from 10 estuaries of the HRB to investigate their variation characteristics and ecological risks. The spatial difference of Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn in sediments was higher than that of the rest two elements. The Yongdingxin Estuary (YDX) and Ziyaxin Estuary (ZYX) in the Northern Hai River System (NHRS) were the most severe in terms of heavy metal contamination. According to the Risk Assessment Code (RAC) classification, Cd associated with the exchangeable and carbonate fraction (the average of 21.3 %) indicated medium risk to high risk. More than 50 % of Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn on average were associated with the residual fraction. Based on the sum of the first three fractions (exchangeable and carbonate + reducible + oxidizable), the mobility order of these heavy metals was Cd >Pb > Zn ≈ Cu > Ni > Cr. Compared to the background values of cinnamon soil, the potential ecological risk index (RI) values ranged from 25.6 to 168, with an average of 91.2, indicating a low ecological risk in estuarine sites of the HRB. Cd and Pb were the dominant contributors to the toxic-response factor (45.8 and 25.5 %, respectively). The results give insight into the different control measures pertaining to heavy metal pollution and risk for both relatively clean estuaries and urban seriously polluted areas, respectively, for the formation of protect strategies of aquatic environment in the HRB. PMID:26758307

  7. Socio-Ecological Risk Factors for Prime-Age Adult Death in Two Coastal Areas of Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Deok Ryun; Ali, Mohammad; Thiem, Vu Dinh; Wierzba, Thomas F.

    2014-01-01

    Background Hierarchical spatial models enable the geographic and ecological analysis of health data thereby providing useful information for designing effective health interventions. In this study, we used a Bayesian hierarchical spatial model to evaluate mortality data in Vietnam. The model enabled identification of socio-ecological risk factors and generation of risk maps to better understand the causes and geographic implications of prime-age (15 to less than 45 years) adult death. Methods and Findings The study was conducted in two sites: Nha Trang and Hue in Vietnam. The study areas were split into 500×500 meter cells to define neighborhoods. We first extracted socio-demographic data from population databases of the two sites, and then aggregated the data by neighborhood. We used spatial hierarchical model that borrows strength from neighbors for evaluating risk factors and for creating spatially smoothed risk map after adjusting for neighborhood level covariates. The Markov chain Monte Carlo procedure was used to estimate the parameters. Male mortality was more than twice the female mortality. The rates also varied by age and sex. The most frequent cause of mortality was traffic accidents and drowning for men and traffic accidents and suicide for women. Lower education of household heads in the neighborhood was an important risk factor for increased mortality. The mortality was highly variable in space and the socio-ecological risk factors are sensitive to study site and sex. Conclusion Our study suggests that lower education of the household head is an important predictor for prime age adult mortality. Variability in socio-ecological risk factors and in risk areas by sex make it challenging to design appropriate intervention strategies aimed at decreasing prime-age adult deaths in Vietnam. PMID:24587031

  8. WAQUOIT BAY WATERSHED ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: THE EFFECT OF LAND-DERIVED NITROGEN LOADS ON ESTUARINE EUTROPHICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    A watershed ecological risk assessment of Waquoit Bay, located on the south coast of Cape Cod, MA, was performed for managers to better understand the environmental impacts of human activities. An interdisciplinary and interagency workgroup identified all the stressors of concer...

  9. COMMENT ON: APPLYING SPECIES-SENSITIVITY DISTRIBUTIONS IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ASSUMPTION OF DISTRIBUTION TYPE AND SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Newman et al. (2000) addressed some important issues regarding the characterization of species-sensitivity distributions (SSDs) used in ecological risk assessments. A common assumption is that SSDs are log-normal, and this allows data sets to be analyzed by standard parametric me...

  10. Adolescents' Educational Outcomes in a Social Ecology of Parenting, Family, and Community Risks in Northern Ireland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goeke-Morey, Marcie C.; Taylor, Laura K.; Merrilees, Christine E.; Cummings, E. Mark; Cairns, Ed; Shirlow, Peter

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the influence of social ecological risks within the domains of parenting, family environment, and community in the prediction of educational outcomes for 770 adolescents (49% boys, 51% girls, "M"?=?13.6 years, "SD"?=?2.0) living in a setting of protracted political conflict, specifically working class areas…

  11. Middle Childhood Antecedents to Progressions in Male Adolescent Substance Use: An Ecological Analysis of Risk and Protection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dishion, Thomas J.; Capaldi, Deborah M.; Yoerger, Karen

    1999-01-01

    This study examined antecedents to early patterned alcohol and tobacco use and marijuana experimentation between ages 11 and 16 for an at-risk male sample. Findings suggested that family, peer, and child characteristics were inextricably connected within an ecology of development. A structural equation prediction model suggested a higher order…

  12. Spatiotemporal characteristics of organic contaminant concentrations and ecological risk assessment in the Songhua River, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ce; Cyterski, Mike; Feng, Yujie; Gao, Peng; Sun, Qingfang

    2015-11-01

    To control source pollution and improve water quality, an understanding of the spatiotemporal characteristics of organic contaminant concentrations in affected receiving waters is necessary. The Songhua River in northeast China is the country's third-largest domestic river and loadings of organic contaminants along an industrialized section have made it the focal point of a national pollution reduction plan. In addition to water quality issues, management of the Songhua River basin must also address local economic development, aquatic ecosystem sustainability and political relationships with Russia. In three periods spanning 2006 to 2010, eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and eight phenols were measured in surface waters at ten monitoring sites along the river. A generalized linear model (GLM) was used to characterize water quality at different sites and time periods. Chemical concentrations of the organic compounds showed significant sinusoidal seasonal patterns and the concentrations declined significantly from 2006 to 2010, possibly due to management practices designed to control water pollution. A critical body residue analysis showed that water concentrations measured during the winter of 2007 across all monitoring sites, but especially at S1-Shaokou and S2-Songhuajiangcun, presented a high risk for fish species. The spatiotemporal characteristics of water quality and estimated ecological risks shown here add to the body of knowledge to develop policies on industrial output and pollution management strategies for the Songhua River basin. PMID:26442573

  13. Integrating Omic Technologies into Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessment and Environmental Monitoring: Hurdles, Achievements, and Future Outlook

    PubMed Central

    Van Aggelen, Graham; Ankley, Gerald T.; Baldwin, William S.; Bearden, Daniel W.; Benson, William H.; Chipman, J. Kevin; Collette, Tim W.; Craft, John A.; Denslow, Nancy D.; Embry, Michael R.; Falciani, Francesco; George, Stephen G.; Helbing, Caren C.; Hoekstra, Paul F.; Iguchi, Taisen; Kagami, Yoshi; Katsiadaki, Ioanna; Kille, Peter; Liu, Li; Lord, Peter G.; McIntyre, Terry; O’Neill, Anne; Osachoff, Heather; Perkins, Ed J.; Santos, Eduarda M.; Skirrow, Rachel C.; Snape, Jason R.; Tyler, Charles R.; Versteeg, Don; Viant, Mark R.; Volz, David C.; Williams, Tim D.; Yu, Lorraine

    2010-01-01

    Background In this commentary we present the findings from an international consortium on fish toxicogenomics sponsored by the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council (Fish Toxicogenomics—Moving into Regulation and Monitoring, held 21–23 April 2008 at the Pacific Environmental Science Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada). Objectives The consortium from government agencies, academia, and industry addressed three topics: progress in ecotoxicogenomics, regulatory perspectives on roadblocks for practical implementation of toxicogenomics into risk assessment, and dealing with variability in data sets. Discussion Participants noted that examples of successful application of omic technologies have been identified, but critical studies are needed to relate molecular changes to ecological adverse outcome. Participants made recommendations for the management of technical and biological variation. They also stressed the need for enhanced interdisciplinary training and communication as well as considerable investment into the generation and curation of appropriate reference omic data. Conclusions The participants concluded that, although there are hurdles to pass on the road to regulatory acceptance, omics technologies are already useful for elucidating modes of action of toxicants and can contribute to the risk assessment process as part of a weight-of-evidence approach. PMID:20056575

  14. Assessing ecological risk at a hazardous waste site containing vernal pools

    SciTech Connect

    DeLong, T.; Millard, J.; Timmer, E.; Dobroski, C.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted for a Superfund site in central California. As part of this assessment an evaluation of vernal pools was conducted. Vernal pools are amphibious ecosystems that support unique biotic communities. Many of the endemic species associated with vernal pools in central California are currently listed as state or Federally endangered, threatened, or rare species and include: Contra Costa goldfields (Lasthenia conjugens), vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchl), vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi) and the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum califomiense). The protection of these habitats is essential for the preservation of the special status species dependent on them for survival. As part of the risk assessment, vernal pools in the study area were identified and surveyed for special status flora and fauna for two consecutive years. Information regarding the relative quality of each pool was also collected. In order to assess potential impacts from chemical exposures to communities inhabiting these vernal pools, a weight-of-evidence approach was employed that included: evaluation of vernal pool biological composition; assessment of physical and chemical conditions; invertebrate sediment toxicity evaluations, and Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Analysis -- Xenopus (FETAX) testing.

  15. Ecological risks of polycyclic musk in soils irrigated with reclaimed municipal wastewater.

    PubMed

    Wang, Meie; Peng, Chi; Chen, Weiping; Markert, Bernd

    2013-11-01

    HHCB (1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-c-2-benzopyrane) and AHTN (7-acetyl-1,1,3,4,4,6-hexamethyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalene) are found in reclaimed municipal wastewater. They may accumulate in soils receiving long-term application of reclaimed water thus adversely impact the soil biota. We evaluated the extent of their accumulation in receiving soils using HYDRUS-1D based on reclaimed municipal wastewater irrigation data at a public park in Beijing. The potential for ecological harms were assessed according to tested and reported outcomes of acute toxicity tests using wheat (Triticum aetivum L), earthworm (Eisenia fetida) and springtail (Bourletiella hortensis) as target organisms. Results of comparison among EC50 values from wheat, earthworm and springtail showed the EC50 value for root elongation inhibition of wheat germination was the least. Based on the least EC50, predicted no effect concentration in soils were 290 and 320ng /g for HHCB and ATHN, respectively. Comparable results from simulation to experimental and field investigating date validated the using of HYDRUS-1D in the work. Results of risk prediction showed it would take 243 and 666 years for HHCB and AHTN accumulated in soils at current irrigation practice to reach the levels for the resulting risk characterization ratios (RCRs) to cause potential ecosystem harms. PMID:23978598

  16. Application of ecological risk indicators for the assessment of Greek surficial sediments contaminated by toxic metals.

    PubMed

    Hahladakis, John Ν; Vasilaki, Georgia; Smaragdaki, Eleftheria; Gidarakos, Evangelos

    2016-05-01

    Τhe present research investigates the partitioning of six selected toxic metals (Ni, Cr, Pb, Zn, Cu, and As) in eight sediment samples; half of them were collected from Elefsis Gulf, and the other half were taken from Koumoundourou Lake, Athens, Greece. Each one of them was treated by applying Tessier's five-step sequential extraction procedure. Regarding gulf sediments, the results indicated that Cu exhibits a strong affinity to the organic matter with percentages ranging from 65 to 78 %. Considerable amount of Zn (32-40 %) is bound to the Fe-Mn fraction and the non-residual fraction, while Cr and Ni are bound to the organic fraction, an observation that suits all toxic metals examined. Regarding lake sediments, Pb is the predominant metal bound to Fe-Mn (48-51 %). It is also noteworthy that the percentage of Zn bound to carbonated fraction (5-15 %), indicating biological availability. In conclusion, the application of several ecological risk indicators demonstrated that Elefsis Gulf sediments correspond to a moderate pollution level, with Pb and Ni being less bioavailable than in the lake's samples, in contrast to Zn which is more bioavailable. Finally, Koumoundourou Lakes' basin is characterized of "low risk." PMID:27052348

  17. Characterization of the ecological interactions of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Horak, Michael J; Rosenbaum, Eric W; Phillips, Samuel L; Kendrick, Daniel L; Carson, David; Clark, Pete L; Nickson, Thomas E

    2015-01-01

    As part of an ecological risk assessment, Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean (MON 89788) was compared to a conventional control soybean variety, A3244, for disease and arthropod damage, plant response to abiotic stress and cold, effects on succeeding plant growth (allelopathic effects), plant response to a bacterial symbiont, and effects on the ability of seed to survive and volunteer in a subsequent growing season. Statistically significant differences between MON 89788 and A3244 were considered in the context of the genetic variation known to occur in soybean and were assessed for their potential impact on plant pest (weed) potential and adverse environmental impact. The results of these studies revealed no effects of the genetic modification that would result in increased pest potential or adverse environmental impact of MON 89788 compared with A3244. This paper illustrates how such characterization studies conducted in a range of environments where the crop is grown are used in an ecological risk assessment of the genetically modified (GM) crop. Furthermore, risk assessors and decision makers use this information when deciding whether to approve a GM crop for cultivation in-or grain import into-their country. PMID:26177011

  18. Sediment and water toxicity evaluations for the Clinch River ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, A.M.; Phipps, T.L.; Kszos, L.A.

    1995-12-31

    The sediment and surface water at three sites in the Clinch River and six sites in Poplar Creek were evaluated by means of toxicity tests with aquatic organisms. The results of these tests were used as one of the lines of evidence in an assessment of ecological risk due to contaminants, transported from the Oak Ridge Reservation, to the off-site sediment and water environment. Results from a suite of six whole sediment, elutriate and pore water toxicity tests were summarized in terms of survival (Hyalella azteca, Daphnia magna, Anodonta imbecillis, Ceriodaphnia dubia), fecundity (Daphnia magna) or light output reduction (Microtox{reg_sign}). Results from the water toxicity tests were summarized in terms of reduction in survival or fecundity of C. dubia, and survival or growth of Pimephales promelas. Toxicity test results (covering a period of about 1 6 months) showed little difference between reference site media and media from sites of concern. They also showed no strong spatial or temporal response pattern. These results are further supported by the presence of indigenous Chironomus and Hexagenia spp. in the sediment samples. Toxicity results will be discussed with respect to three issues. Two criteria were used to define significant differences between reference sites and sites of concern: a difference of 20%, and statistical significance at a = 0.05. Secondly, the relevance of comparing mean responses to control vs. reference site will be discussed. Lastly, toxicity results are consistent with site characterization information which suggest that contaminants of concern in sediment are buried under clean sediment, effectively isolating the material from potential human or ecological exposure.

  19. Utilizing the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) in ecological risk assessments of bioaccumulative contaminants.

    PubMed

    Seston, Rita Marie; Zwiernik, Matthew John; Fredricks, Timothy Brian; Coefield, Sarah Jean; Tazelaar, Dustin Lee; Hamman, David Wayne; Paulson, John David; Giesy, John Paul

    2009-10-01

    Selection of an appropriate species is a key element of effective ecological risk assessments (ERA), especially when site-specific field studies are to be employed. Great blue herons (GBH) possess several ideal characteristics of a receptor species for the assessment of bioaccumulative compounds in the environment, such as ease of study, high potential for exposure, widespread distribution, and territorial foraging behavior. Methodologies for assessing exposure and population health are described herein. As outlined, the collection of GBH eggs, GBH nestling blood, and adult GBH blood allows for the determination of contaminant concentrations in various GBH tissues, a top-down assessment, which can be done in conjunction with predicted dietary exposure, a bottom-up assessment, to support a multiple lines of evidence approach. Additionally, population parameters, such as productivity and survival, can also be measured to elucidate if the contaminant exposure may be causing population level effects. Over the course of two years, three GBH rookeries were monitored for productivity and nestling exposure. Nests were monitored from blinds and individually accessed at multiple time points to obtain measures of nestling health, band nestlings, and collect eggs and nestling plasma. Multiple nests could frequently be accessed by climbing one tree, resulting in minimal effort to obtain the necessary sample size. Additionally, 51 adult GBH, captured in their foraging areas, were banded, and provided a blood sample. With these samples, a statistical difference in tissue based exposure was identified between the reference and target area. Statistically significant differences were also identified between the upper and lower reaches of the target area, thereby identifying a range of doses geographically which could be correlated to specific measurement endpoints. The ability to identify a dose response greatly increases the ability of the dataset to determine causation, a key goal

  20. Protection of the environment: how to position radioprotection in an ecological risk assessment perspective.

    PubMed

    Bréchignac, François

    2003-05-20

    The development of a system capable of ensuring adequate protection of the environment from the harmful effects of ionising radiation is at present particularly debated. This need comes both from a restrictive consideration of the environment in the so far existing system for human radioprotection, and the planetary-wide growing concerns about man's technogenic influence on his environment which have yielded 'sustainability' and 'precaution' as guiding principles for environmental protection. Whilst evolving from the field of human radioprotection, the radioprotection of the environment needs to be discussed in a wider perspective, with particular emphasis on the most advanced concepts which emerge from the efforts to deriving improved approaches to Ecological Risk Assessment. For the sake of protection, the environment is traditionally addressed through its biota since these are the sensitive components of ecosystems. Similarities between man and biotas reflect the ubiquitous mechanistic effects of radiation on life which disrupt molecules. However, important differences also arise in a number of perspectives, from the large spectrum of different species of biotas to their hierarchical self-organisation as interacting populations within ecosystems. Altogether, these aspects are prone to promote complex arrays of different responses to stress which lie beyond the scope of human radioprotection due to its focus on individuals of a single species. By means of selected illustrations, this paper reviews and discusses the current challenges faced in proper identification of measurable effect endpoints (stochastic/deterministic, individual/population- or ecosystem-relevant), dose limits in chronic exposure (or levels of concern), and their consideration according to radiation type (RBE) and interactions with other contaminants (synergies/antagonisms) which represent critical gaps in knowledge. The system of human radioprotection has conceptually been targeted at limiting

  1. Association of extinction risk of saproxylic beetles with ecological degradation of forests in Europe.

    PubMed

    Seibold, Sebastian; Brandl, Roland; Buse, Jörn; Hothorn, Torsten; Schmidl, Jürgen; Thorn, Simon; Müller, Jörg

    2015-04-01

    To reduce future loss of biodiversity and to allocate conservation funds effectively, the major drivers behind large-scale extinction processes must be identified. A promising approach is to link the red-list status of species and specific traits that connect species of functionally important taxa or guilds to resources they rely on. Such traits can be used to detect the influence of anthropogenic ecosystem changes and conservation efforts on species, which allows for practical recommendations for conservation. We modeled the German Red List categories as an ordinal index of extinction risk of 1025 saproxylic beetles with a proportional-odds linear mixed-effects model for ordered categorical responses. In this model, we estimated fixed effects for intrinsic traits characterizing species biology, required resources, and distribution with phylogenetically correlated random intercepts. The model also allowed predictions of extinction risk for species with no red-list category. Our model revealed a higher extinction risk for lowland and large species as well as for species that rely on wood of large diameter, broad-leaved trees, or open canopy. These results mirror well the ecological degradation of European forests over the last centuries caused by modern forestry, that is the conversion of natural broad-leaved forests to dense conifer-dominated forests and the loss of old growth and dead wood. Therefore, conservation activities aimed at saproxylic beetles in all types of forests in Central and Western Europe should focus on lowlands, and habitat management of forest stands should aim at increasing the amount of dead wood of large diameter, dead wood of broad-leaved trees, and dead wood in sunny areas. PMID:25429849

  2. Occurrence, spatiotemporal distribution, mass balance and ecological risks of antibiotics in subtropical shallow Lake Taihu, China.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Li-Jun; Wu, Qinglong L; Zhang, Bei-Bei; Zhao, Yong-Gang; Zhao, Bi-Ying

    2016-04-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the occurrence, spatiotemporal distribution, mass balance and ecological risks of 43 commonly used human and veterinary antibiotics in both aqueous and sedimentary phases in a large subtropical shallow lake, Lake Taihu. In the aqueous phase, sulfonamides (2.64-344 ng L(-1)), lincomycin (ND to 53.8 ng L(-1)) and florfenicol (0.15-963 ng L(-1)) were the main compounds with high concentrations and detection frequencies. In the sedimentary phase, fluoroquinolones (ND to 174 ng g(-1), dry weight) and tetracyclines (ND to 39.6 ng g(-1), dry weight) were the predominant compounds. Antibiotic concentrations in Lake Taihu were generally lower relative to data documented in previous studies on China and other countries. The composition of antibiotics showed that livestock wastewater might be the main source of antibiotics in Lake Taihu, followed by domestic wastewater. Antibiotics in the lake water showed slight spatial variation in summer and significant spatial variation in winter; whereas, antibiotic concentrations in the sediments varied obviously, with high concentrations found in the sites close to potential pollution sources. Mass balance showed that sediments are an important sink and potential source for fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines. In addition to antibiotics' physicochemical properties, the spatiotemporal distribution of antibiotics in the lake was influenced by both pollution sources and lake hydrodynamics. The environmental risk assessment results showed that sulfamethoxazole could pose high risks on the algae in the aquatic ecosystem, followed by tetracyclines (algae) and fluoroquinolones (bacteria). Overall, our study reveals complex compositions and clear spatiotemporal dynamics in Lake Taihu, which were the consequence of pollution sources and lake hydrodynamics. PMID:27048777

  3. Biological quality of soils containing hydrocarbons and efficacy of ecological risk reduction by bioremediation alternatives

    SciTech Connect

    Stewart, A.J.; Napolitano, G.E.; Sample, B.E.

    1996-06-01

    This project provides technical support to the Petroleum Environmental Research Forum (PERF; a consortium of petroleum companies) on environmentally acceptable endpoints that may be used to help assess the ecological risk of petroleum hydrocarbon residuals in soils. The project, was designed in consultation with PERF representatives and focuses on the relationship between {open_quotes}chemically available{close_quotes} and {open_quotes}biologically available{close_quotes} measurements of petroleum hydrocarbon compounds in soils, a discrepancy of considerable interest to the petroleum industry. Presently, clean-up standards for soils contaminated with total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) constituents are based on concentrations of TPH, as measured in solvent extracts of soil samples. Interestingly, TPH includes a complex mixture of compounds which differ from one another in molecular weight and toxicity. Based on various studies with insecticides, herbicides and metals, some compounds apparently can slowly permeate into soil particles. If this situation occurs, the particle-embedded compounds may be extractable by use of organic solvents, and yet be unavailable biologically. This hypothesis serves as the central focus for our study. If this hypothesis is correct, then soil clean-up standards based on solvent-extractable TPH data may be more stringent than necessary to achieve a desired level of environmental risk. The economic significance of this possibility is considerable, because clean-up costs to achieve a low-risk status would, in most cases, be lower than those needed to achieve a standard based on present limits, which are based on measurements of {open_quotes}extractable{close_quotes} TPH.

  4. Neighborhoods and Adolescent Health-Risk Behavior: An Ecological Network Approach1

    PubMed Central

    Browning, Christopher R.; Soller, Brian; Jackson, Aubrey L.

    2014-01-01

    This study integrates insights from social network analysis, activity space perspectives, and theories of urban and spatial processes to present an innovative approach to neighborhood effects on health-risk behavior among youth. We suggest spatial patterns of neighborhood residents’ non-home routine activities may be conceptualized as ecological, or “eco”-networks, which are two-mode networks that indirectly link residents through socio-spatial overlap in routine activities. We further argue structural configurations of eco-networks are consequential for youth’s behavioral health. In this study we focus on a key structural feature of eco-networks—the neighborhood-level extent to which households share two or more activity locations, or eco-network reinforcement—and its association with two dimensions of health-risk behavior, substance use and delinquency/sexual activity. Using geographic data on non-home routine activity locations among respondents from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS), we constructed neighborhood-specific eco-networks by connecting sampled households to “activity clusters,” which are sets of spatially-proximate activity locations. We then measured eco-network reinforcement and examined its association with adolescent dimensions of health risk behavior employing a sample of 830 youth ages 12-17 nested in 65 census tracts. We also examined whether neighborhood-level social processes (collective efficacy and intergenerational closure) mediate the association between eco-network reinforcement and the outcomes considered. Results indicated eco-network reinforcement exhibits robust negative associations with both substance use and delinquency/sexual activity scales. Eco-network reinforcement effects were not explained by potential mediating variables. In addition to introducing a novel theoretical and empirical approach to neighborhood effects on youth, our findings highlight the importance of eco

  5. Ecological risk assessment of bisphenol A in surface waters of China based on both traditional and reproductive endpoints.

    PubMed

    Guo, Lei; Li, Zhengyan; Gao, Pei; Hu, Hong; Gibson, Mark

    2015-11-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) occurs widely in natural waters with both traditional and reproductive toxicity to various aquatic species. The water quality criteria (WQC), however, have not been established in China, which hinders the ecological risk assessment for the pollutant. This study therefore aims to derive the water quality criteria for BPA based on both acute and chronic toxicity endpoints and to assess the ecological risk in surface waters of China. A total of 15 acute toxicity values tested with aquatic species resident in China were found in published literature, which were simulated with the species sensitivity distribution (SSD) model for the derivation of criterion maximum concentration (CMC). 18 chronic toxicity values with traditional endpoints were simulated for the derivation of traditional criterion continuous concentration (CCC) and 12 chronic toxicity values with reproductive endpoints were for reproductive CCC. Based on the derived WQC, the ecological risk of BPA in surface waters of China was assessed with risk quotient (RQ) method. The results showed that the CMC, traditional CCC and reproductive CCC were 1518μgL(-1), 2.19μgL(-1) and 0.86μgL(-1), respectively. The acute risk of BPA was negligible with RQ values much lower than 0.1. The chronic risk was however much higher with RQ values of between 0.01-3.76 and 0.03-9.57 based on traditional and reproductive CCC, respectively. The chronic RQ values on reproductive endpoints were about threefold as high as those on traditional endpoints, indicating that ecological risk assessment based on traditional effects may not guarantee the safety of aquatic biota. PMID:26081577

  6. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the U.S. Department of Energy`s Oak Ridge Reservation: 1994 revision

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.

    1994-08-01

    This report provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). The tiered approach to ecological risk assessment has been implemented, generic conceptual models have been developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints has been agreed upon. The document also includes changes in terminology to agree with the terminology in the US Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA`s) framework for ecological risk assessment. Although ecological risks are equal in regulatory importance to human health risks, formal procedures for ecological risk assessment are poorly developed. This report will provide specific guidance and promote the use of consistent approaches for ecological risk assessments at individual sites on the ORR. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance and with relevant EPA guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it should be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources.

  7. Effects of Urbanization Expansion on Landscape Pattern and Region Ecological Risk in Chinese Coastal City: A Case Study of Yantai City

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Di; Shi, Ping; Wu, Xiaoqing; Ma, Jinwei

    2014-01-01

    Applied with remote sensing, GIS, and mathematical statistics, the spatial-temporal evolution characteristics of urbanization expansion of Yantai city from 1974 to 2009 was studied. Based on landscape pattern metrics and ecological risk index, the landscape ecological risk from the landscape pattern dynamics was evaluated. The results showed that the area of urban land increased by 189.77 km2 with average expansion area of 5.42 km2 y−1 from 1974 to 2009. The urbanization intensity index during 2004–2009 was 3.92 times of that during 1974–1990. The land use types of urban land and farmland changed greatly. The changes of landscape pattern metrics for land use patterns indicated that the intensity of human activities had strengthened gradually in study period. The landscape ecological risk pattern of Yantai city shaped half-round rings along the coastline. The ecological risk index decreased with increase of the distance to the coastline. The ratio of high ecological risk to subhigh ecological risk zones in 2009 was 2.23 times of that in 1990. The significant linear relationship of urbanization intensity index and regional ecological risk indicated that the anthropological economic activities were decisive factors for sustainable development of costal ecological environment. PMID:24983003

  8. Integration of bioavailability, ecology and ecotoxicology by three lines of evidence into ecological risk indexes for contaminated soil assessment.

    PubMed

    Semenzin, Elena; Critto, Andrea; Rutgers, Michiel; Marcomini, Antonio

    2008-01-15

    A Weight of Evidence approach was applied to define three integrated effect indexes estimating the impairment on terrestrial ecosystems caused by the stressor(s) of concern. According to a Triad approach, the integrated effect indexes combined the information provided by the measurement endpoints of each line of evidence (chemistry/bioavailability, ecology and ecotoxicology) and allowed to analyse the impairment degree highlighted by each measurement endpoint as difference from the reference condition. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) was used for the aggregation of the complementary Triad information, including expert judgement and a weighted procedure based on the endpoint sensitivity and the sensitivity of the test for ecosystem effects. The developed methodology was implemented in the DSS-ERAMANIA, Module 2, and is presented in this paper as "Integrated Effect Indexes" (IEI) sub-module. The latter has been preliminary applied to the Acna di Cengio (Italy) contaminated site; the results of this application are presented and discussed. PMID:17904618

  9. Species sensitivity weighted distribution for ecological risk assessment of engineered nanomaterials: the n-TiO2 case study.

    PubMed

    Semenzin, Elena; Lanzellotto, Elisa; Hristozov, Danail; Critto, Andrea; Zabeo, Alex; Giubilato, Elisa; Marcomini, Antonio

    2015-11-01

    Societal concerns about the environmental risks of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have recently increased, but nano-ecological risk assessments are constrained by significant gaps in basic information on long-term effects and exposures, for example. An approach to the ecological risk assessment of ENMs is proposed that can operate in the context of high uncertainty. This approach further develops species sensitivity weighted distribution (SSWD) by including 3 weighting criteria (species relevance, trophic level abundance, and nanotoxicity data quality) to address nano-specific needs (n-SSWD). The application of n-SSWD is illustrated for nanoscale titanium dioxide (n-TiO2 ), which is available in different crystal forms; it was selected because of its widespread use in consumer products (e.g., cosmetics) and the ample availability of data from ecotoxicological studies in the literature (including endpoints for algae, invertebrates, bacteria, and vertebrates in freshwater, saltwater, and terrestrial compartments). The n-SSWD application resulted in estimation of environmental quality criteria (hazard concentration affecting 5% and 50% of the species) and ecological risk (potentially affected fraction of species), which were then compared with similar results obtained by applying the traditional species sensitivity distribution (SSD) approach to the same dataset. The n-SSWDs were also built for specific trophic levels (e.g., primary producers) and taxonomic groups (e.g., algae), which helped to identify the most sensitive organisms. These results showd that n-SSWD is a valuable risk tool, although further testing is suggested. PMID:26058704

  10. HAZARD: A probabilistic method for ecological risk assessment to be applied in marine and coastal quality modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Schobben, H.P.M.; Scholten, M.C.T.; Karman, C.C.

    1994-12-31

    HAZARD is a relatively simple, probabilistic method for ecological risk assessment that can be added to the traditional water quality models. It can be seen as an advanced form of the traditional PEC/NEC-method. It compares the potential environmental concentration with sensitivity data for a set of species. In principle ecological risk modeling implies handling biological variation and uncertainties with regard to the causal chain from the actual exposure to pollutants to the final effects on marine biota. Probability techniques, known from statistical data processing, can deal with some of these variations and uncertainties. The basic principles, assumptions and limiting conditions will be discussed and illustrated with practical examples, including: the characterization of the sensitivity of marine biota by means of a frequency distribution of effect concentrations; the calculation of the intensity of the actual exposure of biota by a comparison of the temporal and spatial distributions of both pollutants and biota; the adjustment of ecotoxicological data to allow for a specific risk analysis for actual field conditions; application of the model for a risk analysis of incidental pollution by means of a translation of sensitivity data to short exposure times; the principle of calculating the risk of exposure to a mixture of pollutants; a concept in which the capacity of ecological recovery is taken into account.

  11. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals from the surficial sediments of a shallow coastal lagoon, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Abdallah, Maha Ahmed Mohamed

    2011-07-01

    Sediment quality of Lake Maryout (one of the four Nile Delta shallow brackish water lakes on the south-eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea) is of concern as this lake is used for land reclamation and aquaculture and is an important fishing source. The magnitude and ecological relevance of metal pollution in Lake Maryout Main Basin was investigated by applying different sediment quality assessment approaches. The aim of this study was to estimate ecological risk of trace elements (Cd, Ni, Pb, Cr, Cu and Zn) in the surficial sediments (<63 jtm fraction) of Lake Maryout. Heavily contaminated sediments were evaluated by the Sediment Quality Guideline (SQG) of the US Environmental Protection Agency. The degree of contamination (Cd) was estimated as very high for each site. Two sets of SQGs effect range-low/effect range-median values and threshold effect concentration (TEC) and probable effect concentration (PEC) values were used in this study. Sediments from each site were judged toxic when more of the PEC values exceeded EPA guidelines. Based on the geoaccumulation index (Ieo) of target trace elements, the Main Basin of Lake Maryout has to be considered as extremely polluted with Cd (Igeo > or =5), strongly polluted with Zn (2 < or = Igeo < or =3), moderately polluted with Cu (1 < or = Igeo < or = 2), unpolluted to moderately polluted with Cr and Pb (0 < or = Igeo < or = 1 for each) and unpolluted with Ni (Igeo < or = 0). Lake Maryout sediments had heavy accumulations of Cd, which apparently come from drains that include industrial and raw domestic wastes. Therefore, a sequential extraction technique was applied to assess the five fractions (exchangeable, metals bound to carbonate, acid-reducible, oxidizable-organic and residual) of Cd in surface sediments. The Cd concentration in most sampling stations was dominated by the non-resistant fraction (anthropogenic). The result showed that those stations located in the vicinity of municipal and mixed waste drains posed

  12. Distribution and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments along southeast coast of the Caspian Sea.

    PubMed

    Bastami, Kazem Darvish; Bagheri, Hossein; Kheirabadi, Vahid; Zaferani, Ghasem Ghorbanzadeh; Teymori, Mohammad Bagher; Hamzehpoor, Ali; Soltani, Farzaneh; Haghparast, Sarah; Harami, Sayyed Reza Moussavi; Ghorghani, Nasrin Farzaneh; Ganji, Sahar

    2014-04-15

    The present study aimed to evaluate heavy metal concentrations of Arsenic (As), Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn), their spatial distribution, enrichment factor index (EF), the pollution load index (PLI) and potential ecological risk (PER) in two different seasons of the year (winter and summer) in surface sediments along southeast coast of the Caspian Sea. The results indicated that there were significant differences between concentrations of As, Ni and Pb in two different seasons. Considering PER, sediments from southeast Caspian coast had low ecological risk. According to PLI, sediment from the southeast coast had no pollution. Risk assessment showed that As threshold concentrations to occasionally be exceeded in the study area. PMID:24606766

  13. Esturaine ecological risk assessment for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine. Phase. 1. Problem formulation. Final report, September 1991-May 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, R.K.; Munns, W.R.; Mills, L.J.; Short, F.T.; Walker, H.A.

    1994-12-01

    An ecological risk assessment framework was applied to assess the ecological risk of the operations of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) in Kittery, ME, on the Piscataqua River and Great Bay Estuary located in NH and ME. Measures of contamination and biological impact were made on samples collected in depositional areas (eelgrass beds) at sites in the immediate vicinity of the Shipyard and at reference sites located in the Estuary and the York River, ME. Data were collected on sediment texture and sediment toxicity to benthic amphipeds. Water quality parameters, water column toxicity to sea urchin gametes, microbial contaminants in sediment and water samples, current patterns, deployed mussel physiology, chemical contamination in sediment, tissue (mussels, oysters, eelgaass, fucoid algae, lobster, and flounder) and water samples, and organic chemical markers. Eelgrass, fucoid algae, lobster, flounder, mussel and benthic habitats were assessed in the lower estuary. Although important ecological resources in the estuary appear to be healthy, indications of ecological stress were identified. Results from chemical analyses showed that lead, mercury, nickel, zinc, chromium, and, to a lesser degree, polychlorinated biphenyls are contaminants of concern in the estuary. Results were used to determine appropriate follow-on investigations to characterize risk.

  14. Radionuclides in the Arctic seas from the former Soviet Union: Potential health and ecological risks

    SciTech Connect

    Layton, D W; Edson, R; Varela, M; Napier, B

    1999-11-15

    The primary goal of the assessment reported here is to evaluate the health and environmental threat to coastal Alaska posed by radioactive-waste dumping in the Arctic and Northwest Pacific Oceans by the FSU. In particular, the FSU discarded 16 nuclear reactors from submarines and an icebreaker in the Kara Sea near the island of Novaya Zemlya, of which 6 contained spent nuclear fuel (SNF); disposed of liquid and solid wastes in the Sea of Japan; lost a {sup 90}Sr-powered radioisotope thermoelectric generator at sea in the Sea of Okhotsk; and disposed of liquid wastes at several sites in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Kamchatka Peninsula. In addition to these known sources in the oceans, the RAIG evaluated FSU waste-disposal practices at inland weapons-development sites that have contaminated major rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean. The RAIG evaluated these sources for the potential for release to the environment, transport, and impact to Alaskan ecosystems and peoples through a variety of scenarios, including a worst-case total instantaneous and simultaneous release of the sources under investigation. The risk-assessment process described in this report is applicable to and can be used by other circumpolar countries, with the addition of information about specific ecosystems and human life-styles. They can use the ANWAP risk-assessment framework and approach used by ONR to establish potential doses for Alaska, but add their own specific data sets about human and ecological factors. The ANWAP risk assessment addresses the following Russian wastes, media, and receptors: dumped nuclear submarines and icebreaker in Kara Sea--marine pathways; solid reactor parts in Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean--marine pathways; thermoelectric generator in Sea of Okhotsk--marine pathways; current known aqueous wastes in Mayak reservoirs and Asanov Marshes--riverine to marine pathways; and Alaska as receptor. For these waste and source terms addressed, other pathways, such as

  15. Preliminary assessment of the ecological risks to wide-ranging wildlife species on the Oak Ridge Reservation

    SciTech Connect

    Sample, B.E.; Baron, L.A.; Jackson, B.L.

    1995-08-01

    Historically, ecological risk assessment at CERCLA sites [such as the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR)], has focused on species that may be definitively associated with a contaminated area or source operable unit. Consequently the species that are generally considered are those with home ranges small enough such that multiple individuals or a distinct population can be expected to reside within the boundaries of the contaminated site. This approach is adequate for sites with single, discrete areas of contamination that only provide habitat for species with limited requirements. This approach is not adequate however for large sites with multiple, spatially separated contaminated areas that provide habitat for wide-ranging wildlife species. Because wide-ranging wildlife species may travel between and use multiple contaminated sites they may be exposed to and be at risk from contaminants from multiple locations. Use of a particular contaminated site by wide-ranging species will be dependent upon the amount of suitable habitat available at that site. Therefore to adequately evaluate risks to wide-ranging species at the ORR-wide scale, the use of multiple contaminated sites must be weighted by the amount of suitable habitat on OUs. This reservation-wide ecological risk assessment is intended to identify which endpoints are significantly at risk; which contaminants are responsible for this risk; and which OUs significantly contribute to risk.

  16. Environmental (Saprozoic) Pathogens of Engineered Water Systems: Understanding Their Ecology for Risk Assessment and Management

    PubMed Central

    Ashbolt, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Major waterborne (enteric) pathogens are relatively well understood and treatment controls are effective when well managed. However, water-based, saprozoic pathogens that grow within engineered water systems (primarily within biofilms/sediments) cannot be controlled by water treatment alone prior to entry into water distribution and other engineered water systems. Growth within biofilms or as in the case of Legionella pneumophila, primarily within free-living protozoa feeding on biofilms, results from competitive advantage. Meaning, to understand how to manage water-based pathogen diseases (a sub-set of saprozoses) we need to understand the microbial ecology of biofilms; with key factors including biofilm bacterial diversity that influence amoebae hosts and members antagonistic to water-based pathogens, along with impacts from biofilm substratum, water temperature, flow conditions and disinfectant residual—all control variables. Major saprozoic pathogens covering viruses, bacteria, fungi and free-living protozoa are listed, yet today most of the recognized health burden from drinking waters is driven by legionellae, non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and, to a lesser extent, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In developing best management practices for engineered water systems based on hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) or water safety plan (WSP) approaches, multi-factor control strategies, based on quantitative microbial risk assessments need to be developed, to reduce disease from largely opportunistic, water-based pathogens. PMID:26102291

  17. Iron Ore Industry Emissions as a Potential Ecological Risk Factor for Tropical Coastal Vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuki, Kacilda N.; Oliva, Marco A.; Pereira, Eduardo G.

    2008-07-01

    In the coastal zone of the Espírito Santo state, Brazil, fragments of restinga, which form a natural ecosystem, share their space with an increasing number of iron ore industries. The iron ore dust and SO2 originating from the industry processing activities can interfere with the vegetation of the adjacent ecosystems at various levels. This study was undertaken in order to evaluate the effects of industry emissions on representative members of the restinga flora, by measuring physiological and phenological parameters. Foliar samples of Ipomoea pes caprae, Canavalia rosea, Sophora tomentosa, and Schinus terebinthifolius were collected at three increasing distances from an ore industry (1.0, 5.0, and 15.0 km), and were assessed for their dust deposition, chlorophyll, and Fe content. Phenological monitoring was focused on the formation of shoots, flowers, and fruits and was also performed throughout the course of a year. The results showed that the edaphic characteristics and the mineral constitutions of the plants were affected by industry emissions. In addition, the chlorophyll content of the four species increased with proximity to the industry. Phenological data revealed that the reproductive effort, as measured by fruit production, was affected by emissions and S. tomentosa was the most affected species. The use of an integrative approach that combines biochemical and ecological data indicates that the restinga flora is under stress due to industry emissions, which on a long-term basis may put the ecosystem at risk.

  18. Adolescents' Educational Outcomes in a Social Ecology of Parenting, Family, and Community Risks in Northern Ireland

    PubMed Central

    Goeke-Morey, Marcie C.; Taylor, Laura K.; Cairns, Ed; Merrilees, Christine E.; Shirlow, Peter; Cummings, E. Mark

    2015-01-01

    This study examines the influence of social ecological risks within the domains of parenting, family environment, and community in the prediction of educational outcomes for 770 adolescents (49% boys, 51% girls, M = 13.6 years, SD = 2.0) living in a setting of protracted political conflict, specifically working class areas of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Controlling for religious community, age, and gender, youths' lower academic achievement was associated with family environments characterized by high conflict and low cohesion. School ehaviour problems were related to greater exposure to community violence, or sectarian and nonsectarian antisocial behaviour. Youths' expectations about educational attainment were undermined by conflict in the family environment and antisocial behaviour in the community, as well as parenting low in warmth and behavioural control. Findings underscore the importance of considering family and community contributions to youths' educational outcomes. Suggestions regarding targeted interventions toward promoting resilience are discussed, such as assessing both child and family functioning, developing multidimensional interventions for parents, and building community partnerships, among others. PMID:26834298

  19. Ecotoxicological and analytical assessment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and application to ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Saterbak, A.; Toy, R.J.; Wong, D.C.L.; McMain, B.J.; Williams, M.P.; Dorn, P.B.; Brzuzy, L.P.; Chai, E.Y.; Salanitro, J.P.

    1999-07-01

    Ecotoxicological assessments of contaminated soil aim to understand the effect of introduced chemicals on the soil flora and fauna. Ecotoxicity test methods were developed and conducted on hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and on adjacent uncontaminated control soils from eight field locations. Tests included 7-d, 14-d, and chronic survival tests and reproduction assays for the earthworm (Eisenia fetida) and seed germination, root length, and plant growth assays for corn, lettuce, mustard, and wheat. Species-specific responses were observed with no-observed effect concentrations (NOECs) ranging from <1 to 100% contaminated soil. The 14-d earthworm survival NOEC was equal to or greater than the reproduction NOEC values for numbers of cocoons and juveniles, which were similar to one another. Cocoon and juvenile production varied among the control soils. Germination and root length NOECs for mustard and lettuce were less than NOECs for corn and wheat. Root length NOECs were similar to or less than seed germination NOECs. Statistically significant correlations for earthworm survival and seed germination as a function of hydrocarbon measurements were found. The 14-d earthworm survival and the seed germination tests are recommended for use in the context of a risk-based framework for the ecological assessment of contaminated sites.

  20. Development and application of the SSD approach in scientific case studies for ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Del Signore, Anastasia; Hendriks, A Jan; Lenders, H J Rob; Leuven, Rob S E W; Breure, A M

    2016-09-01

    Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) are used in ecological risk assessment for extrapolation of the results of toxicity tests with single species to a toxicity threshold considered protective of ecosystem structure and functioning. The attention to and importance of the SSD approach has increased in scientific and regulatory communities since the 1990s. Discussion and criticism have been triggered on the concept of the approach as well as its technical aspects (e.g., distribution type, number of toxicity endpoints). Various questions remain unanswered, especially with regard to different endpoints, statistical methods, and protectiveness of threshold levels, for example. In the present literature review (covering the period 2002-2013), case studies are explored in which the SSD approach was applied, as well as how endpoint types, species choice, and data availability affect SSDs. How statistical methods may be used to construct reliable SSDs and whether the lower 5th percentile hazard concentrations (HC5s) from a generic SSD can be protective for a specific local community are also investigated. It is shown that estimated protective concentrations were determined by taxonomic groups rather than the statistical method used to construct the distribution. Based on comparisons between semifield and laboratory-based SSDs, the output from a laboratory SSD was protective of semifield communities in the majority of studies. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2149-2161. © 2016 SETAC. PMID:27144499

  1. Predation risk is an ecological constraint for helper dispersal in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed Central

    Heg, Dik; Bachar, Zina; Brouwer, Lyanne; Taborsky, Michael

    2004-01-01

    Environmental conditions are thought to be responsible for the extent and benefits of cooperative breeding in many animal societies, but experimental tests are scarce. We manipulated predator pressure in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher in Lake Tanganyika, where predators have been suggested to influence helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success. We varied the type and intensity of predation by releasing medium, large, or no predators inside large underwater cages enclosing two or three group territories. Helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success decreased from the control, to the medium- and large-predator treatments. These effects were modified by helper body size and the number of adults protecting the group from predators, supporting the 'group augmentation hypothesis'. Predators forced helpers to stay closer to, and spend more time inside, protective shelters. The results demonstrate the importance of predators for group living in this species, and support the 'ecological constraints hypothesis' of cooperative breeding, in the sense that subordinates stay at home rather than leave and breed independently under the risk of predation. PMID:15556889

  2. Ecotoxicogenomics to support ecological risk assessment: a case study with bisphenol A in fish.

    PubMed

    Villeneuve, Daniel L; Garcia-Reyero, Natàlia; Escalon, B Lynn; Jensen, Kathleen M; Cavallin, Jenna E; Makynen, Elizabeth A; Durhan, Elizabeth J; Kahl, Michael D; Thomas, Linnea M; Perkins, Edward J; Ankley, Gerald T

    2012-01-01

    Effects of bisphenol A (BPA) on ovarian transcript profiles as well as targeted end points with endocrine/reproductive relevance were examined in two fish species, fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and zebrafish (Danio rerio), exposed in parallel using matched experimental designs. Four days of waterborne exposure to 10 μg BPA/L caused significant vitellogenin induction in both species. However, zebrafish were less sensitive to effects on hepatic gene expression and steroid production than fathead minnow and the magnitude of vitellogenin induction was more modest (i.e., 3-fold compared to 13,000-fold in fathead minnow). The concentration-response at the ovarian transcriptome level was nonmonotonic and violated assumptions that underlie proposed methods for estimating hazard thresholds from transcriptomic results. However, the nonmonotonic profile was consistent among species and there were nominal similarities in the functions associated with the differentially expressed genes, suggesting potential activation of common pathway perturbation motifs in both species. Overall, the results provide an effective case study for considering the potential application of ecotoxicogenomics to ecological risk assessments and provide novel comparative data regarding effects of BPA in fish. PMID:21786754

  3. Ecological risk assessment and natural resource damage assessment: synthesis of assessment procedures.

    PubMed

    Gala, William; Lipton, Joshua; Cernera, Phil; Ginn, Thomas; Haddad, Robert; Henning, Miranda; Jahn, Kathryn; Landis, Wayne; Mancini, Eugene; Nicoll, James; Peters, Vicky; Peterson, Jennifer

    2009-10-01

    The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) convened an invited workshop (August 2008) to address coordination between ecological risk assessment (ERA) and natural resource damage assessment (NRDA). Although ERA and NRDA activities are performed under a number of statutory and regulatory authorities, the primary focus of the workshop was on ERA and NRDA as currently practiced in the United States under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This paper presents the findings and conclusions of the Synthesis Work Group, 1 of 3 work groups convened at the workshop. The Synthesis Work Group concluded that the different programmatic objectives and legal requirements of the 2 processes preclude development of a single, integrated ERA/NRDA process. However, although institutional and programmatic impediments exist to integration of the 2 processes, parties are capitalizing on opportunities to coordinate technical and scientific elements of the assessments at a number of locations. Although it is important to recognize and preserve the distinctions between ERA and NRDA, opportunities for data sharing exist, particularly for the characterization of environmental exposures and derivation of ecotoxicological information. Thus, effective coordination is not precluded by the underlying science. Rather, willing participants, accommodating schedules, and recognition of potential efficiencies associated with shared data collection can lead to enhanced coordination and consistency between ERA and NRDA. PMID:19545186

  4. Effective coordination and cooperation between ecological risk assessments and natural resource damage assessments: a new synthesis.

    PubMed

    Gouguet, Ronald G; Charters, David W; Champagne, Larry F; Davis, Mark; Desvouges, William; Durda, Judi L; Hyatt, William H; Jacobson, Rachel; Kapustka, Larry; Longoria, Rose M

    2009-10-01

    Although ecological risk assessments (ERAs) and natural resource damage assessments (NRDAs) are performed under different statutory and regulatory authorities, primarily the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), as currently practiced, the activities typically overlap. ERAs performed as part of the response process (typically by the US Environmental Protection Agency [USEPA]) should be closely coordinated with the natural resource trustees' (trustees') NRDAs. Trustees should actively participate in the early stages of the remedial investigation (RI) and work with USEPA, including the potentially responsible parties (PRPs), when appropriate, to coordinate NRDA data needs with those of the RI. Close coordination can present opportunities to avoid inefficiencies, such as unnecessary resampling or duplicate data gathering, and provide the opportunity to fulfill both process requirements with a few well-designed investigations. Early identification of opportunities for practical combined assessment can save money and time as the restoration process proceeds and facilitate a cooperative resolution of the entire site's CERCLA liability. The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) convened an invited workshop (August 2008) to address coordination between ERA and NRDA efforts. This paper presents the findings and conclusions of the Framework Work Group, which considered technical issues common to each process, while mindful of the current legal and policy landscape, and developed recommendations for future practice. PMID:19545190

  5. Environmental (Saprozoic) Pathogens of Engineered Water Systems: Understanding Their Ecology for Risk Assessment and Management.

    PubMed

    Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2015-01-01

    Major waterborne (enteric) pathogens are relatively well understood and treatment controls are effective when well managed. However, water-based, saprozoic pathogens that grow within engineered water systems (primarily within biofilms/sediments) cannot be controlled by water treatment alone prior to entry into water distribution and other engineered water systems. Growth within biofilms or as in the case of Legionella pneumophila, primarily within free-living protozoa feeding on biofilms, results from competitive advantage. Meaning, to understand how to manage water-based pathogen diseases (a sub-set of saprozoses) we need to understand the microbial ecology of biofilms; with key factors including biofilm bacterial diversity that influence amoebae hosts and members antagonistic to water-based pathogens, along with impacts from biofilm substratum, water temperature, flow conditions and disinfectant residual-all control variables. Major saprozoic pathogens covering viruses, bacteria, fungi and free-living protozoa are listed, yet today most of the recognized health burden from drinking waters is driven by legionellae, non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and, to a lesser extent, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In developing best management practices for engineered water systems based on hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) or water safety plan (WSP) approaches, multi-factor control strategies, based on quantitative microbial risk assessments need to be developed, to reduce disease from largely opportunistic, water-based pathogens. PMID:26102291

  6. Food chain dynamics and potential ecological risks of mercury at the Carson River site

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, S.C.

    1995-12-31

    The USEPA is conducting a remedial investigation of mercury contamination in the Carson River watershed, located near Carson City in central west Nevada. As a component of this investigation, water, sediment, and tissue samples were collected for mercury speciation and other analyses. Tissues analyses from the seven site-investigation areas and four background areas include: whole-body and fillet analyses of five species of fish, composite and individual analyses of three species of benthic macroinvertebrates, blood, feather and liver analyses of two bird species, composite analyses of zooplankton, and whole-body analyses of lizards. The data are used to develop site-specific estimates of mercury bioaccumulation in aquatic food chains of riverine/riparian, open-water, and mudflat habitats at the Carson River site. Because the behavior and food chain dynamics of mercury in semi-arid ecosystems of the southwestern US is poorly understood, these data can be compared and contrasted with bioaccumulation estimates derived from well-studied ecosystems such as northern temperate lakes. Potential ecological risks of mercury exposure through the food chain and through ingestion of and contact with contaminated media are evaluated for important wildlife receptors occurring at the Carson River site.

  7. Microbial ecology of terrestrial Antarctica: Are microbial systems at risk from human activities?

    SciTech Connect

    White, G.J.

    1996-08-01

    Many of the ecological systems found in continental Antarctica are comprised entirely of microbial species. Concerns have arisen that these microbial systems might be at risk either directly through the actions of humans or indirectly through increased competition from introduced species. Although protection of native biota is covered by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, strict measures for preventing the introduction on non-native species or for protecting microbial habitats may be impractical. This report summarizes the research conducted to date on microbial ecosystems in continental Antarctica and discusses the need for protecting these ecosystems. The focus is on communities inhabiting soil and rock surfaces in non-coastal areas of continental Antarctica. Although current polices regarding waste management and other operations in Antarctic research stations serve to reduce the introduction on non- native microbial species, importation cannot be eliminated entirely. Increased awareness of microbial habitats by field personnel and protection of certain unique habitats from physical destruction by humans may be necessary. At present, small-scale impacts from human activities are occurring in certain areas both in terms of introduced species and destruction of habitat. On a large scale, however, it is questionable whether the introduction of non-native microbial species to terrestrial Antarctica merits concern.

  8. Community ecology and disease risk: lizards, squirrels, and the Lyme disease spirochete in California, USA.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Lane, Robert S

    2010-01-01

    Vector-borne zoonotic diseases are often maintained in complex transmission cycles involving multiple vertebrate hosts and their arthropod vectors. In the state of California, U.S.A., the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease, is transmitted between vertebrate hosts by the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus. Several mammalian species serve as reservoir hosts of the spirochete, but levels of tick infestation, reservoir competence, and Borrelia-infection prevalence vary widely among such hosts. Here, we model the host (lizards, Peromyscus mice, Californian meadow voles, dusky-footed wood rats, and western gray squirrels), vector, and pathogen community of oak woodlands in northwestern California to determine the relative importance of different tick hosts. Observed infection prevalence of B. burgdorferi in host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs was 1.8-5.3%, and our host-community model estimated an infection prevalence of 1.6-2.2%. The western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) was the only source of infected nymphs. Lizards, which are refractory to Borrelia infection, are important in feeding subadult ticks but reduce disease risk (nymphal infection prevalence). Species identity is therefore critical in understanding and determining the local disease ecology. PMID:20380218

  9. Distribution, fraction, and ecological risk assesment of heavy metals in sediment-plant system in mangrove forest, South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LI, R.; Shen, X.; Li, Y. H.; Chai, M. W.; Qiu, G. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Overlying water, sediment, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove seedlings in Futian mangrove forest were analyzed for heavy metals. The results showed that mangrove plant acidified sediment and increased organic matter contents. Except for chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) in Aegiceras corniculatum sediment, heavy metals in all sediments were higher than in overlying water, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove root. Heavy metals in Avicennia marina sediments were higher than other sediments. The lower heavy metal biological concentration factors (BCFs) and translocation factors (TFs) indicated that mangrove plant adopted exclusion strategy. The geo-accumulation index, potential ecological risk index and risk assessment code (RAC) demonstrated that heavy metals have posed a considerable ecological risk, especially for cadmium (Cd). Heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Cu and Cd) mainly existed in the reducible fractions. The RAC values of heavy metals indicated that heavy metals have posed a considerable ecological risk to the biota, especially for Cd. These findings provide actual heavy metal accumulations in sediment-plant ecosystems in mangrove forest, being important in designing the long-term management and conservation policies for managers of mangrove forest.

  10. An ecological risk assessment of lead shot exposure in non-waterfowl avian species: Upland game birds and raptors

    SciTech Connect

    Kendall, R.J.; Lacher, T.E. Jr.; Bunck, C.

    1996-01-01

    There is increasing concern that birds in terrestrial ecosystems may be exposed to spent lead shot. Evidence exists that upland birds, particularly mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), ingest spent lead shot and that raptors ingest lead shot by consuming wounded game. Mortality, neurological dysfunction, immune suppression, and reproductive impairment are documented effects of exposure to lead in birds. An ecological risk assessment on the impact of lead shot exposure in upland birds was conducted and is presented in the context of the new United States Environmental Protection Agency`s Ecological Risk Assessment Paradigm. A considerable amount of spent lead shot is released into the environment each year from shooting and hunting. Doves collected from fields that are cultivated to attract mourning doves for hunting activities show evidence of ingestion of spent lead shot. Because lead can cause both acute and chronic toxicity if ingested by birds, and because there is evidence of widespread deposition of lead shot in terrestrial ecosystems, concern for impacts on upland game birds and raptors seems warranted. Although this ecological risk assessment does not clearly define a significant risk of lead shot exposure to upland game birds, this issue merits continued scrutiny to protect upland game bird and raptor resources.

  11. [GIS Spatial Distribution and Ecological Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments of Shallow Lakes in Jiangsu Province].

    PubMed

    Li, Ying-jie; Zhang, Lie-yu; Wu, Yi-wen; Li, Cao-le; Yang, Tian-xue; Tang, Jun

    2016-04-15

    To understand pollution of heavy metals in surface sediments of shallow lakes, surface sediments samples of 11 lakes in Jiangsu province were collected to determine the content of six heavy metals including As, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn and Ni. GIS was used to analyze the spatial distribution of heavy metals, and geological accumulation index (Igeo), modified contamination index (mCd) pollution load index (PLI) and potential ecological risk index (RI) were used to evaluate heavy metal contamination in the sediments. The results showed that: in the lakes' surface sediments, the average content of As, Cu, Zn, Cr, Pb, Ni in multiples of soil background of Jiangsu province were 1.74-3.85, 0.65-2.66, 0.48-3.56, 0.43-1.52, 0.02-1.49 and 0.12-1.42. According to the evaluation results of Igeo and RI, As, which had high degree of enrichment and great potential ecological risk, was the main pollutant, followed by Cu, and pollution of the rest of heavy metals was relatively light. Combining the results of several evaluation methods, in surface sediments of Sanjiu Lake, Gaoyou Lake and Shaobo Lake, these heavy metals had the most serious pollution, the maximum pollution loading and moderate potential ecological risk; in surface sediments of Gehu Lake, Baima Lake and Hongze Lake, some regions were polluted by certain metals, the overall trend of pollution was aggravating, the pollution loading was large, and the potential ecological risk reached moderate; in the other 5 lakes, the risk of sediments polluted by heavy metals, as well as the pollution loading, was small, and the overall was not polluted. PMID:27548952

  12. The Ecology of Early Childhood Risk: A Canonical Correlation Analysis of Children’s Adjustment, Family, and Community Context in a High-Risk Sample

    PubMed Central

    Aiyer, Sophie M.; Wilson, Melvin N.; Shaw, Daniel S.; Dishion, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    The ecology of the emergence of psycho-pathology in early childhood is often approached by the analysis of a limited number of contextual risk factors. In the present study, we provide a comprehensive analysis of ecological risk by conducting a canonical correlation analysis of 13 risk factors at child age 2 and seven narrow-band scales of internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors at child age 4, using a sample of 364 geographically and ethnically diverse, disadvantaged primary caregivers, alternative caregivers, and preschool-age children. Participants were recruited from Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children sites and were screened for family risk. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that (1) a first latent combination of family and individual risks of caregivers predicted combinations of child emotional and behavioral problems, and that (2) a second latent combination of contextual and structural risks predicted child somatic complaints. Specifically, (1) the combination of chaotic home, conflict with child, parental depression, and parenting hassles predicted a co-occurrence of internalizing and externalizing behaviors, and (2) the combination of father absence, perceived discrimination, neighborhood danger, and fewer children living in the home predicted child somatic complaints. The research findings are discussed in terms of the development of psychopathology, as well as the potential prevention needs of families in high-risk contexts. PMID:23700232

  13. Component modeling in ecological risk assessment: Disturbance in interspecific interactions caused by air toxics introduced into terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swider, Jan Zenon

    The human health risk assessment (HRA), initiated by the onset of nuclear industry, has been a well established methodology for assessing the impacts of human created contamination on an individual human being and entire population. The wide spread of applications and tools grown upon this methodology allows one not only to identify the hazards, but also to manage the risks. Recently, there has existed an increased awareness of the need to conduct ecological risk assessments (ERA) in addition to HRAs. The ERAs are, by and large, more complex than typical HRAs and involve not only different species but whole ecological systems. Such complex analyses require a thorough understanding of the processes underway in the ecosystem, including the contaminant transport through the food web, population dynamics as well as intra- and inter-specific relationships. The exposure pathways change radically depending on the consumer tier. Plants produce their nutriment from the sunlight and raw inorganic compounds. Animals and other living forms obtain energy by eating plants, other animals and detritus. Their double role as food consumers and food producers causes a trophic structure of the ecological system, where nutrients and energy are transferred from one trophic level to another. This is a dynamic process of energy flow, mostly in the form of food, varying with time and space. In order to conduct an efficient ERA, a multidisciplinary framework is needed. This framework can be enhanced by analyzing predator-prey interactions during the environmental disturbances caused by a pollutant emission, and by assessing the consequences of such disturbances. It is necessary to develop a way to describe how human industrial activity affects the ecosystems. Existing ecological studies have mostly been focused either on pure ecological interdependencies or on limited perspectives of human activities. In this study, we discuss the issues of air pollution and its ecological impacts from the

  14. Ecological risks of an old wood impregnation mill: application of the Triad approach.

    PubMed

    Karjalainen, Anne-Mari; Kilpi-Koski, Johanna; Väisänen, Ari O; Penttinen, Sari; van Gestel, Cornelius A M; Penttinen, Olli-Pekka

    2009-07-01

    Although many studies deal with the distribution and mobility of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) metals in soil, the ecotoxicity of CCA-contaminated soils is rarely studied. The Triad approach was applied to determine the ecological risks posed by a CCA mixture at a decommissioned wood impregnation mill in southern Finland. A combination of (1) chemical analyses; (2) toxicity tests with plants (aquatic: Lemna minor; terrestrial: Lactuca sativa), earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus), and enchytraeids (Enchytraeus albidus) conducted on contaminated soils, their aqueous extracts, and well water collected from the site; and (3) determination of the abundance of enchytraeids and nematodes and the bioaccumulation of metals in plants (horsetail) collected from the field were used to assess the actual risk. Although metal concentrations were low, L. minor growth appeared to be reduced by As contamination of the well water. In soil, metals were heterogeneously distributed with total concentrations of 14.8 to 4360 mg As/kg, 15.2 to 1740 mg Cr/kg, and 4.83 to 790 mg Cu/kg. In several samples, concentrations were above Finnish regulatory guideline values and exceeded the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) or 50% lethal concentration (LC50) values for the toxicity of the individual metals to earthworms and enchytraeids, indicating hazards to the ecosystem. (Bio)availability of metals was high, as indicated by weak electrolyte extractions and body residues in L. rubellus and E. albidus exposed in bioassays. Earthworm survival correlated significantly with body metal concentrations, but not with soil total metal concentrations. Enchytraeid responses in the soil bioassays were less sensitive to CCA metal exposure. Plant growth was affected by CCA pollution, with L. sativa root elongation correlating significantly with total and available As concentrations and L. minor development being significantly reduced in H2O extracts of the most contaminated soil sample. Abundance of

  15. An ecological risk assessment of heavy metal contamination in the surface sediments of Bosten Lake, northwest China.

    PubMed

    Mamat, Zulpiya; Haximu, Sadiguli; Zhang, Zhao Yong; Aji, Rouzi

    2016-04-01

    Bosten Lake, a typical rump lake in an oasis in northwest China, was chosen to evaluate the distribution, sources, pollution status, and potential ecological risk of heavy metals. Sediment samples were collected from the lake, and results showed that the values of the eight heavy metals all fell within the Second Soil National Standard, while the average and maximum values of the metals were higher than the background values of the study. Multivariate statistical analysis showed that sediment concentrations of Cd, Pb, Hg, and Zn were mainly influenced by man sources. In comparison, Cu, Ni, Cr, and As were primarily natural in origin. Enrichment factor analysis (EF) and the geo-accumulation index evaluation method (I geo) showed that Cd, Hg, and Pb fell under low and partial serious pollution levels, while Zn, As, Cr, Ni, and Cu mainly were characterized under no pollution and low pollution levels. The potential ecological hazards index (RI) showed that among the eight heavy metals, Pb, Hg, and Cd posed the highest potential ecological risk, with potential ecological hazards indices (RI) of 29.06, 27.71, and 21.54 %, respectively. These findings demonstrated that recent economic development in the area of the basin has led to heavy metal accumulation in the surface sediments of the lake. PMID:26769477

  16. Using remote sensing, ecological niche modeling, and Geographic Information Systems for Rift Valley fever risk assessment in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedrow, Christine Atkins

    The primary goal in this study was to explore remote sensing, ecological niche modeling, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as aids in predicting candidate Rift Valley fever (RVF) competent vector abundance and distribution in Virginia, and as means of estimating where risk of establishment in mosquitoes and risk of transmission to human populations would be greatest in Virginia. A second goal in this study was to determine whether the remotely-sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) can be used as a proxy variable of local conditions for the development of mosquitoes to predict mosquito species distribution and abundance in Virginia. As part of this study, a mosquito surveillance database was compiled to archive the historical patterns of mosquito species abundance in Virginia. In addition, linkages between mosquito density and local environmental and climatic patterns were spatially and temporally examined. The present study affirms the potential role of remote sensing imagery for species distribution prediction, and it demonstrates that ecological niche modeling is a valuable predictive tool to analyze the distributions of populations. The MaxEnt ecological niche modeling program was used to model predicted ranges for potential RVF competent vectors in Virginia. The MaxEnt model was shown to be robust, and the candidate RVF competent vector predicted distribution map is presented. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was found to be the most useful environmental-climatic variable to predict mosquito species distribution and abundance in Virginia. However, these results indicate that a more robust prediction is obtained by including other environmental-climatic factors correlated to mosquito densities (e.g., temperature, precipitation, elevation) with NDVI. The present study demonstrates that remote sensing and GIS can be used with ecological niche and risk modeling methods to estimate risk of virus establishment in mosquitoes and

  17. An ecological risk assessment of nonnative boas and pythons as potentially invasive species in the United States.

    PubMed

    Reed, Robert N

    2005-06-01

    The growing international trade in live wildlife has the potential to result in continuing establishment of nonnative animal populations in the United States. Snakes may pose particularly high risks as potentially invasive species, as exemplified by the decimation of Guam's vertebrate fauna by the accidentally introduced brown tree snake. Herein, ecological and commercial predictors of the likelihood of establishment of invasive populations were used to model risk associated with legal commercial imports of 23 species of boas, pythons, and relatives into the United States during the period 1989-2000. Data on ecological variables were collected from multiple sources, while data on commercial variables were collated from import records maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Results of the risk-assessment models indicate that species including boa constrictors (Boa constrictor), ball pythons (Python regius), and reticulated pythons (P. reticulatus) may pose particularly high risks as potentially invasive species. Recommendations for reducing risk of establishment of invasive populations of snakes and/or pathogens include temporary quarantine of imports to increase detection rates of nonnative pathogens, increasing research attention to reptile pathogens, reducing the risk that nonnative snakes will reach certain areas with high numbers of federally listed species (such as the Florida Keys), and attempting to better educate individuals purchasing reptiles. PMID:16022706

  18. The Apache Longbow-Hellfire Missile Test at Yuma Proving Ground: Ecological Risk Assessment for Missile Firing

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, Daniel Steven; Efroymson, Rebecca Ann; Hargrove, William Walter; Suter, Glenn; Pater, Larry

    2008-01-01

    A multiple stressor risk assessment was conducted at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, as a demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework. The focus was a testing program at Cibola Range, which involved an Apache Longbow helicopter firing Hellfire missiles at moving targets, M60- A1 tanks. This paper describes the ecological risk assessment for the missile launch and detonation. The primary stressor associated with this activity was sound. Other minor stressors included the detonation impact, shrapnel, and fire. Exposure to desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) was quantified using the Army sound contour program BNOISE2, as well as distances from the explosion to deer. Few effects data were available from related studies. Exposure-response models for the characterization of effects consisted of human "disturbance" and hearing damage thresholds in units of C-weighted decibels (sound exposure level) and a distance-based No Observed Adverse Effects Level for moose and cannonfire. The risk characterization used a weight-of-evidence approach and concluded that risk to mule deer behavior from the missile firing was likely for a negligible number of deer, but that no risk to mule deer abundance and reproduction is expected.

  19. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface seawater and sediment near the outlet of a zinc factory in Huludao City, Liaoning Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Yongliang; Chen, Yanzhen; Wang, Jing; Gong, Yufeng; Liu, Xigang; Mu, Gang; Tian, Hua

    2016-03-01

    At present, the methods widely applied to assess ecological risk of heavy metals are essentially single-point estimates in which exposure and toxicity data cannot be fully used and probabilities of adverse biological eff ects cannot be achieved. In this study, based on investigation of concentrations of six heavy metals (As, Hg, Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn) in the surface seawater and sediment near the outlet of a zinc factory, located in Huludao City, Liaoning Province, China, a tiered approach consisting of several probabilistic options was used to refine ecological risk assessment for the individuals. A mixture of various heavy metals was detected in the surface seawater, and potential ecological risk index (PERI) was adopted to assess the potential ecological risk of heavy metals in the surface sediment. The results from all levels of aquatic ecological risk assessment in the tiered framework, ranging from comparison of single eff ects and exposure values to the use of distribution-based Hazard Quotient obtained through Monte Carlo simulation, are consistent with each other. Briefly, aquatic Zn and Cu posed a clear ecological risk, while Cd, Pb, Hg, and As in the water column posed potential risk. As expected, combined ecological risk of heavy metal mixture in the surface seawater was proved significantly higher than the risk caused by any individual heavy metal, calculated using the concept of total equivalent concentration. According to PERI, the severity of pollution by the six heavy metals in the surface sediment decreased in the following sequence: Cd>Hg>As>Pb>Cu>Zn, and the total heavy metals in the sediment posed a very high risk to the marine environment. This study provides a useful mathematical framework for ecological risk assessment of heavy metals.

  20. A Review of Human Health and Ecological Risks due to CO2 Exposure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepple, R. P.; Benson, S. M.

    2001-05-01

    This paper presents an overview of the human health and ecological consequences of exposure to elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the context of geologic carbon sequestration. The purpose of this effort is to provide a baseline of information to guide future efforts in risk assessment for CO2 sequestration. Scenarios for hazardous CO2 exposure include surface facility leaks, leaks from abandoned or aging wells, and leakage from geologic CO2 storage structures. Amounts of carbon in various reservoirs, systems, and applications were summarized, and the levels of CO2 encountered in nature and everyday life were compared along with physiologically relevant concentrations. Literature pertaining to CO2 occupational exposure limits, regulations, monitoring, and ecological consequences was reviewed. The OSHA, NIOSH, and ACGIH occupational exposure standards are 0.5% CO2 averaged over a 40 hour week, 3% average for a short-term (15 minute) exposure, and 4% as the maximum instantaneous limit considered immediately dangerous to life and health. All three conditions must be satisfied at all times. Any detrimental effects of low-level CO2 exposure are reversible, including the long-term metabolic compensation required by chronic exposure to 3% CO2. Breathing rate doubles at 3% CO2 and is four times the normal rate at 5% CO2. According to occupational exposure and controlled atmosphere research into CO2 toxicology, CO2 is hazardous via direct toxicity at levels above 5%, concentrations not encountered in nature outside of volcanic settings and water-logged soils. Small leaks do not present any danger to people unless the CO2 does not disperse quickly enough through atmospheric mixing but accumulates instead in depressions and confined spaces. These dangers are the result of CO2 being more dense than air. Carbon dioxide is regulated for diverse purposes but never as a toxic substance. Catastrophic incidents involving large amounts and/or rapid release of CO2 such as Lake

  1. Genetic variation of Lymnaea stagnalis tolerance to copper: A test of selection hypotheses and its relevance for ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Côte, Jessica; Bouétard, Anthony; Pronost, Yannick; Besnard, Anne-Laure; Coke, Maïra; Piquet, Fabien; Caquet, Thierry; Coutellec, Marie-Agnès

    2015-10-01

    The use of standardized monospecific testing to assess the ecological risk of chemicals implicitly relies on the strong assumption that intraspecific variation in sensitivity is negligible or irrelevant in this context. In this study, we investigated genetic variation in copper sensitivity of the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis, using lineages stemming from eight natural populations or strains found to be genetically differentiated at neutral markers. Copper-induced mortality varied widely among populations, as did the estimated daily death rate and time to 50% mortality (LT50). Population genetic divergence in copper sensitivity was compared to neutral differentiation using the QST-FST approach. No evidence for homogenizing selection could be detected. This result demonstrates that species-level extrapolations from single population studies are highly unreliable. The study provides a simple example of how evolutionary principles could be incorporated into ecotoxicity testing in order to refine ecological risk assessment. PMID:26074162

  2. The results of an ecological risk assessment screening at the Idaho National Engineering`s waste area group 2

    SciTech Connect

    VanHorn, R.

    1995-11-01

    The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) is a Department of Energy (DOE) facility located in southeastern Idaho and occupies approximately 890 square miles on the northwestern portion of the eastern Snake River Plain. INEL has been devoted to nuclear energy research and related activities since its establishment in 1949. In the process of fulfilling this mission, wastes were generated, including radioactive and hazardous materials. Most materials were effectively stored or disposed of, however, some release of contaminants to the environment has occurred. For this reason, the INEL was listed by the US environmental Protection Agency on the National Priorities List (NPL), in November, 1989. This report describes the results of an ecological risk assessment performed for the Waste Area Groups 2 (WAG 2) at the INEL. It also summarizes the performance of screening level ecological risk assessments (SLERA).

  3. Ecological risk, source and preliminary assessment of metals in the surface sediments of Chabahar Bay, Oman Sea.

    PubMed

    Agah, Homira; Saleh, Abolfazl; Bastami, Kazem Darvish; Fumani, Neda Sheijooni

    2016-06-15

    In this study, concentrations of Aluminum (Al), Iron (Fe), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni), Vanadium (V), Zinc (Zn), Arsenic (As), Cobalt (Co) and lead (Pb) in the surface sediments from Chabahar Bay were studied to assess the degree of heavy metal pollution as a consequence of natural and anthropogenic sources. Metal contents in the sediments were observed in the order of: Al>Fe>Cr>V>Ni>Zn>Cu>As>Pb>Co. According to enrichment factor (EF), Arsenic was higher than 1.5 at some sites, indicating anthropogenic inputs. Contents of Ni, As and Cr in the some sampling sites were higher than sediment quality guideline implying adverse impacts of these metals. Based on potential ecological risk (PER), the Chabahar Bay had low ecological risk. PMID:27038881

  4. Contamination characteristics, ecological risk and source identification of trace metals in sediments of the Le'an River (China).

    PubMed

    Chen, Haiyang; Chen, Ruihui; Teng, Yanguo; Wu, Jin

    2016-03-01

    Recognizing the pollution characteristics of trace metals in river sediments and targeting their potential sources are of key importance for proposing effective strategies to protect watershed ecosystem health. In this study, a comprehensive investigation was conducted to identify the contamination and risk characteristics of trace metals in sediments of Le'an River which is a main tributary of the largest freshwater lake in China, Poyang Lake. To attain this objective, several tools and models were considered. Geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor were used to understand the general pollution characteristic of trace metals in sediments. Discriminant analysis was applied to identify the spatial variability of sediment metals. Sediment quality guidelines and potential ecological risk index were employed for ecological risk evaluation. Multivariate curve resolution-alternating least square was proposed to extract potential pollution sources, as well as the application of Monte-Carlo simulation for uncertainty analysis of source identification. Results suggested that the sediments in Le'an River were considerably polluted by the investigated trace metals (Cd, Cr, As, Hg, Pb, Cu, Zn and Ni). Sediment concentrations of these metals showed significant spatial variations. The potential ecological risk lay in high level. Comparatively speaking, the metals of Cd, Cu and Hg were likely to result in more harmful effects. Mining activities and the application of fertilizers and agrochemicals were identified as the main anthropogenic sources. To protect the ecological system of Le'an River and Poyang Lake watershed, industrial mining and agricultural activities in this area should to be strictly regulated. PMID:26685780

  5. Ecological and human health risks from metal(loid)s in peri-urban soil in Nanjing, China.

    PubMed

    Ding, Zhuhong; Hu, Xin

    2014-06-01

    In order to investigate the ecological and human health risks of metal(loid)s (Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Cd, Mn, Cr, and As) in peri-urban soils, 43 surface soil samples were collected from the peri-urban area around Nanjing, a megacity in China. The average contents were 1.19, 67.8, 37.6, 105, 167, 44.6, 722, and 50.8 mg kg(-1) for Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cu, Mn, and As, respectively. A significant positive correlation was found between Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Mn, and As (p < 0.01), and Cr had a significant positive correlation with Ni (p < 0.01). Geoaccumulation indices indicate the presence of Cd and As contamination in all of the peri-urban soil samples. Potential ecological risk indices show that the metal(loid)s in the soil could result in higher ecological risks. Cd is the main contributor to the risk, followed by As. The levels of Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Mn, and As in stomach and intestinal phases show a positive linear correlation with their total contents. Mn, Zn, Ni, Cd, and Pb in stomach phase showed higher bioaccessibility, while in intestinal phase, Cu, Cr, and As had the higher bioaccessibility. The carcinogenic risk in children and adults posed by As, Pb, and Cr via ingestion was deemed acceptable. The non-carcinogenic risks posed by these metal(loid)s via ingestion to children are higher than to adults and mainly result from As. PMID:24026570

  6. The Use of Ecological Niche Modeling to Infer Potential Risk Areas of Snakebite in the Mexican State of Veracruz

    PubMed Central

    Yañez-Arenas, Carlos; Peterson, A. Townsend; Mokondoko, Pierre; Rojas-Soto, Octavio; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Background Many authors have claimed that snakebite risk is associated with human population density, human activities, and snake behavior. Here we analyzed whether environmental suitability of vipers can be used as an indicator of snakebite risk. We tested several hypotheses to explain snakebite incidence, through the construction of models incorporating both environmental suitability and socioeconomic variables in Veracruz, Mexico. Methodology/Principal Findings Ecological niche modeling (ENM) was used to estimate potential geographic and ecological distributions of nine viper species' in Veracruz. We calculated the distance to the species' niche centroid (DNC); this distance may be associated with a prediction of abundance. We found significant inverse relationships between snakebites and DNCs of common vipers (Crotalus simus and Bothrops asper), explaining respectively 15% and almost 35% of variation in snakebite incidence. Additionally, DNCs for these two vipers, in combination with marginalization of human populations, accounted for 76% of variation in incidence. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that niche modeling and niche-centroid distance approaches can be used to mapping distributions of environmental suitability for venomous snakes; combining this ecological information with socioeconomic factors may help with inferring potential risk areas for snakebites, since hospital data are often biased (especially when incidences are low). PMID:24963989

  7. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with road deposited solid and their ecological risk: Implications for road stormwater reuse.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liang; Liu, An; Li, Yang; Zhang, Lixun; Zhang, Guijuan; Guan, Yuntao

    2016-09-01

    Reusing stormwater is becoming popular worldwide. However, urban road stormwater commonly contains toxic pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which could undermine reuse safety. This study investigated pollution level of PAHs and their composition build-up on urban roads in a typical megacity in South China. The potential ecological risk posed by PAHs associated with road deposited solid (RDS) was also assessed. Results showed that ecological risk levels varied based on different land use types, which could be significantly influenced by the composition of PAHs and characteristics of RDS. A higher percentage of high-ring PAHs, such as more than four rings, could pose higher ecological risk and are more likely to undermine stormwater reuse safety. Additionally, the degree of traffic congestion rather than traffic volume was found to exert a more significant influence on the generation of high-ring PAH generation. Therefore, stormwater from more congested roads might need proper treatment (particularly for removing high-ring PAHs) before reuse or could be suitable for purposes requiring low-water-quality. The findings of this study are expected to contribute to adequate stormwater reuse strategy development and to enhance the safety of urban road stormwater reuse. PMID:27135582

  8. Distribution, bioavailability, and potential ecological risk of Cu, Pb, and Zn in soil in a potential groundwater source area.

    PubMed

    Teng, Yanguo; Feng, Dan; Wu, Jin; Zuo, Rui; Song, Liuting; Wang, Jinsheng

    2015-05-01

    In this study, we examined three horizontal and vertical soil profiles along a sewage drainage ditch in order to determine the spatial distribution of Cu, Pb, and Zn in soils and to assess the bioavailability and potential ecological risks associated with these metals in a potential groundwater source area. Results showed that the concentrations of Cu, Pb, and Zn were approximately at background level, suggesting that human activities (industrial and agricultural pollution) had a negligible influence on these metals in soil, and that the concentrations reflected the natural background levels in the study area. Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrations were slightly higher in topsoil (0-20 cm) than deeper in the soil profile. Using a modified BCR sequential extraction method to evaluate the mobility and bioavailability of metals showed that the potential bioavailability sequence of Cu, Pb, and Zn at three depths in the soil profile was in the order Cu ≈ Pb < Zn. The potential ecological risk from the metals was evaluated using risk assessment code, and the results suggest that Cu and Zn pose no or low risk, while there is a low or medium risk from Pb. Results from groundwater monitoring showed that the groundwater was not polluted by leaching from soil. PMID:25910722

  9. Risk-based ecological soil quality criteria for the characterization of contaminated soils. Combination of chemical and biological tools.

    PubMed

    Fernández, María Dolores; Vega, María Milagrosa; Tarazona, José Vicente

    2006-08-01

    This paper describes the development of soil quality criteria for the characterization of soils focused on the potential risk to the ecosystem. The approach combines both Generic Soil Quality standards (GSQs) for individual chemicals and direct ecotoxicity assays on soil samples taken from the site. Criteria establish three main risk levels with their corresponding trigger values. The trigger values to determine high risk or "polluted" soils are exclusively based on direct toxicity assessments. The trigger values for the other categories are established by a combination of the application of GSQs and the results of bioassays. Low-risk is assumed when no toxicity is observed and GSQs based on precautionary ecotoxicity thresholds are not exceeded; high-risk must be considered if acute toxicity above the proposed trigger value is observed in soil or leachate samples. In between these levels, the risk cannot be elucidated and a site-specific assessment is required. The GSQs take into account the current or future land use, thus defining three categories: industrial soils, urban/residential soils and natural/agricultural/forest soils, each of them with different ecological requirements. The GSQ values are established following an inverse risk assessment methodology, integrating ecotoxicity and exposure models and setting the soil levels associated to pre-established criteria for the assumption of low risk. The proposed methodology covers all relevant ecological receptors and processes, soil organisms, potential contamination of ground and surface waters, and exposure of terrestrial vertebrates due to bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Exposure routes and protection criteria are defined in each protection goal. The relevance of each receptor and route is established according to the land use. PMID:16574196

  10. Baseline ecological risk assessment of the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana: 3. An evaluation of the risks to benthic invertebrates associated with exposure to contaminated sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacDonald, Donald D.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; Kemble, Nile E.; Smorong, Dawn E.; Sinclair, Jesse A.; Lindskoog, Rebekka; Gaston, Gary; Sanger, Denise; Carr, R. Scott; Biedenbach, James; Gouguet, Ron; Kern, John; Shortelle, Ann; Field, L. Jay; Meyer, John

    2011-01-01

    The sediments in the Calcasieu Estuary are contaminated with a wide variety of chemicals of potential concern (COPCs), including heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, phthalates, chlorinated benzenes, and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans. The sources of these COPCs include both point and non-point source discharges. As part of a baseline ecological risk assessment, the risks to benthic invertebrates posed by exposure to sediment-associated COPCs were assessed using five lines of evidence, including whole-sediment chemistry, pore-water chemistry, whole-sediment toxicity, pore-water toxicity, and benthic invertebrate community structure. The results of this assessment indicated that exposure to whole sediments and/or pore water from the Calcasieu Estuary generally posed low risks to benthic invertebrate communities (i.e., risks were classified as low for 68% of the sampling locations investigated). However, incremental risks to benthic invertebrates (i.e., compared with those associated with exposure to conditions in reference areas) were indicated for 32% of the sampling locations within the estuary. Of the three areas of concern (AOCs) investigated, the risks to benthic invertebrates were highest in the Bayou d'Inde AOC; risks were generally lower in the Upper Calcasieu River AOC and Middle Calcasieu River AOC. The areas showing the highest risks to sediment-dwelling organisms were generally located in the vicinity of point source discharges of COPCs. These results provided risk managers with the information required to make decisions regarding the need for remedial actions at the site.

  11. USING FISHER INFORMATION TO ASSESS THE RISK OF DYNAMIC REGIME CHANGES IN ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The sustainable nature of particular dynamic regimes of ecosystems is an increasingly integral aspect of many ecological, economic, and social decisions. As ecosystems experience perturbations of varying regularity and intensity, they may either remain within the state space neig...

  12. Ecotoxicogenomics to Support Ecological Risk Assessment: A Case Study with Bisphenol A in Fish

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toxicogenomic approaches are being increasingly applied in the field of ecotoxicology. Given the growing availability of ecotoxicogenomic data, the Agency and the broader scientific community are actively engaged in considering how best to use those data to support ecological ris...

  13. Mathematical models and methods of risk assessment in ecologically hazardous industries

    SciTech Connect

    Mikhalevich, V.S.; Knopov, P.S.; Golodnikov, A.N.

    1994-11-01

    Analysis of critical industrial situations leading to accidents or catastrophes has shown that the main factors responsible for accidents include technological inadequacy of ecologically hazardous facilities, equipment design errors, and insufficient preventive maintenance of facilities with an enhanced level of environmental hazard. The scale of the accident after-effects essentially depends on the location of the ecologically hazardous facility, timely development of preventive measures, and prompt implementations of these measures in emergency in compliance with strict deadlines for decision making.

  14. Using a probabilistic approach in an ecological risk assessment simulation tool: test case for depleted uranium (DU).

    PubMed

    Fan, Ming; Thongsri, Tepwitoon; Axe, Lisa; Tyson, Trevor A

    2005-06-01

    A probabilistic approach was applied in an ecological risk assessment (ERA) to characterize risk and address uncertainty employing Monte Carlo simulations for assessing parameter and risk probabilistic distributions. This simulation tool (ERA) includes a Window's based interface, an interactive and modifiable database management system (DBMS) that addresses a food web at trophic levels, and a comprehensive evaluation of exposure pathways. To illustrate this model, ecological risks from depleted uranium (DU) exposure at the US Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) and Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) were assessed and characterized. Probabilistic distributions showed that at YPG, a reduction in plant root weight is considered likely to occur (98% likelihood) from exposure to DU; for most terrestrial animals, likelihood for adverse reproduction effects ranges from 0.1% to 44%. However, for the lesser long-nosed bat, the effects are expected to occur (>99% likelihood) through the reduction in size and weight of offspring. Based on available DU data for the firing range at APG, DU uptake will not likely affect survival of aquatic plants and animals (<0.1% likelihood). Based on field and laboratory studies conducted at APG and YPG on pocket mice, kangaroo rat, white-throated woodrat, deer, and milfoil, body burden concentrations observed fall into the distributions simulated at both sites. PMID:15910910

  15. Environmental occurrence and ecological risk assessment of organic UV filters in marine organisms from Hong Kong coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Sang, Ziye; Leung, Kelvin Sze-Yin

    2016-10-01

    Organic UV filters, now considered to be emerging contaminants in aquatic ecosystems, are being intensively tracked in environmental waters worldwide. However, their environmental fate and impact of these contaminants on marine organisms remains largely unknown, especially in Asia. This work elucidates the occurrence and the ecological risks of seven UV filters detected in farmed fish, wild mussels and some other wild organisms collected from local mariculture farms in Hong Kong. For all of the organisms, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (EHMC) and octyl dimethyl p-aminobenzoic acid (OD-PABA) were the predominant contaminants with the highest concentrations up to 51.3 and 24.1ng/g (dw), respectively; lower levels were found for benzophenone-8 (BP-8), octocrylene (OC) and benzophenone-3 (BP-3) from ecological risk assessment specific to the marine aquatic environment was carried out. The risk quotient (RQ) values of EHMC and BP-3 were calculated as 3.29 and 2.60, respectively, indicating these two UV filters may pose significant risks to the marine aquatic environment. PMID:27235899

  16. Developing best-practice Bayesian Belief Networks in ecological risk assessments for freshwater and estuarine ecosystems: a quantitative review.

    PubMed

    McDonald, K S; Ryder, D S; Tighe, M

    2015-05-01

    Bayesian Belief Networks (BBNs) are being increasingly used to develop a range of predictive models and risk assessments for ecological systems. Ecological BBNs can be applied to complex catchment and water quality issues, integrating multiple spatial and temporal variables within social, economic and environmental decision making processes. This paper reviews the essential components required for ecologists to design a best-practice predictive BBN in an ecological risk assessment (ERA) framework for aquatic ecosystems, outlining: (1) how to create a BBN for an aquatic ERA?; (2) what are the challenges for aquatic ecologists in adopting the best-practice applications of BBNs to ERAs?; and (3) how can BBNs in ERAs influence the science/management interface into the future? The aims of this paper are achieved using three approaches. The first is to demonstrate the best-practice development of BBNs in aquatic sciences using a simple nutrient model. The second is to discuss the limitations and challenges aquatic ecologists encounter when applying BBNs to ERAs. The third is to provide a framework for integrating best-practice BBNs into ERAs and the management of aquatic ecosystems. A quantitative review of the application and development of BBNs in aquatic science from 2002 to 2014 was conducted to identify areas where continued best-practice development is required. We outline a best-practice framework for the integration of BBNs into ERAs and study of complex aquatic systems. PMID:25733196

  17. Ecological risks of shale oil and gas development to wildlife, aquatic resources and their habitats.

    PubMed

    Brittingham, Margaret C; Maloney, Kelly O; Farag, Aïda M; Harper, David D; Bowen, Zachary H

    2014-10-01

    Technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to the exploration and exploitation of shale oil and gas both nationally and internationally. Extensive development of shale resources has occurred within the United States over the past decade, yet full build out is not expected to occur for years. Moreover, countries across the globe have large shale resources and are beginning to explore extraction of these resources. Extraction of shale resources is a multistep process that includes site identification, well pad and infrastructure development, well drilling, high-volume hydraulic fracturing and production; each with its own propensity to affect associated ecosystems. Some potential effects, for example from well pad, road and pipeline development, will likely be similar to other anthropogenic activities like conventional gas drilling, land clearing, exurban and agricultural development and surface mining (e.g., habitat fragmentation and sedimentation). Therefore, we can use the large body of literature available on the ecological effects of these activities to estimate potential effects from shale development on nearby ecosystems. However, other effects, such as accidental release of wastewaters, are novel to the shale gas extraction process making it harder to predict potential outcomes. Here, we review current knowledge of the effects of high-volume hydraulic fracturing coupled with horizontal drilling on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the contiguous United States, an area that includes 20 shale plays many of which have experienced extensive development over the past decade. We conclude that species and habitats most at risk are ones where there is an extensive overlap between a species range or habitat type and one of the shale plays (leading to high vulnerability) coupled with intrinsic characteristics such as limited range, small population size, specialized habitat requirements, and high sensitivity to disturbance

  18. Simulating pesticides in ditches to assess ecological risk (SPIDER): II. Benchmarking for the drainage model.

    PubMed

    Renaud, Fabrice G; Brown, Colin D

    2008-05-01

    SPIDER (simulating pesticides in ditches to assess ecological risk) is a locally distributed, capacitance-based model that accounts for pesticide entry into surface water bodies via spray drift, surface runoff, interlayer flow and drainage. SPIDER was developed for application to small agricultural catchments. Transport of pesticide from site of application to surface water via subsurface field drains is one of the major routes of entry to surface water. Several pesticide fate models describe transfer of pesticide via drainflow, notably MACRO which has been evaluated against field data in several studies. The capacity of SPIDER to simulate drainflow and pesticide concentration in drain water was evaluated against two datasets that had been used previously to evaluate MACRO independently of this study: a plot experiment at Cockle Park and a field experiment at Maidwell, both located in the UK. In both circumstances, SPIDER was able to reproduce drain hydrographs relatively well with no or limited calibration. At Cockle Park, simulated and observed drainflow over the season were 240 and 278 mm, respectively with a Nash and Sutcliffe model efficiency (NSME) coefficient of 0.32 whilst at Maidwell they were 259 and 296 mm, respectively with a NSME coefficient of 0.55. Prediction of maximum isoproturon concentration at Cockle Park by SPIDER and MACRO were 5.3 and 13.1 microg L(- 1) respectively compared to the 3.8 microg L(- 1) measured in the field, whilst pesticide load to drains over the season were 0.22 and 1.53 g, respectively, compared to an observed load of 0.35 g. Maximum sulfosulfuron concentration at Maidwell were 2.3, 3.9 and 5.4 microg L(- 1) for observed and as simulated by SPIDER and MACRO, respectively and pesticide loading to drains of the season was 0.77, 5.61, 4.77 g, respectively. Results from the sensitivity analysis showed that the sensitivity of SPIDER compared favourably to that of several other capacity models but was more sensitive than MACRO to

  19. Ecological risks of shale oil and gas development to wildlife, aquatic resources and their habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brittingham, Margaret C.; Maloney, Kelly O.; Farag, Aida M.; Harper, David D.; Bowen, Zachary H.

    2014-01-01

    Technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to the exploration and exploitation of shale oil and gas both nationally and internationally. Extensive development of shale resources has occurred within the United States over the past decade, yet full build out is not expected to occur for years. Moreover, countries across the globe have large shale resources and are beginning to explore extraction of these resources. Extraction of shale resources is a multistep process that includes site identification, well pad and infrastructure development, well drilling, high-volume hydraulic fracturing and production; each with its own propensity to affect associated ecosystems. Some potential effects, for example from well pad, road and pipeline development, will likely be similar to other anthropogenic activities like conventional gas drilling, land clearing, exurban and agricultural development and surface mining (e.g., habitat fragmentation and sedimentation). Therefore, we can use the large body of literature available on the ecological effects of these activities to estimate potential effects from shale development on nearby ecosystems. However, other effects, such as accidental release of wastewaters, are novel to the shale gas extraction process making it harder to predict potential outcomes. Here, we review current knowledge of the effects of high-volume hydraulic fracturing coupled with horizontal drilling on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the contiguous United States, an area that includes 20 shale plays many of which have experienced extensive development over the past decade. We conclude that species and habitats most at risk are ones where there is an extensive overlap between a species range or habitat type and one of the shale plays (leading to high vulnerability) coupled with intrinsic characteristics such as limited range, small population size, specialized habitat requirements, and high sensitivity to disturbance

  20. Assessing ecological risks to the fish community from residual coal fly ash in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Rigg, David K.; Wacksman, Mitch N.; Iannuzzi, Jacqueline; Baker, Tyler F.; Adams, Marshall; Greeley, Jr., Mark Stephen

    2014-12-18

    For this research, extensive site-specific biological and environmental data were collected to support an evaluation of risks to the fish community in Watts Bar Reservoir from residual ash from the December 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston ash release. This paper describes the approach used and results of the risk assessment for the fish community, which consists of multiple measurement endpoints (measures of exposure and effects) for fish. The lines of evidence included 1) comparing postspill annual fish community assessments with nearby prespill data and data from other TVA reservoirs, 2) evaluating possible effects of exposures of fish eggs andmore » larval fish to ash in controlled laboratory toxicity tests, 3) evaluating reproductive competence of field-exposed fish, 4) assessing individual fish health through physical examination, histopathology, and blood chemistry, 5) comparing fish tissue concentrations with literature-based critical body residues, and 6) comparing concentrations of ash-related contaminants in surface waters with US Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Ambient Water Quality Standards for Fish and Aquatic Life. These measurement endpoints were treated as independent lines of evidence that were integrated into an overall weight-of-evidence estimate of risk to the fish community. Collectively, the data and analysis presented here indicate that ash and ash-related constituents pose negligible risks to the fish communities in Watts Bar Reservoir. This conclusion contradicts the predictions by some researchers immediately following the ash release of devastating effects on the aquatic ecology of Watts Bar Reservoir. The information presented in this article reaffirms the wisdom of carefully evaluating the evidence before predicting probable ecological effects of a major event such as the TVA Kingston ash release. Lastly, this study demonstrates that a thorough and detailed investigation using multiple measurement endpoints

  1. Assessing ecological risks to the fish community from residual coal fly ash in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee

    SciTech Connect

    Rigg, David K.; Wacksman, Mitch N.; Iannuzzi, Jacqueline; Baker, Tyler F.; Adams, Marshall; Greeley, Jr., Mark Stephen

    2014-12-18

    For this research, extensive site-specific biological and environmental data were collected to support an evaluation of risks to the fish community in Watts Bar Reservoir from residual ash from the December 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston ash release. This paper describes the approach used and results of the risk assessment for the fish community, which consists of multiple measurement endpoints (measures of exposure and effects) for fish. The lines of evidence included 1) comparing postspill annual fish community assessments with nearby prespill data and data from other TVA reservoirs, 2) evaluating possible effects of exposures of fish eggs and larval fish to ash in controlled laboratory toxicity tests, 3) evaluating reproductive competence of field-exposed fish, 4) assessing individual fish health through physical examination, histopathology, and blood chemistry, 5) comparing fish tissue concentrations with literature-based critical body residues, and 6) comparing concentrations of ash-related contaminants in surface waters with US Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Ambient Water Quality Standards for Fish and Aquatic Life. These measurement endpoints were treated as independent lines of evidence that were integrated into an overall weight-of-evidence estimate of risk to the fish community. Collectively, the data and analysis presented here indicate that ash and ash-related constituents pose negligible risks to the fish communities in Watts Bar Reservoir. This conclusion contradicts the predictions by some researchers immediately following the ash release of devastating effects on the aquatic ecology of Watts Bar Reservoir. The information presented in this article reaffirms the wisdom of carefully evaluating the evidence before predicting probable ecological effects of a major event such as the TVA Kingston ash release. Lastly, this study demonstrates that a thorough and detailed investigation using multiple measurement endpoints is needed

  2. Sources of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments and an Ecological Risk Assessment from Two Adjacent Plateau Reservoirs

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Binbin; Wang, Guoqiang; Wu, Jin; Fu, Qing; Liu, Changming

    2014-01-01

    The concentrations of heavy metals (mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu) and arsenic (As)) in surface water and sediments were investigated in two adjacent drinking water reservoirs (Hongfeng and Baihua Reservoirs) on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in Southwest China. Possible pollution sources were identified by spatial and statistical analyses. For both reservoirs, Cd was most likely from industrial activities, and As was from lithogenic sources. For the Hongfeng Reservoir, Pb, Cr and Cu might have originated from mixed sources (traffic pollution and residual effect of former industrial practices), and the sources of Hg included the inflows, which were different for the North (industrial activities) and South (lithogenic origin) Lakes, and atmospheric deposition resulting from coal combustion. For the Baihua Reservoir, the Hg, Cr and Cu were primarily derived from industrial activities, and the Pb originated from traffic pollution. The Hg in the Baihua Reservoir might also have been associated with coal combustion pollution. An analysis of ecological risk using sediment quality guidelines showed that there were moderate toxicological risks for sediment-dwelling organisms in both reservoirs, mainly from Hg and Cr. Ecological risk analysis using the Hakanson index suggested that there was a potential moderate to very high ecological risk to humans from fish in both reservoirs, mainly because of elevated levels of Hg and Cd. The upstream Hongfeng Reservoir acts as a buffer, but remains an important source of Cd, Cu and Pb and a moderately important source of Cr, for the downstream Baihua Reservoir. This study provides a replicable method for assessing aquatic ecosystem health in adjacent plateau reservoirs. PMID:25010771

  3. Spatial modeling of receptor species for ecological risk assessment activities on the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaines, Karen Frances

    To assist risk assessors on the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS), a Geographic Information System (GIS) was developed to provide relevant information about specific receptor species that can be used for ecological risk assessment (ERA). Although this GIS is a useful tool, it is limited in that it can only provide information about a species if it was studied in that particular area and does not describe the site-wide spatial distribution or life history of a receptor species, which may be crucial when developing an ecological impact assessment. The GIS was expanded by modeling wildlife species on the SRS to provide information regarding their over-all distribution (probability of being in an area) and habitat utilization. Each model is a stand-alone tool consisting of algorithms that are applied within a GIS and therefore dynamic enough to respond to stochastic events such as natural and anthropogenic habitat disturbances and/or long-term changes such as natural succession. Spatial analyses suggest toxicant exposure and accumulation risk in relation to the species probability of occurrence in the area. This modeling effort provides the tools that are crucial for the Department of Energy to conduct ERA activities for specific contaminants on the SRS. Further, it serves as a template for DOE managed lands and other large government facilities to establish a framework for site-specific ecological impact assessments that use wildlife species as endpoints. Predictive distribution models for the raccoon (Procyon lotor) and wild hog (Sus scrofa ) are used to demonstrate the construction and utilization of these models to: (1) estimate wildlife toxicant exposure, (2) identify possible contaminant vectors, and (3) construct human-based risk assessments from consuming wild game.

  4. [Heavy metal accumulation during last hundred years and its assessment of potential ecological risk in the coastal wetland of Qi'ao Island, Pearl River Estuary of China].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ai-jun; Ye, Xiang; Li, Tuan-jie; Huang, Cai-bin

    2011-05-01

    The processes of fine sediment transport and deposition can record some relative anthropogenic information in estuarine environments. Grain size analysis of the sediment core collected from coastal wetland of Qi'ao Island in the Pearl River Estuary of China show that the sediment is mainly composed by clayey silt, and the mean grain size, contents of clay and silt increase upward gradually. Chronology analysis show that the sedimentation rate above 59 cm is about 4.15 cm x a(-1), and 0.97 cm x a(-1) beneath 59 cm. Heavy metal analysis indicate that the contents of the each heavy metal increased slowly with a slight intensity of potential ecological risk; however, from 1966 to 1992, the heavy metal contents increased obviously because of the quick social-economy development around the Pearl River Estuary area, and the order of polluting degree of these heavy metals in core sediment is Cd > Ni > Pb > Cu > Cr > Zn. The potential ecological risk intensity of Cd increased from slight risk before 1966 to strong risk since 1992, and the potential ecological risk intensities other heavy metal are slight risk; the potential ecological risk index is weak level. The variations of core sediment heavy metal contents and its ecological risk assessments along the vertical profile reveal the interaction processes and intent of anthropogenic influences from the areas around the Pearl River Estuary and the catchments. PMID:21780584

  5. The Apache Longbow-Hellfire Missile Test at Yuma Proving Ground: Ecological Risk Assessment for Helicopter Overflight

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, Rebecca Ann; Hargrove, William Walter; Suter, Glenn

    2008-01-01

    A multi-stressor risk assessment was conducted at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, as a demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework. The focus of the assessment was a testing program at Cibola Range, which involved an Apache Longbow helicopter firing Hellfire missiles at moving targets, M60-A1 tanks. This paper focuses on the wildlife risk assessment for the helicopter overflight. The primary stressors were sound and the view of the aircraft. Exposure to desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) was quantified using Air Force sound contour programs NOISEMAP and MR_NMAP, which gave very different results. Slant distance from helicopters to deer was also used as a measure of exposure that integrated risk from sound and view of the aircraft. Exposure-response models for the characterization of effects consisted of behavioral thresholds in sound exposure level or maximum sound level units or slant distance. Available sound thresholds were limited for desert mule deer, but a distribution of slant-distance thresholds was available for ungulates. The risk characterization used a weight-of-evidence approach and concluded that risk to mule deer behavior from the Apache overflight is uncertain, but that no risk to mule deer abundance and reproduction is expected.

  6. Approach and Strategy for Performing Ecological Risk Assessments for the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Field Office Environmental Restoration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W. II

    1992-01-01

    This technical memorandum provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments (ERAs) on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). This work was performed under Work Breakdown Structure 1.4.12.2.3.04.07.02 (Activity Data Sheet 8304) and meets an Environmental Restoration Program milestone for FY 95. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance developed for the ORR and relevant U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documents and guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it could be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources.

  7. A "weight of evidence" approach for the integration of environmental "triad" data to assess ecological risk and biological vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Dagnino, Alessandro; Sforzini, Susanna; Dondero, Francesco; Fenoglio, Stefano; Bona, Elisa; Jensen, John; Viarengo, Aldo

    2008-07-01

    A new Expert Decision Support System (EDSS) that can integrate Triad data for assessing environmental risk and biological vulnerability at contaminated sites has been developed. Starting with ecosystem relevance, the EDSS assigns different weights to the results obtained from Triad disciplines. The following parameters have been employed: 1) chemical soil analyses (revealing the presence of potentially dangerous substances), 2) ecotoxicological bioassays (utilizing classical endpoints such as survival and reproduction rates), 3) biomarkers (showing sublethal pollutant effects), and 4) ecological parameters (assessing changes in community structure and functions). For each Triad discipline, the EDSS compares the data obtained at the studied field sites with reference values and calculates different 0-1 indexes (e.g., Chemical Risk Index, Ecotoxicological Risk Index, and Ecological Risk Index). The EDSS output consists of 3 indexes: 1) Environmental Risk index (EnvRI), quantifying the levels of biological damage at population-community level, 2) Biological Vulnerability Index (BVI), assessing the potential threats to biological equilibriums, and 3) Genotoxicity Index (GTI), screening genotoxicity effects. The EDSS has been applied in the integration of a battery of Triad data obtained during the European Union-funded Life Intervention in the Fraschetta Area (LINFA) project, which has been carried out in order to estimate the potential risk from soils of a highly anthropized area (Alessandria, Italy) mainly impacted by deposition of atmospheric pollutants. Results obtained during 4 seasonal sampling campaigns (2004-2005) show maximum values of EnvRI in sites A and B (characterized by industrial releases) and lower levels in site D (affected by vehicular traffic emissions). All 3 potentially polluted sites have shown high levels of BVI and GTI, suggesting a general change from reference conditions (site C). PMID:18393577

  8. Incorporating ecological risk assessment into remedial investigation/feasibility study work plans

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-06-01

    This guidance document (1) provides instructions on preparing the components of an ecological work plan to complement the overall site remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) work plan and (2) directs the user on how to implement ecological tasks identified in the plan. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), and RI/FS work plan will have to be developed as part of the site-remediation scoping process. Specific guidance on the RI/FS process and the preparation of work plans has been developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1988a). This document provides guidance to US Department of Energy (DOE) staff and contractor personnel for incorporation of ecological information into environmental remediation planning and decision making at CERCLA sites.

  9. Distribution of environmentally sensitive elements in residential soils near a coal-fired power plant: potential risks to ecology and children's health.

    PubMed

    Tang, Quan; Liu, Guijian; Zhou, Chuncai; Zhang, Hong; Sun, Ruoyu

    2013-11-01

    One hundred and twelve soil samples were collected from residential areas surrounding a coal-fired power plant at Huainan City, Anhui Province, China. The concentrations of environmentally sensitive elements (ESEs As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, V and Zn) in soil samples were determined, and their potential ecological and health risks were assessed. Mean concentrations of ESEs in the downwind soils of the power plant are relatively higher than those in the upwind soils, pointing to a potential ESEs input from coal combustion. The calculated ecological risk of ESEs in soils indicates a relatively low ecological risk. Hazard quotient (HQ) of ESEs in downwind soils is 1.5, suggesting a potential health risk for children. However, the carcinogenic risk values of ESEs in soils are within the acceptable non-hazardous range of 1E-06-1E-04. PMID:24091246

  10. Persistent organic pesticide residues in sediments of Vasai Creek near Mumbai: Assessment of sources and potential ecological risk.

    PubMed

    Singare, Pravin U

    2015-11-15

    Thirteen persistent organic pesticides were investigated in the sediments of Vasai Creek near Mumbai to evaluate their pollution levels and potential risks. It was observed that ΣOCPs level was in the range of 597-1538ng/g dw, with an average value of 1115.25ng/g dw. The level of ΣOPPs was in the range of 492-1034ng/g dw, with an average value of 798.15ng/g dw. The values o,p'-DDT/p,p'-DDT ratio gives an indication of use of technical DDT as the prime source of DDT, while the α/γ-BHC ratio indicate that BHCs in study area might have been received from fresh lindane. The results of an ecological risk assessment showed that sediment bound organic pesticides are of more ecotoxicological concern as they might create adverse ecological risk to the marine breeding habitats. These pesticides residues may get remobilize and released to overlying waters creating adverse effects on terrestrial and aquatic organisms. PMID:26428625

  11. Cancer risk among residents of Rhineland-Palatinate winegrowing communities: a cancer-registry based ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Seidler, Andreas; Hammer, Gaël Paul; Husmann, Gabriele; König, Jochem; Krtschil, Anne; Schmidtmann, Irene; Blettner, Maria

    2008-01-01

    Aim To investigate the cancer risk among residents of Rhineland-Palatinate winegrowing communities in an ecological study. Methods On the basis of the Rhineland-Palatinate cancer-registry, we calculated age-adjusted incidence rate ratios for communities with a medium area under wine cultivation (>5 to 20 percent) and a large area under wine cultivation (>20 percent) in comparison with communities with a small area under wine cultivation (>0 to 5 percent). In a side analysis, standardized cancer incidence ratios (SIR) were computed separately for winegrowing communities with small, medium and large area under wine cultivation using estimated German incidence rates as reference. Results A statistically significant positive association with the extent of viniculture can be observed for non-melanoma skin cancer in both males and females, and additionally for prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in males, but not in females. Lung cancer risk is significantly reduced in communities with a large area under cultivation. In the side-analysis, elevated SIR for endocrine-related tumors of the breast, testis, prostate, and endometrium were observed. Conclusion This study points to a potentially increased risk of skin cancer, bladder cancer, and endocrine-mediated tumors in Rhineland-Palatinate winegrowing communities. However, due to the explorative ecologic study design and the problem of multiple testing, these findings are not conclusve for a causal relationship. PMID:18538000

  12. [Pollution Characteristics and Ecological Risk of PBDEs in Water and Sediment from an Electronic Waste Dismantling Area in Taizhou].

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiang-ping; Peng, Bao-qi; Lü, Su-ping; Chen, Qiang; Zhang, Yong; Huang, Chang-jiang; Dong, Qiao-xiang

    2016-05-15

    An e-waste dismantling industrial park of Taizhou was selected as the sampling center, within a radius of 16 km, and a total of 30 sampling sites were designed in three circles as follows: C (3 km), S (5-10 km) and R (10-16 km). Pollution characteristics and ecological risk of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in water and sediments were investigated. The concentrations of PBDEs in water ranged from 9.4 to 57.2 ng · L⁻¹, with a mean value of 25.9 ng · L⁻¹; and 3.7 to 38,775 ng · g⁻¹, with an average of 2 779 ng · g⁻¹ in sediments. BDE-209 was the predominant congener. The spatial distribution patterns of PBDE levels in water and sediment were both in the following order: C > S > R. Furthermore, the concentrations of PBDEs in sediments showed significant negative correlation against the distance from the industrial park (P < 0.01). Compared with other regions around the world, the PBDEs contamination was more serious in the area, which indicated that e-waste dismantling activity was one of the significant sources for PBDEs pollution. It was estimated that a total of 30. 7 t PBDEs (including 28. 9 t BDE- 209) was discharged into surrounding environment as a result of dismantling industrial activities in last 40 years. A preliminary ecological risk assessment for PBDEs in water and sediments was conducted by hazard quotient method. The results demonstrated that the Penta-BDEs in the center of e-waste dismantling area ( a radius of 1.5 km) was at particularly high risk level and could cause serious influence on the ecological safety and human health. PMID:27506030

  13. Ecological risk assessment of ecosystem services in the Taihu Lake Basin of China from 1985 to 2020.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xibao; Yang, Guishan; Tan, Yan; Zhuang, Qianlai; Li, Hengpeng; Wan, Rongrong; Su, Weizhong; Zhang, Jian

    2016-06-01

    There are tremendous theoretical, methodological and policy challenges in evaluating the impact of land-use change on the degradation of ecosystem services (ES) at the regional scale. This study addresses these challenges by developing an interdisciplinary methodology based on the Procedure for Ecological Tiered Assessment of Risk (PETAR). This novel methodology integrates ecological models with a land-use change model. This study quantifies the multi-dimensional degradation risks of ES in the Taihu Lake Basin (TLB) of China from 1985 to 2020. Four key ES related to water purification, water quantity adjustment, carbon sequestration and grain production are selected. The study employs models of Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC), Soil-Water-Atmosphere-Plant (SWAP), Biome-BGC and Agro-ecological Zoning (AEZ) for assimilations. Land-use changes by 2020 were projected using a geographically weighted multinomial logit-cellular automata (GWML-CA) model. The results show that rapid land-use change has posed a great degradation risk of ES in the region in 1985-2020. Slightly less than two-thirds of the basin experienced degradation of ES over the 1985-2010 period, and about 12% of the basin will continue to experience degradation until 2020. Hot spots with severe deterioration in 2010-2020 are projected to be centered around some small and less developed cities in the region. Regulating accelerated urban sprawl and population growth, reinforcing current environmental programs, and establishing monitoring systems for observing dynamics of regional ES are suggested as practical counter-measures. PMID:26946060

  14. Assessment of ecological and human health risks of heavy metal contamination in agriculture soils disturbed by pipeline construction.

    PubMed

    Shi, Peng; Xiao, Jun; Wang, Yafeng; Chen, Liding

    2014-03-01

    The construction of large-scale infrastructures such as nature gas/oil pipelines involves extensive disturbance to regional ecosystems. Few studies have documented the soil degradation and heavy metal contamination caused by pipeline construction. In this study, chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) levels were evaluated using Index of Geo-accumulation (Igeo) and Potential Ecological Risk Index (RI) values, and human health risk assessments were used to elucidate the level and spatial variation of heavy metal pollution risks. The results showed that the impact zone of pipeline installation on soil heavy metal contamination was restricted to pipeline right-of-way (RoW), which had higher Igeo of Cd, Cu, Ni and Pb than that of 20 m and 50 m. RI showed a declining tendency in different zones as follows: trench > working zone > piling area > 20 m > 50 m. Pipeline RoW resulted in higher human health risks than that of 20 m and 50 m, and children were more susceptible to non-carcinogenic hazard risk. Cluster analysis showed that Cu, Ni, Pb and Cd had similar sources, drawing attention to the anthropogenic activity. The findings in this study should help better understand the type, degree, scope and sources of heavy metal pollution from pipeline construction to reduce pollutant emissions, and are helpful in providing a scientific basis for future risk management. PMID:24590049

  15. Assessment of Ecological and Human Health Risks of Heavy Metal Contamination in Agriculture Soils Disturbed by Pipeline Construction

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Peng; Xiao, Jun; Wang, Yafeng; Chen, Liding

    2014-01-01

    The construction of large-scale infrastructures such as nature gas/oil pipelines involves extensive disturbance to regional ecosystems. Few studies have documented the soil degradation and heavy metal contamination caused by pipeline construction. In this study, chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) levels were evaluated using Index of Geo-accumulation (Igeo) and Potential Ecological Risk Index (RI) values, and human health risk assessments were used to elucidate the level and spatial variation of heavy metal pollution risks. The results showed that the impact zone of pipeline installation on soil heavy metal contamination was restricted to pipeline right-of-way (RoW), which had higher Igeo of Cd, Cu, Ni and Pb than that of 20 m and 50 m. RI showed a declining tendency in different zones as follows: trench > working zone > piling area > 20 m > 50 m. Pipeline RoW resulted in higher human health risks than that of 20 m and 50 m, and children were more susceptible to non-carcinogenic hazard risk. Cluster analysis showed that Cu, Ni, Pb and Cd had similar sources, drawing attention to the anthropogenic activity. The findings in this study should help better understand the type, degree, scope and sources of heavy metal pollution from pipeline construction to reduce pollutant emissions, and are helpful in providing a scientific basis for future risk management. PMID:24590049

  16. Assessment of possible ecological risks and hazards of transgenic fish with implications for other sexually reproducing organisms.

    PubMed

    Muir, William M; Howard, Richard D

    2002-04-01

    Transgenic technology is developing rapidly; however, consumers and environmentalists remain wary of its safety for use in agriculture. Research is needed to ensure the safe use of transgenic technology and thus increase consumer confidence. This goal is best accomplished by using a thorough, unbiased examination of risks associated with agricultural biotechnology. In this paper, we review discussion on risk and extend our approach to predict risk. We also distinguish between the risk and hazard of transgenic organisms in natural environments. We define transgene risk as the probability a transgene will spread into natural conspecific populations and define hazard as the probability of species extinction, displacement, or ecosystem disruption given that the transgene has spread. Our methods primarily address risk relative to two types of hazards: extinction which has a high hazard, and invasion which has an unknown level of hazard, similar to that of an introduced exotic species. Our method of risk assessment is unique in that we concentrate on the six major fitness components of an organism's life cycle to determine if transgenic individuals differ in survival or reproductive capacity from wild type. Our approach then combines estimates of the net fitness parameters into a mathematical model to determine the fate of the transgene and the affected wild population. We also review aspects of fish ecology and behavior that contribute to risk and examine combinations of net fitness parameters which can lead to invasion and extinction hazards. We describe three new ways that a transgene could result in an extinction hazard: (1) when the transgene increases male mating success but reduces daily adult viability, (2) when the transgene increases adult viability but reduces male fertility, and (3) when the transgene increases both male mating success and adult viability but reduces male fertility. The last scenario is predicted to cause rapid extinction, thus it poses an

  17. An Ecological Perspective on Cumulative School and Neighborhood Risk Factors Related to Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whipple, Sara Sepanski; Evans, Gary W.; Barry, Rachel L.; Maxwell, Lorraine E.

    2010-01-01

    Most educational reform programs, including No Child Left Behind, operate from the perspective that gaps in academic achievement can be reduced by improvements in the educational process directed by school administrators and teachers. This perspective ignores the ecological context in which underachieving schools are typically embedded. Using a…

  18. A Practical Probabilistic Graphical Modeling Tool for Weighing Ecological Risk-Based Evidence

    EPA Science Inventory

    Past weight-of-evidence frameworks for adverse ecological effects have provided soft-scoring procedures for judgments based on the quality and measured attributes of evidence. Here, we provide a flexible probabilistic structure for weighing and integrating lines of evidence for e...

  19. CONVERGENCE OF ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT AND RISK ASSESSMENT: TOWARDS HOLISTIC ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    A major emphasis of environmental monitoring and assessment programs is to characterize the condition of natural resources. When repeated through time, ecological assessments (EA) can be used to track changes in environmental condition that reflect on the efficacy of regulatory a...

  20. ANALYSES OF LABORATORY AND FIELD STUDIES OF REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY IN BIRDS EXPOSED TO DIOXIN-LIKE COMPOUNDS FOR USE IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report is intended to assist ecological risk assessors who must characterize risks to birds from exposure to dioxin-like chemicals. Those chemicals include the halogenated dibenzo-dioxins, dibenzo-furans, and biphenyls that have the same mode of action as 2,3,7,8-tetracholor...

  1. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment and source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments from Yellow Sea.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ai-Xia; Lang, Yin-Hai; Xue, Li-Dong; Liao, Shu-Lin; Zhou, Hong

    2009-11-01

    Based on the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 12 surface sediment samples from Yellow sea, the relative risk of 9 PAHs was investigated using joint risk probability distribution curves and overlapping area, which were generated based on the distributions of exposure and acute toxicity data (LC(50)), and the sources of PAHs were apportioned using principal component analysis. It was found that joint probability curve and overlapping area indicated the acceptable ecological risk of individual PAHs, only a small fraction of the benthic organisms was affected. Among the nine PAHs studied, the overall risk of pyrene was the highest, with that of naphthalene the lowest. For lower exposure levels at which the percentage of species affected was less than 10%, the risk associated with phenanthrene and fluorene were clearly higher than that of the other seven PAHs. It was indicated that PAHs in surface sediments mainly originated from vehicular emissions, coal combustion sources, coke oven emission and wood combustion, petroleum origin made little influence on sources of PAHs by PCA. PMID:19771383

  2. Using Geographic Information System-based Ecologic Niche Models to Forecast the Risk of Hantavirus Infection in Shandong Province, China

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Lan; Qian, Quan; Wang, Zhi-Qiang; Glass, Gregory E.; Song, Shao-Xia; Zhang, Wen-Yi; Li, Xiu-Jun; Yang, Hong; Wang, Xian-Jun; Fang, Li-Qun; Cao, Wu-Chun

    2011-01-01

    Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is an important public health problem in Shandong Province, China. In this study, we combined ecologic niche modeling with geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques to identify the risk factors and affected areas of hantavirus infections in rodent hosts. Land cover and elevation were found to be closely associated with the presence of hantavirus-infected rodent hosts. The averaged area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.864, implying good performance. The predicted risk maps based on the model were validated both by the hantavirus-infected rodents' distribution and HFRS human case localities with a good fit. These findings have the applications for targeting control and prevention efforts. PMID:21363991

  3. Distribution, sources and ecological risk assessment of PAHs in surface sediments from the Luan River Estuary, China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Daolai; Liu, Jinqing; Jiang, Xuejun; Cao, Ke; Yin, Ping; Zhang, Xunhua

    2016-01-15

    The distribution, sources and risk assessment of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of surface sediments in the Luan River Estuary, China, have been investigated in the research. The results indicated that the total concentrations of 16 PAHs in surface sediments of the Luan River Estuary ranged from 5.1 to 545.1 ng g(-1)dw with a mean value of 120.8 ng g(-1)dw, which is relatively low in comparison with other estuaries around the world. The PAHs in the study area were mainly originated from pyrogenic sources. Besides, PAHs may be contaminated by petrogenic PAHs as indicated by the selected ratios of PAHs, the 2-tailed Pearson correlation analysis and principal components analysis at different sites. The result of the ecological risk assessment shows little negative effect for most individual PAHs in surface sediments of the Luan River Estuary, China. PMID:26616744

  4. Evaluating the potential of ecological niche modelling as a component in marine non-indigenous species risk assessments.

    PubMed

    Leidenberger, Sonja; Obst, Matthias; Kulawik, Robert; Stelzer, Kerstin; Heyer, Karin; Hardisty, Alex; Bourlat, Sarah J

    2015-08-15

    Marine biological invasions have increased with the development of global trading, causing the homogenization of communities and the decline of biodiversity. A main vector is ballast water exchange from shipping. This study evaluates the use of ecological niche modelling (ENM) to predict the spread of 18 non-indigenous species (NIS) along shipping routes and their potential habitat suitability (hot/cold spots) in the Baltic Sea and Northeast Atlantic. Results show that, contrary to current risk assessment methods, temperature and sea ice concentration determine habitat suitability for 61% of species, rather than salinity (11%). We show high habitat suitability for NIS in the Skagerrak and Kattegat, a transitional area for NIS entering or leaving the Baltic Sea. As many cases of NIS introduction in the marine environment are associated with shipping pathways, we explore how ENM can be used to provide valuable information on the potential spread of NIS for ballast water risk assessment. PMID:26066862

  5. [Wastewater pollution characteristics from typical intensive pig farms in the Pearl River Delta and its ecological risk assessment].

    PubMed

    Li, Wen-Ying; Peng, Zhi-Ping; Yu, Jun-Hong; Huang, Ji-Chuan; Xu, Pei-Zhi; Yang, Shao-Hai

    2013-10-01

    Based on the wastewater quality investigation data from March 2009 to November 2011, wastewater qualities from typical intensive pig farms were assessed in the Pearl River Delta by single and comprehensive pollution index model. The results showed that key pollutants of piggery wastewater were fecal coliform (FC), total phosphorus (TP), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), with their average mass concentrations of 1.98 x 10(9) CFU.L-1, 158.61 mg.L-1, 5 608.68 mg.L-1 and 1984.34 mg.L-1, respectively; key pollutants of biogas slurry were FC, TP, ammonia nitrogen (NH+4 -N) and suspended substance (SS), with their average mass concentrations of 8. 10 x 10(6) CFU.L-1, 81.76 mg.L-1, 476.24 mg.L-1 and 464.58 mg.L-1, respectively. Under the effect of wastewater pollutants, environment surrounding of typical intensive pig farms was seriously polluted, which decreased gradually from piggery wastewater to biogas slurry, and comprehensive pollution indices were 11.41, 6.91, 5.27, respectively. The risk analysis showed that the high-risk wastewater could never be discharged directly and irrigated crops. After the anaerobic treatment, FC, TP, NH+4 -N and SS were still strong factors with the potential ecological risk in the biogas slurry. In the long run, the ecological risk still exists for direct discharge or irrigation of them, and it is necessary to apply further treatment. PMID:24364317

  6. Distribution, sources and ecological risk assessment of PAHs in historically contaminated surface sediments at Bhavnagar coast, Gujarat, India.

    PubMed

    Dudhagara, Dushyant R; Rajpara, Rahul K; Bhatt, Jwalant K; Gosai, Haren B; Sachaniya, Bhumi K; Dave, Bharti P

    2016-06-01

    The concentration, distribution and ecological risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been investigated in surface sediments near Bhavnagar coast. The concentration of ∑PAHs ranged from 5.02 to 981.18 μg g(-1) dry weight, indicating heavy pollution compared to other historically polluted study sites. It was found to be introduced via mixed origins such as burning of gas, oil, coal, production of petrochemicals, cement, and rubber tires. Domestic fuel burning and motor vehicles are also culprits for air pollution. Industrial effluents and accidental oil spillage can also be considered. PAHs can be exposed through air, water, soil and food sources including ingestion, inhalation, and dermal content in both occupational and non-occupational levels by single or sometimes multiple exposures routes concomitantly. Furthermore, diagnostic ratios, statistical principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) models have confirmed that the sources of PAHs were both - petrogenic and pyrogenic. For both the sites, assessment of ecological risk of the elevated levels of these pollutants has been exercised based on toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) and risk quotient (RQ) methods. The composite results indicated accurately that both the sites, bears potentially acute and chronic health hazards such as decreased immune functionality, genotoxicity, malignancy and developmental malfunctions in humans. The sites studied here and the workers have been exposed to hazardous pollutants for a longer period of time. Evidences indicate that mixtures of PAHs are carcinogenic to humans, based on occupational studies on workers, exposed to these pollutants. Hence, the present study and statistical approaches applied herein clearly indicate the historic mix routes of PAHs that resulted in magnified concentrations leading to high ecosystem risk. Thus, the scientific communities are urged to develop strategies to minimize the concentrations of PAHs from

  7. A Multicountry Ecological Study of Cancer Incidence Rates in 2008 with Respect to Various Risk-Modifying Factors

    PubMed Central

    Grant, William B.

    2013-01-01

    Observational and ecological studies are generally used to determine the presence of effect of cancer risk-modifying factors. Researchers generally agree that environmental factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and low serum 25-hdyroxyvitamin D levels are important cancer risk factors. This ecological study used age-adjusted incidence rates for 21 cancers for 157 countries (87 with high-quality data) in 2008 with respect to dietary supply and other factors, including per capita gross domestic product, life expectancy, lung cancer incidence rate (an index for smoking), and latitude (an index for solar ultraviolet-B doses). The factors found to correlate strongly with multiple types of cancer were lung cancer (direct correlation with 12 types of cancer), energy derived from animal products (direct correlation with 12 types of cancer, inverse with two), latitude (direct correlation with six types, inverse correlation with three), and per capita gross national product (five types). Life expectancy and sweeteners directly correlated with three cancers, animal fat with two, and alcohol with one. Consumption of animal products correlated with cancer incidence with a lag time of 15–25 years. Types of cancer which correlated strongly with animal product consumption, tended to correlate weakly with latitude; this occurred for 11 cancers for the entire set of countries. Regression results were somewhat different for the 87 high-quality country data set and the 157-country set. Single-country ecological studies have inversely correlated nearly all of these cancers with solar ultraviolet-B doses. These results can provide guidance for prevention of cancer. PMID:24379012

  8. [Analysis of ecological risk and the content situation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in sediments from Northeast China River Basin].

    PubMed

    Nie, Hai-Feng; Cheng, Hang-Xin; Zhao, Chuan-Dong; Liu, Ying-Han; Yang, Ke; Li, Kuo; Peng, Min; Liu, Fei

    2013-10-01

    To investigate the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) pollution status, sediment samples were collected from major rivers in northeast China. Contents of 41 PBDEs congeners in sediments were measured using GC-NCI-MS. BDE209 was not detected, measured level of total PBDEs (excluding BDE209) ranged from 0.91 to 17.67 ng.g-1 dry weight, the highest concentrations of PBDEs were detected in the sediment samples from upstream and downstream of Jilin City in the Second Songhua River Basin, with 15.86 and 17.67 ng.g-1. BDE207 and BDE47 were the predominant PBDE congeners, with their concentrations accounting for 86. 5% and 76. 6% of the total PBDEs concentration measured in the samples. Each congener content difference was not obvious in other river sediments. PBDEs levels monitored in the present study were compared to those reported recently for districts located at home and abroad, and with ecological risk analysis. PBDEs content is at a low level in sediments of Northeast China River Basin and there is no ecological risk. PMID:24364299

  9. [Contamination and ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in water and in Karst underground river catchment].

    PubMed

    Lan, Jia-Cheng; Sun, Yu-Chuan; Tian, Ping; Lu, Bing-Qing; Shi, Yang; Xu, Xin; Liang Zuo-Bing; Yang, Ping-Heng

    2014-10-01

    Water samples in Laolongdong underground river catchment were collected to determine the concentration, compositional profiles, and evaluate ecological risk of 16 priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs were measured by GC/MS. The total concentrations of 16 PAH ranged from 81.5-8019 ng · L(-1) in underground river, 288.7-15,200 ng · L(-1) in karst springs, and 128.4-2,442 ng · L(-1) in surface water. Affected by waste water from Huangjueya town, concentrations of PAHs in underground river were higher than those in surface water and waste water from sinkhole. The PAHs profiles were dominated by 3 ring PAHs. There were differences of monthly variations of PAHs contents in the water, due to waste water, season and different characteristics of PAH. Surface water and waste water from sinkhole played an important role on contamination in the river. The levels of ecological risk were generally moderately polluted and heavily polluted according to all detected PAH compounds in the water. PMID:25693375

  10. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) concentration in soil from San Luis Potosi, Mexico: levels and ecological and human health risk characterization.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Vázquez, Francisco J; Orta-García, Sandra T; Ochoa-Martínez, Ángeles C; Pruneda-Álvarez, Lucia G; Ruiz-Vera, Tania; Jiménez-Avalos, Jorge Armando; González-Palomo, Ana K; Pérez-Maldonado, Iván N

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in soils from the city of San Luis Potosi in Mexico and perform an ecological and human health risk characterization. In order to confirm the presence of PBDEs, outdoor surface soil samples were collected and the concentrations of PBDEs in urban, industrial, agricultural, and brick kiln industry areas were determined. The mean total PBDEs levels obtained in the study sites were 25.0 ± 39.5 μg/kg (geometric mean ± standard deviation) in the brick kiln industry zone; 34.5 ± 36.0 μg/kg in the urban zone; 8.00 ± 7.10 μg/kg in the industrial zone and 16.6 ± 15.3 μg/kg in the agricultural zone. The ecological and human health risk characterization showed relatively low-hazard quotient values. However, the moderately high PBDEs levels found in soils highlight the necessity to establish a systematic monitoring process for PBDEs in environmental and biological samples. PMID:26566197

  11. Changes of toxic metals during biological stabilization and their potential ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hou-cheng; Zeng, Zheng-zhong; Zhang, He-fei; Nan, Zhong-ren

    2015-01-01

    With various disadvantages of pollution control technologies for toxic metal-contaminated soil, we mixed contaminated soil with sludge for in situ composting to stabilize toxic metals, so plants are enriched to take up the toxic metals. When simulating the above, we added toxic metal solution into sewage sludge, and then composed it with steel slag to determine inhibition of the availability of toxic metals. When toxic metals were added into sludge, the potential ecological index and geoaccumulation index of Cd became high while Zn was low. Steel slag had an inhibited availability of Cd, and when the adjunction of steel slag was 7%, the availability of Cd was lowest. Steel slag promoted the availability of Zn, and when the adjunction of steel slag was 27%, the availability of Zn was highest. Results showed that during composting, with increasing steel slag, Cd stabilizing time was reached sooner but Zn stabilizing time was slower, and the availability of all metals became lower. In the end, composting inhibited the potential ecological index of Cd, but it promoted the potential ecological index of Zn. Steel slag promoted the stability of Cd and Zn as Fe/Mn oxide-bound and residual species. Therefore, composting sludge and steel slag could be used as an effective inhibitor of Zn and Cd pollution. PMID:26540531

  12. Development of a site-specific ecological risk assessment for contaminated sites: part I. A multi-criteria based system for the selection of ecotoxicological tests and ecological observations.

    PubMed

    Critto, Andrea; Torresan, Silvia; Semenzin, Elena; Giove, Silvio; Mesman, Miranda; Schouten, A J; Rutgers, M; Marcomini, Antonio

    2007-06-15

    A two modules Decision Support System (DSS-ERAMANIA) was developed in order to support the site-specific Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) for contaminated sites. Within the first module, the TRIAD and the Weight of Evidence approaches were used to develop a site-specific Ecological Risk Assessment framework including three tires of investigation. Selected ecological observations and ecotoxicological tests were compared according to Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) methods and expert judgment, and the obtained ranking was used to identify a suitable set of tests, at each investigation tier, to be applied to the examined case study. A simplified application of the proposed methodology, implemented in the Module 1 of the DSS-ERA-MANIA, is described and discussed. PMID:17439821

  13. Potential human health risks from toxic metals via mangrove snail consumption and their ecological risk assessments in the habitat sediment from Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Wan Hee; Yap, Chee Kong

    2015-09-01

    Samples of mangrove snails Nerita lineata and surface sediments were collected from nine geographical sampling sites in Peninsular Malaysia to determine the concentrations of eight metals. For the soft tissues, the ranges of metal concentrations (μg g(-1) dry weight (dw)) were 3.49-9.02 for As, 0.69-6.25 for Cd, 6.33-25.82 for Cu, 0.71-6.53 for Cr, 221-1285 for Fe, 1.03-50.47 for Pb, and 102.7-130.7 for Zn while Hg as 4.00-64.0 μg kg(-1) dw(-1). For sediments, the ranges were 21.81-59.49 for As, 1.11-2.00 for Cd, 5.59-28.71 for Cu, 18.93-62.91 for Cr, 12973-48916 for Fe, 25.36-172.57 for Pb, and 29.35-130.34 for Zn while for Hg as 2.66-312 μg kg(-1) dw(-1). To determine the ecological risks on the surface habitat sediments, sediment quality guidelines (SQGs), the geochemical indices, and potential ecological risk index (PERI) were used. Based on the SQGs, all the metals investigated were most unlikely to cause any adverse effects. Based on geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor, the sediments were also not polluted by the studied metals. The PERI values based on As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Pb and Zn in this study were found as 'low ecological risk'. In order to assess the potential health risks, the estimated daily intakes (EDI) of snails were found to be all lower than the RfD guidelines for all metals, except for Pb in some sites investigated. Furthermore, the calculated target hazard quotients (THQ) were found to be less than 1. However, the calculated total target hazard quotients (TTHQ) from all sites were found to be more than 1 for high level consumers except KPPuteh. Therefore, moderate amount of intake is advisable to avoid human health risks to the consumers. PMID:25950409

  14. Using toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic modeling as an acute risk assessment refinement approach in vertebrate ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Ducrot, Virginie; Ashauer, Roman; Bednarska, Agnieszka J; Hinarejos, Silvia; Thorbek, Pernille; Weyman, Gabriel

    2016-01-01

    Recent guidance identified toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TK-TD) modeling as a relevant approach for risk assessment refinement. Yet, its added value compared to other refinement options is not detailed, and how to conduct the modeling appropriately is not explained. This case study addresses these issues through 2 examples of individual-level risk assessment for 2 hypothetical plant protection products: 1) evaluating the risk for small granivorous birds and small omnivorous mammals of a single application, as a seed treatment in winter cereals, and 2) evaluating the risk for fish after a pulsed treatment in the edge-of-field zone. Using acute test data, we conducted the first tier risk assessment as defined in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance. When first tier risk assessment highlighted a concern, refinement options were discussed. Cases where the use of models should be preferred over other existing refinement approaches were highlighted. We then practically conducted the risk assessment refinement by using 2 different models as examples. In example 1, a TK model accounting for toxicokinetics and relevant feeding patterns in the skylark and in the wood mouse was used to predict internal doses of the hypothetical active ingredient in individuals, based on relevant feeding patterns in an in-crop situation, and identify the residue levels leading to mortality. In example 2, a TK-TD model accounting for toxicokinetics, toxicodynamics, and relevant exposure patterns in the fathead minnow was used to predict the time-course of fish survival for relevant FOCUS SW exposure scenarios and identify which scenarios might lead to mortality. Models were calibrated using available standard data and implemented to simulate the time-course of internal dose of active ingredient or survival for different exposure scenarios. Simulation results were discussed and used to derive the risk assessment refinement endpoints used for decision. Finally, we compared the

  15. Environmental behaviors and potential ecological risks of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn) in multimedia in an oilfield in China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yan; Wang, Dazhou; Li, Yu

    2016-07-01

    The environmental behaviors of five heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn) in a Chinese oilfield were investigated using a steady-state multimedia aquivalence (SMA) model. The modeling results showed good agreement with the actual measured values, with average residual errors of 0.69, 0.83, 0.35, 0.16, and 0.54 logarithmic units for air, water, soil, sediment, and vegetation compartments, respectively. Model results indicated that most heavy metals were buried in sediment, and that transfers between adjacent compartments were mainly deposition from the water to the sediment compartment (48.59 %) and from the air to the soil compartment (47.74 %) via atmospheric dry/wet deposition. Sediment and soil were the dominant sinks, accounting for 68.80 and 25.26 % of all the heavy metals in the multimedia system, respectively. The potential ecological risks from the five heavy metals in the sediment and soil compartments were assessed by the potential ecological risk index (PERI). The assessment results demonstrate that the heavy metals presented low levels of ecological risk in the sediment compartment, and that Cd was the most significant contributor to the integrated potential ecological risk in the oilfield. The SMA model provided useful simulations of the transport and fate of heavy metals and is a useful tool for ecological risk assessment and contaminated site management. PMID:27040543

  16. [Ecological risk assessment of hydropower dam construction on aquatic species in middle reaches of Lancang River, Southwest China based on ESHIPPO model].

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Yan; Peng, Ming-Chun; Dong, Shi-Kui; Liu, Shi-Liang; Li, Jin-Peng; Yang, Zhi-Feng

    2013-02-01

    An investigation was conducted on the phytoplankton, zooplankton, and fish at 8 sampling sections in the Manwan Reservoir before and after the construction of Xiaowan Hydropower Dam. The modified ESHIPPO model was applied to study the changes of the featured aquatic species, including endangered species, endemic specie, peis resource species, and native fish, aimed to make an ecological risk assessment of the dam construction on the aquatic species. The dam construction had definite ecological risk on the aquatic species, especially the endemic fish, in Langcang River, due to the changes of hydrological conditions. The endemic species including Bangia atropurpurea, Lemanea sinica, Prasiola sp., Attheyella yunnanensis, and Neutrodiaptomus mariadvigae were at high ecological risk, and thus, besides monitoring, protection measures were needed to be taken to lower the possibility of the species extinction. The widely distributed species of phytoplankton and zooplankton were at medium ecological risk, and protection measures besides monitoring should be prepared. Twelve kinds of native fish, including Barbodes huangchuchieni, Sinilabeo laticeps, Racoma lantsangensis, Racoma lissolabiatus, Paracobitis anguillioides, Schistura latifasciata, Botia nigrolineata, Vanmanenia striata, Homaloptera yunnanensis, Platytropius longianlis, Glyptothorax zanaensis, and Pseudecheneis immaculate, were at high ecological risk, and protection measures needed to be developed to prevent the possibility of the species loss and extinction. PMID:23705400

  17. Ecological risk assessment of the antibiotic enrofloxacin applied to Pangasius catfish farms in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Andrieu, Margot; Rico, Andreu; Phu, Tran Minh; Huong, Do Thi Thanh; Phuong, Nguyen Thanh; Van den Brink, Paul J

    2015-01-01

    Antibiotics applied in aquaculture production may be released into the environment and contribute to the deterioration of surrounding aquatic ecosystems. In the present study, we assessed the ecological risks posed by the use of the antibiotic enrofloxacin (ENR), and its main metabolite ciprofloxacin (CIP), in a Pangasius catfish farm in the Mekong Delta region, Vietnam. Water and sediment samples were collected in a stream receiving effluents from a Pangasius catfish farm that had applied ENR. The toxicity of ENR and CIP was assessed on three tropical aquatic species: the green-algae Chlorella sp. (72 h - growth inhibition test), the micro-invertebrate Moina macrocopa (48 h - immobilization test), and the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). The toxic effects on O. niloticus were evaluated by measuring the cholinesterase (ChE) and catalase (CAT) activities in the fish brain and muscles, respectively, and by considering feed exposure and water exposure separately. Ecological risks were assessed by comparing maximum exposure concentrations with predicted no effect concentrations for cyanobacteria, green algae, invertebrates and fish derived with available toxicity data. The results of this study showed that maximum antibiotic concentrations in Pangasius catfish farm effluents were 0.68 μg L(-1) for ENR and 0.25 μg L(-1) for CIP (dissolved water concentrations). Antibiotics accumulated in sediments down-stream the effluent discharge point at concentrations up to 2590 μg kg(-1) d.w. and 592 μg kg(-1) d.w. for ENR and CIP, respectively. The calculated EC50 values for ENR and CIP were 111000 and 23000 μg L(-1) for Chlorella sp., and 69000 and 71000 μg L(-1) for M. macrocopa, respectively. Significant effects on the ChE and CAT enzymatic activities of O. niloticus were observed at 5 g kg(-1) feed and 400-50000 μg L(-1), for both antibiotics. The results of the ecological risk assessment performed in this study indicated only minor risks for cyanobacteria

  18. Concentration Levels and Ecological Risks of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Surface Sediments of Tianjin Coastal Area, China

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Xiaoxia; Chen, Chaoqi; Zhang, Shu; Hou, Zhen; Yang, Junjun

    2013-01-01

    Sediments were sampled from different surface water bodies in Tianjin coastal area, China, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured using GC/MS or GC/ECD. The purposes were to investigate the concentration levels of the POPs and to assess their ecological risks. The results showed that all the 16 priority PAHs were detected from the 10 sediments sampled with the total concentrations of the 16 PAHs ranging from 274.06 μg/kg to 2656.65 μg/kg, while the concentrations of the halogenated POPs were generally low except in the Dagu waste discharging river where the total concentrations of 24 OCPs, 35 PCBs, and 14 PBDEs were 3103.36 μg/kg, 87.31 μg/kg, and 13.88 μg/kg, respectively. In the studied sediments, PAHs exhibited risks to benthonic organisms; particularly the concentrations of naphthalene and/or acenaphthene exceeded their probable effect concentrations in several locations. In comparison, only in the Dagu waste discharging river, OCPs exhibited risks with the concentrations of heptachlor epoxide and lindane exceeding their probable effect concentrations. PCBs and PBDEs posed rare risks in the studied area. PMID:23401668

  19. Source identification, spatio-temporal distribution and ecological risk of persistent organic pollutants in sediments from the upper Danube catchment.

    PubMed

    Kukučka, Petr; Audy, Ondřej; Kohoutek, Jiří; Holt, Eva; Kalábová, Tereza; Holoubek, Ivan; Klánová, Jana

    2015-11-01

    Riverine sediments, collected on a monthly basis during a period of one year, from five sites in a mixed land use region of the Czech Republic were analysed for chlorinated and brominated persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The region is located in the upper catchment of the Danube River. The POPs concentrations were as follows: 11-930 pg g(-1) polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDDs/Fs), 170-980 pg g(-1) dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs), 34-13,700 pg g(-1) polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), 5.7-29,200 pg g(-1) polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) and 0.21-351 ng g(-1) hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs). Concentrations expressed as toxic equivalents (TEQs), for PCDD/F+dl-PCB+PCN (TEQPCDD/F+dl-PCB+PCN) ranged from 0.37 to 19 pg g(-1). The results revealed a clear spatial separation between sites based on concentration and congener profile. There were also some obvious temporal patterns of selected POPs, which were related to river flow (seasonality) and organic carbon (TOC) of the sediment. Potential sources of POPs include local municipalities (flame retardants), some diffuse sources (PCNs and PCDDs/Fs) and potential point sources (PBDEs). Risk assessment based on risk quotients (RQ) revealed limited to medium ecological risk from PBDEs. TEQPCDD/F+dl-PCB+PCN were low relative to other European rivers, hence the risk to aquatic organisms was considered to be low. PCNs contributed significantly to overall TEQ in several cases. PMID:26291759

  20. Occurrence, distribution and ecological risk assessment of multiple classes of UV filters in marine sediments in Hong Kong and Japan.

    PubMed

    Tsui, Mirabelle M P; Leung, H W; Kwan, Billy K Y; Ng, Ka-Yan; Yamashita, Nobuyoshi; Taniyasu, Sachi; Lam, Paul K S; Murphy, Margaret B

    2015-07-15

    Organic ultraviolet (UV) filters are used widely in various personal care products and their ubiquitous occurrence in the aquatic environment has been reported in recent years. However, data on their fate and potential impacts in marine sediments is limited. This study reports the occurrence and risk assessment of eleven widely used organic UV filters in marine sediment collected in Hong Kong and Tokyo Bay. Seven of the 11 target UV filters were detected in all sediment samples (median concentrations: ecological risk assessment showed that the likelihood of EHMC causing toxic effects on reproduction in snails was over 84% and 32% based on toxicity data for two species, respectively, suggesting potential risks of UV filters to benthic organisms and possible wider effects on the marine food web. However, more toxicity data for sediment organisms is necessary for better risk assessment of these compounds in benthic communities. PMID:25804793

  1. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Field Office Environmental Restoration Program. Environmental Restoration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W. II; Redfearn, A.; White, R.K.; Shaw, R.A.

    1992-07-01

    This document is intended to supplement exiting US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance for ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites by providing guidance that is more specific and more tailored to US Department of Energy sites than the guidance available from the EPA. However, it is a conceptual strategy document and does not include specific guidance on data, assumptions, and models. That detailed guidance is under development and will be presented in subsequent documents. Ecological risk assessments are equal to human health risk assessments in regulatory importance and can use many of the same data and some of the same estimation methods. However, they also have peculiar data needs and methods. Ecological risk assessments begin with an initial scoping phase, termed hazard definition, that characterizes the sources, the potentially environment, and the assessment endpoints. In the subsequent measurement and estimation phase, in which data are obtained concerning source of the endpoint biota to the contaminants and the effects of those exposures, and assumptions and models are used to relate the data to the desired exposure and effects parameters. Finally, in an integration phase, termed risk characterization, the various exposure and effects estimates are combined to infer the existence, cause, magnitude, and extent of effects of contaminants on the ecological endpoints. This phase is much more complicated for ecological risk assessments than for human health assessments because more types of data are available. Ecological risk assessments estimate effects using laboratory toxicity test results, like human health assessments, but also use results of ambient toxicity tests and biological surveys.

  2. Predicting Adolescent Risk Behaviors Based on an Ecological Framework and Assets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reininger, Belinda M.; Evans, Alexandra E.; Griffin, Sarah F.; Sanderson, Maureen; Vincent, Murray L.; Valois, Robert F.; Parra-Medina, Deborah

    2005-01-01

    Objectives: To examine the relationship between an aggregate risk score (smoking, drinking, and number of sex partners) and measures of youth assets in a sample of 3439 youth aged 14?18 years. Methods: Linear regression models for African American and white males and females predicted an aggregate risk score. Results: After adjustments, the youth…

  3. Increased ecological risk due to the hyperaccumulation of As in Pteris cretica during the phytoremediation of an As-contaminated site.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Seulki; Moon, Hee Sun; Nam, Kyoungphile

    2015-03-01

    Ecological risk due to the hyperaccumulation of As in Pteris cretica during phytoremediation was evaluated at an abandoned As-contaminated site. Five receptor groups representing terrestrial invertebrates, avian insectivores, small mammals, herbivores, and omnivores were selected as potentially affected ecological receptors. Soil and food ingestion were considered as major exposure pathways. Phytoremediation was performed with P.cretica only and with both P.cretica and siderophores to enhance plant uptake of As. Ecological hazard index (EHI) values for the small mammal greatly exceeded 1.0 even after three weeks of growth regardless of siderophore application, probably due to its limited home range. For the mammalian herbivore, which mainly consumes plant foliage, the EHI values were greater than 5.73 after seven weeks without siderophore application, but the value increased sharply to 29.3 at seven weeks when siderophores were applied. This increased risk could be attributed to the facilitated translocation of As from roots to stems and leaves in P.cretica. Our results suggest that, when a phytoremediation strategy is considered for metals remediation, its ecological consequences should be taken into account to prevent the spread of hyperaccumulated heavy metals throughout the food chain of ecological receptors. Uncertainties involved in the ecological risk assessment process were also discussed. PMID:25441929

  4. Emerging viral disease risk to pollinating insects: ecological, evolutionary and anthropogenic factors

    PubMed Central

    Manley, Robyn; Boots, Mike; Wilfert, Lena

    2015-01-01

    The potential for infectious pathogens to spillover and emerge from managed populations to wildlife communities is poorly understood, but ecological, evolutionary and anthropogenic factors are all likely to influence the initial exposure and subsequent infection, spread and impact of disease. Fast-evolving RNA viruses, known to cause severe colony losses in managed honeybee populations, deserve particular attention for their propensity to jump between host species and thus threaten ecologically and economically important wild pollinator communities. We review the literature on pollinator viruses to identify biological and anthropogenic drivers of disease emergence, highlight gaps in the literature, and discuss potential management strategies. We provide evidence that many wild pollinator species are exposed to viruses from commercial species, resulting in multiple spillover events. However, it is not clear whether species become infected as a result of spillover or whether transmission is occurring within these wild populations. Ecological traits of pollinating insects, such as overlapping ranges, niches and behaviours, clearly promote cross-species transmission of RNA viruses. Moreover, we conclude that the social behaviour and phylogenetic relatedness of social pollinators further facilitate within- and between-host transmission, leaving these species particularly vulnerable to emerging diseases. We argue that the commercial use of pollinators is a key driver of disease emergence in these beneficial insects and that this must be addressed by management and policy. Synthesis and applications. There are important knowledge gaps, ranging from disease distribution and prevalence, to pathogen life history and virulence, to the impacts of disease emergence, which need to be addressed as research priorities. It is clear that avoiding anthropogenic pathogen spillover is crucial to preventing and managing disease emergence in pollinators, with far-reaching effects on our

  5. Using ecological risk assessment to identify the major anthropogenic stressor in the Waquoit Bay Watershed, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

    PubMed

    Serveiss, Victor B; Bowen, Jennifer L; Dow, David; Valiela, Ivan

    2004-05-01

    The Waquoit Bay Watershed ecological risk assessment was performed by an interdisciplinary and interagency workgroup. This paper focuses on the steps taken to formulate the analysis plan for this watershed assessment. The workgroup initially conducted a series of meetings with the general public and local and state managers to determine environmental management objectives for the watershed. The workgroup then decided that more information was needed on the impacts of six stressors: nutrient enrichment, physical alteration of habitat, altered freshwater flow, toxic chemicals, pathogens, and fisheries harvesting. Assessment endpoints were selected to establish the link between environmental management objectives, impacts of stressors, and scientifically measurable endpoints. The following assessment end-points were selected: estuarine eelgrass cover, scallop abundance, finfish diversity and abundance, wetland bird distribution and abundance, piping plover distribution and abundance, tissue contaminant levels, and brook trout distribution and abundance in streams. A conceptual model was developed to show the pathways between human activities, stressors, and ecological effects. The workgroup analyzed comparative risks, by first ranking stressors in terms of their potential risk to biotic resources in the watershed. Then stressors were evaluated by considering the components of stressors (e.g., the stressor chemical pollution included both heavy metals and chlorinated solvents components) in terms of intensity and extensiveness. The workgroup identified nutrient enrichment as the major stressor. Nutrient enrichment comprised both phosphorus enrichment in freshwater ponds and nitrogen enrichment within estuaries. Because phosphorus impacts were being analyzed and mitigated by the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, this assessment focused on nitrogen. The process followed to identify the predominant stressor and focus the analyses on nitrogen impacts on

  6. Risk Assessment on Dietary Exposure to Aflatoxin B1 in Post-Harvest Peanuts in the Yangtze River Ecological Region

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Xiaoxia; Wu, Linxia; Li, Peiwu; Zhang, Zhaowei; Zhou, Haiyan; Bai, Yizhen; Chen, Xiaomei; Jiang, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Based on the 2983 peanut samples from 122 counties in six provinces of China’s Yangtze River ecological region collected between 2009–2014, along with the dietary consumption data in Chinese resident nutrition and health survey reports from 2002 and 2004, dietary aflatoxin exposure and percentiles in the corresponding statistics were calculated by non-parametric probability assessment, Monte Carlo simulation and bootstrap sampling methods. Average climatic conditions in the Yangtze River ecological region were calculated based on the data from 118 weather stations via the Thiessen polygon method. The survey results found that the aflatoxin contamination of peanuts was significantly high in 2013. The determination coefficient (R2) of multiple regression reflected by the aflatoxin B1 content with average precipitation and mean temperature in different periods showed that climatic conditions one month before harvest had the strongest impact on aflatoxin B1 contamination, and that Hunan and Jiangxi provinces were greatly influenced. The simulated mean aflatoxin B1 intake from peanuts at the mean peanut consumption level was 0.777–0.790 and 0.343–0.349 ng/(kg·d) for children aged 2–6 and standard adults respectively. Moreover, the evaluated cancer risks were 0.024 and 0.011/(100,000 persons·year) respectively, generally less than China’s current liver cancer incidence of 24.6 cases/(100,000 persons·year). In general, the dietary risk caused by peanut production and harvest was low. Further studies would focus on the impacts of peanut circulation and storage on aflatoxin B1 contamination risk assessment in order to protect peanut consumers’ safety and boost international trade. PMID:26501322

  7. Risk Assessment on Dietary Exposure to Aflatoxin B₁ in Post-Harvest Peanuts in the Yangtze River Ecological Region.

    PubMed

    Ding, Xiaoxia; Wu, Linxia; Li, Peiwu; Zhang, Zhaowei; Zhou, Haiyan; Bai, Yizhen; Chen, Xiaomei; Jiang, Jun

    2015-10-01

    Based on the 2983 peanut samples from 122 counties in six provinces of China's Yangtze River ecological region collected between 2009-2014, along with the dietary consumption data in Chinese resident nutrition and health survey reports from 2002 and 2004, dietary aflatoxin exposure and percentiles in the corresponding statistics were calculated by non-parametric probability assessment, Monte Carlo simulation and bootstrap sampling methods. Average climatic conditions in the Yangtze River ecological region were calculated based on the data from 118 weather stations via the Thiessen polygon method. The survey results found that the aflatoxin contamination of peanuts was significantly high in 2013. The determination coefficient (R²) of multiple regression reflected by the aflatoxin B₁ content with average precipitation and mean temperature in different periods showed that climatic conditions one month before harvest had the strongest impact on aflatoxin B₁ contamination, and that Hunan and Jiangxi provinces were greatly influenced. The simulated mean aflatoxin B₁ intake from peanuts at the mean peanut consumption level was 0.777-0.790 and 0.343-0.349 ng/(kg·d) for children aged 2-6 and standard adults respectively. Moreover, the evaluated cancer risks were 0.024 and 0.011/(100,000 persons·year) respectively, generally less than China's current liver cancer incidence of 24.6 cases/(100,000 persons·year). In general, the dietary risk caused by peanut production and harvest was low. Further studies would focus on the impacts of peanut circulation and storage on aflatoxin B₁ contamination risk assessment in order to protect peanut consumers' safety and boost international trade. PMID:26501322

  8. [Distribution and Potential Ecological Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments of Inflow Rivers to Northeastern Lake Tanganyika].

    PubMed

    Yu, Cheng; Chen, Shuang; Zhang, Lu

    2016-02-15

    As the second deepest lake in Africa, Lake Tanganyika plays an important role in supplying fish protein for citizens in the catchment. However, the lake is increasingly threatened by environmental pollution with the development of social economy and expanding of population. In order to reveal the external source of heavy metals in Lake Tanganyika, 16 surface sediment samples from the rivers which flow into the northeast of the lake were collected and analyzed. Besides the contents, the potential ecological risk indices (RI) of each heavy metal were also analyzed. Furthermore, the relationship, between land use and the spatial distribution of heavy metals was also discussed. The average contents of Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb and Hg were 18. 4, 21.2, 0.05, 6.6 mg x kg(-1) and 8.4 ng x g(-1), respectively, with the maximum values of Zn, Pb and Cd located in Bujumbura urban rivers. The data indicated that all the inflow rivers were at low potential ecological risk. RI of heavy metals ranked as the following order: Cd > Hg > Cu > Pb > Zn, as Cd being the key element contributing to the risk. The relationship between land use and heavy metals showed that the contents of heavy metals were highest in urban areas, followed by estuarine wetlands, and woodlands were least polluted by heavy metals. This distribution type implied that human activities could cause the heavy metal accumulation in the surface sediments of nearby rivers. The urban areas and estuarine wetlands need to be concerned in the further study. PMID:27363136

  9. Human and ecological risk assessment of a crop protection chemical: a case study with the azole fungicide epoxiconazole.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Janice E; Greim, Helmut; Kendall, Ronald J; Segner, Helmut; Sharpe, Richard M; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2014-02-01

    Conventional risk assessments for crop protection chemicals compare the potential for causing toxicity (hazard identification) to anticipated exposure. New regulatory approaches have been proposed that would exclude exposure assessment and just focus on hazard identification based on endocrine disruption. This review comprises a critical analysis of hazard, focusing on the relative sensitivity of endocrine and non-endocrine endpoints, using a class of crop protection chemicals, the azole fungicides. These were selected because they are widely used on important crops (e.g. grains) and thereby can contact target and non-target plants and enter the food chain of humans and wildlife. Inhibition of lanosterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51) mediates the antifungal effect. Inhibition of other CYPs, such as aromatase (CYP19), can lead to numerous toxicological effects, which are also evident from high dose human exposures to therapeutic azoles. Because of its widespread use and substantial database, epoxiconazole was selected as a representative azole fungicide. Our critical analysis concluded that anticipated human exposure to epoxiconazole would yield a margin of safety of at least three orders of magnitude for reproductive effects observed in laboratory rodent studies that are postulated to be endocrine-driven (i.e. fetal resorptions). The most sensitive ecological species is the aquatic plant Lemna (duckweed), for which the margin of safety is less protective than for human health. For humans and wildlife, endocrine disruption is not the most sensitive endpoint. It is concluded that conventional risk assessment, considering anticipated exposure levels, will be protective of both human and ecological health. Although the toxic mechanisms of other azole compounds may be similar, large differences in potency will require a case-by-case risk assessment. PMID:24274332

  10. Geographic variation of gallbladder cancer mortality and risk factors in Chile: a population-based ecologic study.

    PubMed

    Andia, Marcelo E; Hsing, Ann W; Andreotti, Gabriella; Ferreccio, Catterina

    2008-09-15

    Chile's gallbladder cancer rates are among the highest in the world, being the leading cause of cancer deaths among Chilean women. To provide insights into the etiology of gallbladder cancer, we conducted an ecologic study examining the geographical variation of gallbladder cancer and several putative risk factors. The relative risk of dying from gallbladder cancer between 1985 and 2003 was estimated for each of the 333 Chilean counties, using a hierarchical Poisson regression model, adjusting for age, sex and geographical location. The risk of gallbladder cancer mortality was analyzed in relation to region, poverty, Amerindian (Mapuche) population, typhoid fever and access to cholecystectomy, using logistic regression analysis. There were 27,183 gallbladder cancer deaths, with age and sex-adjusted county mortality rates ranging from 8.2 to 12.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. Rates were highest in inland and southern regions. Compared to the northern-coast, the northern-inland region had a 10-fold risk (95% of confidence interval (95% CI): 2.4-42.2) and the southern-inland region had a 26-fold risk (95% CI: 6.0-114.2). Independent of region, other risk factors for gallbladder cancer included a high Mapuche population (Odds ratio (OR):3.9, 95% CI 1.8-8.7), high typhoid fever incidence (OR:2.9, 95% CI 1.2-6.9), high poverty (OR:5.1, 95% CI 1.6-15.9), low access to cholecystectomy (OR:3.9, 95% CI 1.5-10.1), low access to hospital care (OR:14.2, 95% CI 4.2-48.7) and high urbanization (OR:8.0, 95% CI 3.4-18.7). Our results suggest that gallbladder cancer in Chile may be related to both genetic factors and poor living conditions. Future analytic studies are needed to further clarify the role of these factors in gallbladder cancer etiology. PMID:18566990

  11. Potential ecological risk of heavy metal contamination in sediments and macrobenthos in coastal wetlands induced by freshwater releases: A case study in the Yellow River Delta, China.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Yang, Wei; Sun, Tao; Jin, Yuwan

    2016-02-15

    We investigated the nine heavy metal contents in the sediments and macrobenthos of the Yellow River Delta Wetlands using three experimental areas that received freshwater releases and one reference area that did not. Heavy metal contents, the single-factor contamination index (SFCI), the metal contamination index (MCI), and the biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF) were used to evaluate the potential ecological risk and bioaccumulation. We found that As exceeded the national standard value by more than 50%, and that the ranges of SFCI for each metal were generally larger in autumn than in spring. MCI showed no clear pattern, but the BSAF results suggest that Cd bioaccumulates from sediments to macrobenthos. Pollution-resistant species such as Corophium sinense, Chironomus sp., and Einfeldia sp. became dominant in the areas receiving freshwater releases, and provide direct evidence of ecological risk in the wetlands. Our results provide preliminary information to guide managers for ecological risk assessments. PMID:26719069

  12. Integrating human and ecological risk assessment: application to the cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom problem.

    PubMed

    Orme-Zavaleta, Jennifer; Munns, Wayne R

    2008-01-01

    Environmental and public health policy continues to evolve in response to new and complex social, economic and environmental drivers. Globalization and centralization of commerce, evolving patterns of land use (e.g., urbanization, deforestation), and technological advances in such areas as manufacturing and development of genetically modified foods have created new and complex classes of stressors and risks (e.g., climate change, emergent and opportunist disease, sprawl, genomic change). In recognition of these changes, environmental risk assessment and its use are changing from stressor-endpoint specific assessments used in command and control types of decisions to an integrated approach for application in community-based decisions. As a result, the process of risk assessment and supporting risk analyses are evolving to characterize the human-environment relationship. Integrating risk paradigms combine the process of risk estimation for humans, biota, and natural resources into one assessment to improve the information used in environmental decisions (Suter et al. 2003b). A benefit to this approach includes a broader, system-wide evaluation that considers the interacting effects of stressors on humans and the environment, as well the interactions between these entities. To improve our understanding of the linkages within complex systems, risk assessors will need to rely on a suite of techniques for conducting rigorous analyses characterizing the exposure and effects relationships between stressors and biological receptors. Many of the analytical techniques routinely employed are narrowly focused and unable to address the complexities of an integrated assessment. In this paper, we describe an approach to integrated risk assessment, and discuss qualitative community modeling and Probabilistic Relational Modeling techniques that address these limitations and evaluate their potential for use in an integrated risk assessment of cyanobacteria. PMID:18461794

  13. REPORT ON THE SHRIMP VIRUS PEER REVIEW AND RISK ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP: DEVELOPING A QUALITATIVE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT (DRAFT FINAL)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA is making available a draft final report of a peer review and risk assessment workshop on shrimp viruses, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA), on behalf of the Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture (JSA)...

  14. Ecological risk aversion and juvenile ring-tailed lemur feeding and foraging.

    PubMed

    O'Mara, M Teague

    2015-01-01

    The extended primate juvenile period has been linked to interactions between feeding ecology and sociality. However, accumulating field data on juvenile primates suggest variation in the linkages between foraging efficiency, group foraging and social behaviour. In many non-human primates, juvenile ability (strength, coordination and motor skills) does not limit foraging success. If predicted limitations in feeding are not found in juvenile monkeys, it is possible that the gregarious strepsirrhines may show foraging patterns similar to those implicated in the evolution of a life history where long juvenile periods are advantageous. To test these behavioural predictions, I present a mixed longitudinal sample of observations on feeding and foraging behaviour from ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Like several platyrrhine species, close proximity during foraging, low feeding efficiency and low dietary diversity are not typical of ring-tailed lemurs. The lack of ecological trade-offs in these species may indicate stronger common roles of sociality and social complexity in structuring the elongation of the primate juvenile period. PMID:26022305

  15. Geochemical background and ecological risk of heavy metals in surface sediments from the west Zhoushan Fishing Ground of East China Sea.

    PubMed

    Xu, Gang; Liu, Jian; Pei, Shaofeng; Hu, Gang; Kong, Xianghuai

    2015-12-01

    Surface sediment grain size as well as the spatial distribution, pollution status, and source identification of heavy metals in the west Zhoushan Fishing Ground (ZFG) of the East China Sea were analyzed to study the geochemical background concentrations of heavy metals and to assess their potential ecological risk. Our results show that surface sediments in the eastern part of study area were mainly composed of sand-sized components. Spatial distributions of heavy metals were mainly controlled by grain size and terrigenous materials, and their concentrations in the coarsest grain sediments formed primarily during the Holocene transgressive period could represent the element background values of our study area. Contamination factor suggests that there was no pollution of Pb, Zn, and Cr generally in our study area and slight pollution of Cu, Cd, and As (especially Cu) at some stations. In addition, ecological harm coefficient indicates that the ecological risk of each heavy metal, except for Cd, at two stations was low as well. These results are consistent with the pollution load index and ecological risk index, which suggest both the overall level of pollution and the overall ecological risk of six studied metals in sediment were relatively low in our study area. Enrichment factor indicates that the heavy metals came mostly from the natural source. Summarily, the quality level of sediment in our study area was relatively good, and heavy metals in sediments could not exert threat to aquatic lives in the ZFG until now. PMID:26507725

  16. Integrating Omic Technologies into Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessment and Environmental Monitoring: Hurdles, Achievements and Future Outlook

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background: In this commentary we present the findings from an international consortium on fish toxicogenomics sponsored by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) with a remit of moving omic technologies into chemical risk assessment and environmental monitoring. Obj...

  17. Integrating Omic Technologies into Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessment and Environmental Monitoring: Hurdles, Achievements and Future Outlook

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this commentary we present the findings from an international consortium on fish toxicogenomics sponsored by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) with an objective of moving omic technologies into chemical risk assessment and environmental monitoring. Objectiv...

  18. Incorporating ecologically relevant habitat and demographic data in assessment of contaminant risk to wildlife

    EPA Science Inventory

    Evaluating population-level effects of contamination on wildlife requires specific information on habitat quality, species distribution, and contaminant concentration. Establishing broadly applicable thresholds for risk assessment involves an understanding of the applicability o...

  19. Tooele Army Depot revised final site-wide ecological risk assessment: Volume 4. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    1998-02-01

    This article focuses on the following: soil samples; biota samples; risk assessment; historic; hazards; herbicides; metals; pesticides; dioxins; furans; invertebrate data; toxicity; detection; exposure; bioaccumulation models; physicochemical; lead; mercury; barium; plants; dermal; Monte Carlo analysis; and endangered plants.

  20. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of selected PAH`s in sediments near a petroleum refinery

    SciTech Connect

    Arnold, W.R.; Biddinger, G.R.

    1995-12-31

    Sediment samples were collected and analyzed for a number of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) along a gradient from a petroleum refinery`s wastewater diffuser. These data were used to calculate the potential risk to aquatic organisms using probabilistic modeling and Monte Carlo sampling procedures. Sediment chemistry data were used in conjunction with estimates of Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factors and Non-Polar Narcosis Theory to predict potential risk to bivalves. Bivalves were the receptors of choice because of their lack of a well-developed enzymatic system for metabolizing PAHs. Thus, they represent a species of higher inherent risk of adverse impact. PAHs considered in this paper span a broad range of octanol-water partition coefficients. Results indicate negligible risk of narcotic effects from PAHs existing near the refinery wastewater discharge.

  1. Ecological risk assessment of aerial insectivores of the Clinch River/Poplar Creek system

    SciTech Connect

    Baron, L.A.; Sample, B.E.

    1995-12-31

    Risks to aerial insectivores (species that consume flying insects; rough-winged swallows, little brown bats, and endangered gray bats) were assessed for the CERCLA remedial investigation of the Clinch River/Poplar Creek system. Adult mayflies and sediment were collected from four locations and analyzed for contaminants. Sediment-to-mayfly contaminant transfer factors were generated from these data and used to estimate contaminant concentrations in mayflies from thirteen additional locations. Contaminants of potential concern (COPCs) were identified by comparing exposure estimates, generated using point estimates of parameter values, to NOAELS. COPCs included mercury, arsenic, and PCBs. Exposure to COPCs was re-estimated using Monte Carlo simulations. Adverse population effects were assumed likely if > 20% of the estimated exposure distribution was greater than the LOAEL. Exposure of swallows to mercury was a significant risk at two locations. Exposure of bats to mercury was a significant risk at only one location. While consideration of movement and foraging territory did not reduce estimated risks to swallows, when exposures for gray and little brown bats were re-estimated, population-level risks from mercury were no longer considered likely. As an endangered species however, protection is extended to individual gray bats. While less than 20% of the mercury exposure distribution for gray bats was > LOAEL, > 99% of the distribution was >NOAEL. Therefore, adverse effects may occur among maximally exposed individual gray bats. Available data indicate that contaminants in Poplar Creek are likely to present a risk to the swallow population, do not present a risk to the little brown bat population, and may present a risk to individual gray bats.

  2. Organic UV Filters in the Surface Water of Nanjing, China: Occurrence, Distribution and Ecological Risk Assessment.

    PubMed

    Ma, Binni; Lu, Guanghua; Liu, Fuli; Nie, Yang; Zhang, Zhenghua; Li, Yi

    2016-04-01

    Organic UV filters (OUV-Fs) are increasingly used for protection against UV irradiation. The widespread occurrence of OUV-Fs residues in aquatic systems has been reported, but little is known regarding their distribution and potential impact to the surface water in China. This study reports the occurrence, distribution and risk assessment of eight widely used OUV-Fs in the surface water of Nanjing. The results indicated butyl-methoxydibenzoylmethane, octyl-dimethyl-PABA and benzophenone-types (BP3, BP4 and BP1) were the most frequently detected compounds at concentrations of 3.63-104 ng/L. In general, the concentrations of OUV-Fs were decreased along the rivers; however, due to a substantial pollution load from the tributaries, higher concentrations of OUV-Fs were observed near the tributary inlet, compared to the other study areas. The risk assessment based on the calculated risk quotients (RQs) demonstrated that all OUV-Fs posed at least low risks to certain sensitive aquatic organisms, and BP3 posed high risk with RQ values of 1.64. It should be noted that the exclusion of adsorbed OUV-Fs might have contributed to an underestimation of the risk, therefore, it's necessary to assess both adsorbed and dissolved OUV-Fs in further studies. PMID:26747437

  3. Zinc and Other Metals Deficiencies and Risk of Type 1 Diabetes: An Ecological Study in the High Risk Sardinia Island

    PubMed Central

    Sanna, Alessandro; Pretti, Salvatore; Marcello, Alberto; Mannu, Carla; Targhetta, Clara; Bruno, Graziella; Songini, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Background Type 1 diabetes incidence presents a decreasing gradient in Europe from the Nordic countries to the Mediterranean ones. Exception to this gradient is represented by Sardinia, the second largest Mediterranean island whose population shows the highest incidence in Europe, after Finland. The genetic features of this population have created a fertile ground for the epidemic of the disease, however, as well as being strikingly high, the incidence rate has suddenly presented a continuous increase from the ‘50s, not explainable by accumulation of new genetic variants. Several environmental factors have been taken into account, possibly interacting with the genetic/epigenetic scenario, but there are no strong evidences to date. Methods The present study investigated the hypothesis that geochemical elements could create permissive environmental conditions for autoimmune diabetes. An ecological analysis was performed to test possible correlations between the values of eight elements in stream sediments and type 1 diabetes incidence rate in Sardinia. Results Analyses revealed negative associations between elements, such as Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Zn, and type 1 diabetes incidence. Conclusions The results suggest a possible protective role of some elements against the onset of the disease. PMID:26559814

  4. Responses to climate and economic risks and opportunities across national and ecological boundaries: changing household strategies on the Mongolian plateau

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Daniel G.; Agrawal, Arun; Sass, Daniel A.; Wang, Jun; Hua, Jin; Xie, Yichun

    2013-01-01

    Climate changes on the Mongolian Plateau are creating new challenges for the households and communities of the region. Much of the existing research on household choices in response to climate variability and change focuses on environmental risks and stresses. In contrast, our analysis highlights the importance of taking into account environmental and economic opportunities in explaining household adaptation choices. We surveyed over 750 households arrayed along an ecological gradient and matched across the national border in Mongolia and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, asking what changes in livelihoods strategies households made over the last ten years, and analyzed these choices in two broad categories of options: diversification and livestock management. We combined these data with remotely sensed information about vegetation growth and self-reported exposure to price fluctuations. Our statistical results showed that households experiencing lower ecological and economic variability, higher average levels of vegetation growth, and with greater levels of material wealth, were often those that undertook more actions to improve their conditions in the face of variability. The findings have implications both for how interventions aimed at supporting ongoing choices might be targeted and for theory construction related to social adaptation. PMID:24910710

  5. The Role of Landscape Composition and Configuration on Pteropus giganteus Roosting Ecology and Nipah Virus Spillover Risk in Bangladesh

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Micah B.; Gurley, Emily S.; Epstein, Jonathan H.; Islam, Mohammad S.; Patz, Jonathan A.; Daszak, Peter; Luby, Stephen P.

    2014-01-01

    Nipah virus has caused recurring outbreaks in central and northwest Bangladesh (the “Nipah Belt”). Little is known about roosting behavior of the fruit bat reservoir, Pteropus giganteus, or factors driving spillover. We compared human population density and ecological characteristics of case villages and control villages (no reported outbreaks) to understand their role in P. giganteus roosting ecology and Nipah virus spillover risk. Nipah Belt villages have a higher human population density (P < 0.0001), and forests that are more fragmented than elsewhere in Bangladesh (0.50 versus 0.32 patches/km2, P < 0.0001). The number of roosts in a village correlates with forest fragmentation (r = 0.22, P = 0.03). Villages with a roost containing Polyalthia longifolia or Bombax ceiba trees were more likely case villages (odds ratio [OR] = 10.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3–90.6). This study suggests that, in addition to human population density, composition and structure of the landscape shared by P. giganteus and humans may influence the geographic distribution of Nipah virus spillovers. PMID:24323516

  6. The role of landscape composition and configuration on Pteropus giganteus roosting ecology and Nipah virus spillover risk in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Micah B; Gurley, Emily S; Epstein, Jonathan H; Islam, Mohammad S; Patz, Jonathan A; Daszak, Peter; Luby, Stephen P

    2014-02-01

    Nipah virus has caused recurring outbreaks in central and northwest Bangladesh (the "Nipah Belt"). Little is known about roosting behavior of the fruit bat reservoir, Pteropus giganteus, or factors driving spillover. We compared human population density and ecological characteristics of case villages and control villages (no reported outbreaks) to understand their role in P. giganteus roosting ecology and Nipah virus spillover risk. Nipah Belt villages have a higher human population density (P < 0.0001), and forests that are more fragmented than elsewhere in Bangladesh (0.50 versus 0.32 patches/km(2), P < 0.0001). The number of roosts in a village correlates with forest fragmentation (r = 0.22, P = 0.03). Villages with a roost containing Polyalthia longifolia or Bombax ceiba trees were more likely case villages (odds ratio [OR] = 10.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3-90.6). This study suggests that, in addition to human population density, composition and structure of the landscape shared by P. giganteus and humans may influence the geographic distribution of Nipah virus spillovers. PMID:24323516

  7. Paper 8775 - Integrating Natural Resources and Ecological Science into the Disaster Risk CYCLE: Lessons Learned and Future Directions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brosnan, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    Familiar to disaster risk reduction (DRR) scientists and professionals, the disaster cycle is an adaptive approach that involves planning, response and learning for the next event. It has proven effective in saving lives and helping communities around the world deal with natural and other hazards. But it has rarely been applied to natural resource and ecological science, despite the fact that many communities are dependent on these resources. This presentation will include lessons learned from applying science to tackle ecological consequences in several disasters