Science.gov

Sample records for evaluate ecological risk

  1. 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.

  2. The evaluation of natural attenuation processes in ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Swindoll, C.M.; Dziuk, L.J. |

    1994-12-31

    The intent of the ecological risk assessment (ERA) process is to provide the scientific basis for making remediation decisions that are protective of the environment. In some instances, remedial actions may result in more damage to area flora and fauna than is warranted based on the long-term risk of the chemical stressor; this is particularly true of wetlands. To minimize the potential for putting the site`s ecosystem at greater risk because of remediation, the ERA should include an evaluation of ``no action`` and ``nondestructive`` scenarios. An essential component of this evaluation is an assessment of the natural attenuation of the chemical stressor. Natural processes including biodegradation, hydrolysis, photodegradation, speciation, and complexation can be important to the mitigation of long-term ecological impact of chemical substances. The importance of natural processes for the attenuation of contaminants in aquifers is recognized by both the regulatory and scientific communities and has been adopted by several states as a viable remedial alternative. The potential for natural attenuation to reduce environmental risk is greater for surface environments than for the subsurface. The rationale, methodology, and tools available for evaluating natural attenuation in the context of the ERA process will be presented. Specific examples of implementing this approach at several industrial sites and benefits, including the effective utilization of limited regulatory and industrial resources, will be discussed.

  3. 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...

  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. Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) announced the release of the final report, Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites. The report provides an overview of an approach for assessing risk to ...

  6. Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) announced the release of the final report, Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites. The report provides an overview of an approach for assessing risk to ...

  7. Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This is the first step in a long-term effort to develop risk assessment guidelines for ecological effects. Its primary purpose is to offer a simple, flexible structure for conducting and evaluating ecological risk assessment within EPA.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. [Ecological risk evaluation of heavy metals of the typical dredged mud in Shanghai].

    PubMed

    Tang, Qing-Li; Cheng, Jin-Ping; Gao, Hao-Min; Yao, Lei; Jiang, Zhen-Yi; Wu, Yang; Xie, Cui-Song; Liang, Hai; Wang, He; Pi, Shuai-Shuai; Yu, Zhao-Yi

    2013-04-01

    In order to discuss the potential ecological risk of heavy metals of the typical dredged mud in Shanghai, the Hakanson potential ecological risks method was used to analyse and assess the potential ecological risks of heavy metals, including Hg, Cd, Cu, Pb, As,Cr and Zn in dredged mud from the following three areas-the dock apron of Huangpu River, the mouth of the Yangtze River and inland waterways. The results showed that the mean values of ecological risk index (Er(i)) of the seven heavy metals are 20.05, 17.49, 8.82, 5.71, 4.68, 1.74 and 1.13, respectively, all of which belonged to the low ecological risk; Cd (one location in inland waterways) and Hg (three locations in the mouth of the Yangtze River and one location in inland waterways) are the most hazardous elements, with the Er(i) > 40, which belonged to the medium ecological risk or the high ecological risk, and other elements belonged to the low ecological risk. From the results of ecological risk indices(ERI) of the heavy metals in Shanghai dredged mud, the risk of the heavy metals belonged to the low ecological risk. The ERI of inland waterways, the mouth of the Yangtze River and the dock apron of the Huangpu River were 81.4, 57.7 and 52.5, respectively, which all belong to the low ecological risk.

  11. Ecological risk of anthropogenic pollutants to reptiles: Evaluating assumptions of sensitivity and exposure.

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Suski, Jamie G; Salice, Christopher J

    2010-12-01

    A large data gap for reptile ecotoxicology still persists; therefore, ecological risk assessments of reptiles usually incorporate the use of surrogate species. This necessitates that (1) the surrogate is at least as sensitive as the target taxon and/or (2) exposures to the surrogate are greater than that of the target taxon. We evaluated these assumptions for the use of birds as surrogates for reptiles. Based on a survey of the literature, birds were more sensitive than reptiles in less than 1/4 of the chemicals investigated. Dietary and dermal exposure modeling indicated that exposure to reptiles was relatively high, particularly when the dermal route was considered. We conclude that caution is warranted in the use of avian receptors as surrogates for reptiles in ecological risk assessment and emphasize the need to better understand the magnitude and mechanism of contaminant exposure in reptiles to improve exposure and risk estimation.

  12. Development of a relative risk model for evaluating ecological risk of water environment in the Haihe River Basin estuary area.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiuying; Liu, Jingling; Ho, Kin Chung; Yang, Zhifeng

    2012-03-15

    Ecological risk assessment for water environment is significant to water resource management of basin. Effective environmental management and systems restoration such as the Haihe River Basin require holistic understanding of the relative importance of various stressor-related impacts throughout the basin. As an effective technical tool for evaluating the ecological risk, relative risk model (RRM) was applied in regional scale successfully. In this study, the risk transfer from upstream of basin was considered and the RRM was developed through 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 includes water quality, water quantity and aquatic ecosystems was selected as the assessment endpoints. We created a conceptual model which depicting potential and effect pathways from source to stressor to habitat to endpoint. The Haihe River Basin estuary (HRBE) was selected as the model case. The results showed that there were two low risk regions, one medium risk region and two high risk regions in the HRBE. The results also indicated that urbanization was the biggest source, the second was shipping and the third was industry, their risk scores are 5.65, 4.71 and 3.68 respectively. Furthermore, habitat destruction was the largest stressor with the risk scores (2.66), the second was oxygen consuming organic pollutants (1.75) and the third was pathogens (1.75). So these three stressors were the main influencing factors of the ecological pressure in the study area. For habitats, open waters (9.59) and intertidal mudflat were enduring the bigger pressure and should be taken considerable attention. Ecological service values damaged (30.54) and biodiversity decreased were facing the biggest risk pressure.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. A Methodology to Evaluate Ecological Resources and Risk Using Two Case Studies at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer; Kosson, David

    2017-03-01

    An assessment of the potential risks to ecological resources from remediation activities or other perturbations should involve a quantitative evaluation of resources on the remediation site and in the surrounding environment. We developed a risk methodology to rapidly evaluate potential impact on ecological resources for the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southcentral Washington State. We describe the application of the risk evaluation for two case studies to illustrate its applicability. The ecological assessment involves examining previous sources of information for the site, defining different resource levels from 0 to 5. We also developed a risk rating scale from non-discernable to very high. Field assessment is the critical step to determine resource levels or to determine if current conditions are the same as previously evaluated. We provide a rapid assessment method for current ecological conditions that can be compared to previous site-specific data, or that can be used to assess resource value on other sites where ecological information is not generally available. The method is applicable to other Department of Energy's sites, where its development may involve a range of state regulators, resource trustees, Tribes and other stakeholders. Achieving consistency across Department of Energy's sites for valuation of ecological resources on remediation sites will assure Congress and the public that funds and personnel are being deployed appropriately.

  18. A Methodology to Evaluate Ecological Resources and Risk Using Two Case Studies at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer; Kosson, David

    2017-03-01

    An assessment of the potential risks to ecological resources from remediation activities or other perturbations should involve a quantitative evaluation of resources on the remediation site and in the surrounding environment. We developed a risk methodology to rapidly evaluate potential impact on ecological resources for the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southcentral Washington State. We describe the application of the risk evaluation for two case studies to illustrate its applicability. The ecological assessment involves examining previous sources of information for the site, defining different resource levels from 0 to 5. We also developed a risk rating scale from non-discernable to very high. Field assessment is the critical step to determine resource levels or to determine if current conditions are the same as previously evaluated. We provide a rapid assessment method for current ecological conditions that can be compared to previous site-specific data, or that can be used to assess resource value on other sites where ecological information is not generally available. The method is applicable to other Department of Energy's sites, where its development may involve a range of state regulators, resource trustees, Tribes and other stakeholders. Achieving consistency across Department of Energy's sites for valuation of ecological resources on remediation sites will assure Congress and the public that funds and personnel are being deployed appropriately.

  19. Evaluation of ecological risk of metal contamination in river Gomti, India: a biomonitoring approach.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Sanjay Kumar; Chabukdhara, Mayuri; Kumar, Praveen; Singh, Jaswant; Bux, Faizal

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the extent of heavy metal pollution in river Gomti and associated ecological risk. River water, sediments and locally abundant mollusk (Viviparus (V.) bengalensis) were sampled from six different sites and analyzed for seven metals: Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn). Mean metal concentrations (mg/l) in river water were 0.024 for Cd, 0.063 for Cr, 0.022 for Cr, 0.029 for Mn, 0.044 for Ni, 0.018 for Pb and 0.067 for Zn. In river sediments, the concentrations (mg/kg dry wt) were 5.0 for Cd, 16.2 for Cr, 23.2 for Cr, 203.2 for Mn, 23.9 for Ni, 46.2 for Pb and 76.3 for Zn, while in V. bengalensis mean metal concentrations (mg/kg, dry wt) were 0.57 for Cd, 12.0 for Cr, 30.7 for Cu, 29.9 for Mn, 8.8 for Ni, 3.6 for Pb and 48.3 for Zn. Results indicated elevated concentrations of Cu, Zn and Mn in V. bengalensis as compared to other non-essential elements. Potential ecological risk (RI) in sediments showed high to very high metal contamination. Cluster analysis indicated that Pb, Zn, Cd and Ni in sediments may have anthropogenic sources. The findings thus suggest heavy metal contamination of river water and sediments have reached alarming levels, which is well corroborated by elevated level of metal accumulation in V. bengalensis.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Terrestrial ecological risk evaluation for triclosan in land-applied biosolids.

    PubMed

    Fuchsman, Phyllis; Lyndall, Jennifer; Bock, Michael; Lauren, Darrel; Barber, Timothy; Leigh, Katrina; Perruchon, Elyse; Capdevielle, Marie

    2010-07-01

    Triclosan is an antimicrobial compound found in many consumer products including soaps and personal care products. Most triclosan is disposed of down household drains, whereupon it is conveyed to wastewater treatment plants. Although a high percentage of triclosan biodegrades during wastewater treatment, most of the remainder is adsorbed to sludge, which may ultimately be applied to land as biosolids. We evaluated terrestrial ecological risks related to triclosan in land-applied biosolids for soil microbes, plants, soil invertebrates, mammals, and birds. Exposures are estimated using a probabilistic fugacity-based model. Triclosan concentrations in biosolids and reported biosolids application rates are compiled to support estimation of triclosan concentrations in soil. Concentrations in biota tissue are estimated using an equilibrium partitioning model for plants and worms and a steady-state model for small mammals; the resulting tissue concentrations are used to model mammalian and avian dietary exposures. Toxicity benchmarks are identified from a review of published and proprietary studies. The results indicate that adverse effects related to soil fertility (i.e., disruption of nitrogen cycling) would be expected only under "worst-case" exposures, under certain soil conditions and would likely be transient. The available data indicate that adverse effects on plants, invertebrates, birds, and mammals due to triclosan in land-applied biosolids are unlikely. (c) 2010 SETAC.

  3. Plant ecotoxicology: The design and evaluation of plant performance in risk assessments and forensic ecology

    SciTech Connect

    Kapustka, L.A.

    1996-12-31

    Since the emergence of ecology as a serious discipline, debates on the relevance of laboratory studies including toxicology have been prominent. Standardized phytotoxicity tests are often challenged due to the limited range of test species and the narrow range of environmental conditions described in the tests. This paper discusses the uncertainty currently associated with lab-to-field extrapolations and other aspects of standardized tests. Characterization of test parameters is critical as a first step to quantification and, ultimately, reduction of uncertainty. A conceptual context for designing studies to quantify and reduce uncertainty is presented. A step-wise procedure based on Koch`s postulates is offered as the best way to bolster linkage of toxicity data to predictions of risk and characterization of posts incidents (forensic ecology).

  4. Trace organic pollutants in sediments from Huaihe River, China: Evaluation of sources and ecological risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ji-Zhong; Chen, Tian-Hu; Zhu, Cheng-Zhu; Peng, Shu-Chuan

    2014-05-01

    In the present study, a combination of multiple molecular markers was used to improve the identification of pollution sources in sediment samples collected from Huaihe River, China. No significant spatial variation of aliphatic hydrocarbons (normal alkanes, n-alkanes) was observed, whereas, relatively high concentrations of 28 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Σ28PAH) and 20 linear alkylbenzenes (Σ20LAB) in urban sediments and low concentrations of Σ28PAH and Σ20LAB in farm areas were determined. Overall, sediment samples collected from urban areas contained high concentration of Σ20LAB with low concentration of Σ28PAH which mostly originated from pyrolysis, while rural sediments had opposite trends, reflecting the significant input of domestic sewage in urban areas. Residual n-alkanes were mostly from natural sources with relatively low proportion of petrogenic input. For PAHs, the concentrations of diagentic perylene and pyrolytic PAHs from farm areas to urban areas tend to decrease and increase, respectively. Likely origins of pyrolytic PAHs were considered combustion of coal and petroleum related. In the village areas, pyrolytic PAHs were mostly contributed from coal and diesel combustion. Poor domestic wastewater treatment in rural areas caused low ratio of I/E. On the other hand, the results of total toxic benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) equivalent reveal the ecological risk by PAHs was negligible in Huaihe River.

  5. Evaluation of triclosan in Minnesota lakes and rivers: Part I - ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Lyndall, Jennifer; Barber, Timothy; Mahaney, Wendy; Bock, Michael; Capdevielle, Marie

    2017-08-01

    Triclosan, an antimicrobial compound found in consumer products, may be introduced into the aquatic environment via residual concentrations in municipal wastewater treatment effluent. We conducted an aquatic risk assessment that incorporated the available measured triclosan data from Minnesota lakes and rivers. Although only data reported from Minnesota were considered in the risk assessment, the developed toxicity benchmarks can be applied to other environments. The data were evaluated using a series of environmental fate models to ensure the data were internally consistent and to fill any data gaps. Triclosan was not detected in over 75% of the 567 surface water and sediment samples. Measured environmental data were used to model the predicted environmental exposures to triclosan in surface water, surface sediment, and biota tissues. Toxicity benchmarks based on fatty acid synthesis inhibition and narcosis were determined for aquatic organisms based, in part, on a species sensitivity distribution of chronic toxicity thresholds from the available literature. Predicted and measured environmental concentrations for surface water, sediment, and tissue were below the effects benchmarks, indicating that exposure to triclosan in Minnesota lakes and rivers would not pose an unacceptable risk to aquatic organisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. A Methodology to Evaluate Ecological Resources and Risk Using Two Case Studies at the Department of Energy’s Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer; Kosson, David

    2016-11-30

    An assessment of the potential risks to ecological resources from remediation activities or other perturbations should involve a quantitative evaluation of resources on the remediation site and in the surrounding environment. We developed a risk methodology to rapidly evaluate potential impact on ecological resources for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site in southcentral Washington State. We describe the application of the risk evaluation for two case studies to illustrate its applicability. The ecological assessment involves examining previous sources of information for the site, defining different resource levels from 0 to 5. We also developed a risk rating scale from nondiscernable to very high. Field assessment is the critical step to determine resource levels or to determine if current conditions are the same as previously evaluated. We provide a rapid assessment method for current ecological conditions that can be compared to previous site-specific data, or that can be used to assess resource value on other sites where ecological information is not generally available. The method is applicable to other Department of Energy’s sites, where its development may involve a range of state regulators, resource trustees, Tribes and other stakeholders. Achieving consistency across Department of Energy’s sites for valuation of ecological resources on remediation sites will assure Congress and the public that funds and personnel are being deployed appropriately.

  7. Evaluation of core cultivation practices to reduce ecological risk of pesticides in runoff from Agrostis palustris.

    PubMed

    Rice, Pamela J; Horgan, Brian P; Rittenhouse, Jennifer L

    2010-06-01

    Pesticides associated with the turfgrass industry have been detected in storm runoff and surface waters of urban watersheds, invoking concern of their potential environmental effects and a desire to reduce their transport to nontarget locations. Quantities of chlorpyrifos, dicamba, dimethylamine salt of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), flutolanil, and mecoprop-p (MCPP) transported in runoff from bentgrass (Agrostis palustris) fairway turf managed with solid tine (ST) or hollow tine (HT) core cultivation were compared to determine which cultivation practice is more efficient at mitigating environmental risk. Plots receiving HT core cultivation showed a 10 and 55% reduction in runoff volume and a 15 to 57% reduction in pesticide transport with runoff at 63 d and 2 d following core cultivation. Estimated environmental concentrations of the pesticides in a surface water receiving runoff from turf managed with ST core cultivation exceeded the median lethal concentration (LC50) or median effective concentration (EC50) of nine aquatic organisms evaluated. Replacing ST core cultivation with HT core cultivation reduced surface water concentrations of the pesticides to levels below the LC50 and EC50 for most these aquatic organisms, lessening risk associated with pesticides in runoff from the fairway turf. Results of the present research provide quantitative information that will allow for informed decisions on cultural practices that can maximize pesticide retention at the site of application, improving pest control in turf while minimizing environmental contamination and adverse effects associated with the off-site transport of pesticides. Copyright 2010 SETAC.

  8. Development of a preliminary relative risk model for evaluating regional ecological conditions in the Delaware River Estuary, USA.

    PubMed

    Iannuzzi, Timothy J; Durda, Judi L; Preziosi, Damian V; Ludwig, David F; Stahl, Ralph G; DeSantis, Amanda A; Hoke, Robert A

    2010-01-01

    Effective environmental management and restoration of urbanized systems such as the Delaware River Estuary requires a holistic understanding of the relative importance of various stressor-related impacts throughout the watershed, both historical and ongoing. To that end, it is important to involve as many stakeholders as possible in the management process and to develop a system for sharing of scientific data and information, as well as effective technical tools for evaluating and disseminating the data needed to make management decisions. In this study, we describe a preliminary assessment that was undertaken to evaluate the relative risks for the variety of stressors currently operating within the Delaware Estuary using a relative risk model (RRM) framework. This model was constructed using existing data and information on the ecological conditions and stressors in the main-stem Delaware River below the head of tide at Trenton, New Jersey, USA. A large database was developed with pertinent data from a variety of library, scientific, and regulatory sources. Data were compiled, reviewed, and characterized before development of the Estuary-specific RRM. Our primary goals and objectives in developing this preliminary RRM for the Estuary were to 1) determine if the RRM framework can be adapted to a large complex estuarine system such as the Delaware River, 2) identify the issues associated with adapting the model framework to the various management issues and regional areas/habitats of the River, 3) help identify data needs and potential refinements that might be needed to more specifically quantify relative stressor risks in various areas and habitats of the Estuary to better inform future management goals/actions by Stakeholders. The key conclusions of our preliminary assessment are 1) a diverse suite of stressors is likely affecting the ecological conditions of the Delaware Estuary, 2) chemical (toxicants/contaminants) and physical (sedimentation, habitat loss

  9. [Regional distribution and ecological risk evaluation of heavy metals in surface sediments from coastal wetlands of the Yellow River Delta].

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhi-Jie; Li, Pei-Ying; Zhang, Xiao-Long; Li, Ping; Zhu, Long-Hai

    2012-04-01

    Characteristics of heavy metal distributions in surface sediments of different areas in the Yellow River Delta coastal wetland are analyzed, and the influences of sediment environment on heavy metal distributions are discussed. Heavy metal pollution and potential ecological risk in surface sediments of the Yellow River Delta coastal wetland are estimated by using Hakanson potential ecological risk (PER) factors method. The analyzed results indicate that the average contents of Hg, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd and Cr are 0.034, 18.733, 19.393, 65.317, 0.235 and 62.940 microg x g(-1), respectively. The heavy metal distributions vary with regional environment changes. The accumulating index of heavy metals in the current outfall area is the highest of the three regions assigned by author,the second is that of the ancient Yellow River Delta in the north of Shandong province, and the lowest is that of the abandoned delta. Heavy metal distributions in the Yellow River Delta coastal wetland are affected significantly by hydrodynamic system. In addition, the content of clay in surface sediments plays an important role in the distribution and accumulation of heavy metals. The results also suggest that the heavy metal pollution in the Yellow River Delta coastal wetland is in a low pollution level, with a comprehensive pollution index varying from 0.10 to 4.14. And element Cr is the major pollution factor and its average of single pollution index is 0.63. The order of pollution extents of six typical pollutants is Cr > Cu > Zn > Cd > Pb > Hg. The comprehensive potential ecological risk index is between 0.46 and 51.88, indicating a low potential ecological risk. The order of potential ecological risk parameter is Cd > Hg > Cu > Cr > Pb > Zn. Element Cd is also the major factor of potential ecological risks in the Yellow River Delta coastal wetland.

  10. Characterizing perception of ecological risk.

    PubMed

    McDaniels, T; Axelrod, L J; Slovic, P

    1995-10-01

    Relatively little attention has been paid to the role of human perception and judgment in ecological risk management. This paper attempts to characterize perceived ecological risk, using the psychometric paradigm developed in the domain of human health risk perception. The research began by eliciting a set of scale characteristics and risk items (e.g., technologies, actions, events, beliefs) from focus group participants. Participants in the main study were 68 university students who completed a survey instrument that elicited ratings for each of 65 items on 30 characteristic scales and one scale regarding general risk to natural environments. The results are presented in terms of mean responses over individuals for each scale and item combination. Factor analyses show that five factors characterize the judgment data. These have been termed: impact on species, human benefits, impact on humans, avoidability, and knowledge of impacts. The factor results correspond with initial expectations and provide a plausible characterization of judgments regarding ecological risk. Some comparisons of mean responses for selected individual items are also presented.

  11. ECO Update / Groundwater Foum Issue Paper: Evaluating Ground-Water/Surface-Water Transition Zones in Ecological Risk Assessments

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This ECO Update builds on the standard approach to ERA (U.S. EPA 1997), by providing a framework for incorporating groundwater/surface-water (GW/SW) interactions into existing ERAs (see U.S. EPA 1997 and 2001a for an introduction to ecological risk....

  12. Evaluation of surface water quality indices and ecological risk assessment for heavy metals in scrap yard neighbourhood.

    PubMed

    Ojekunle, Olusheyi Z; Ojekunle, Olurotimi V; Adeyemi, Azeem A; Taiwo, Abayomi G; Sangowusi, Opeyemi R; Taiwo, Adewale M; Adekitan, Adetoun A

    2016-01-01

    Pollution of surface water with heavy metals from industrial activities especially those from scrap yard has caused a major threat to human life exposing man to series of hazard, diseases, disability and consequently death. This study focuses on water quality indices of Owode-Onirin and Lafenwa scrap yard with respect to its physicochemical parameters and heavy metal concentrations by evaluating Heavy Metal Pollution Index (HPI), Metal Index (MI) and Potential Ecological Risk Index (PERI). Fifteen water samples were selected randomly from two locations by purposive sampling methods. Five heavy metals which includes Nickel (Ni), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb) were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy and standard analytical procedure were follow to ensure accuracy. One way analysis of variance was carried out to analyse the data. The concentrations of the heavy metals were significantly different between sampling locations. However, the mean concentrations of Cd (0.0121 mg/L) were found to be above the highest permissible value of Standard Organization of Nigeria standards for drinking water (SON 2007) and WHO (Guidelines for drinking water quality: incorporating 1st and 2nd Addlenda. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2004) for drinking water. Although Pb was present in two out of the fifteen water samples with a mean value of (0.0324 mg/L) which was also above the highest permissible value. The mean concentrations of Zn (0.2149 mg/L) and Cu (0.0341 mg/L) are found to be below the highest permissible value of the mentioned guideline while no trace of Ni was found in the water samples across the two sampling locations. The mean HPI 518.55 is far above the critical value of 100, indicates that selected water samples are critically polluted with heavy metals. MI revealed low quality water with mean value 4.83, suggests that the selected water is seriously affected with the present of heavy metal. The Hakanson PERI indicated that of the

  13. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS IN RISK ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP SUMMARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological indicators can be defined as relatively simple measurements that relay scientific information about complex ecosystems. Such indicators are used to characterize risk in ecological risk assessment (ERA) and to mark progress toward resource management goals. In late 1997...

  14. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS IN RISK ASSESSMENT: WORKSHOP SUMMARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological indicators can be defined as relatively simple measurements that relay scientific information about complex ecosystems. Such indicators are used to characterize risk in ecological risk assessment and to mark progress toward resource management goals. In late 1997 scien...

  15. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS IN RISK ASSESSMENT: WORKSHOP SUMMARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological indicators can be defined as relatively simple measurements that relay scientific information about complex ecosystems. Such indicators are used to characterize risk in ecological risk assessment and to mark progress toward resource management goals. In late 1997 scien...

  16. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS IN RISK ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP SUMMARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological indicators can be defined as relatively simple measurements that relay scientific information about complex ecosystems. Such indicators are used to characterize risk in ecological risk assessment (ERA) and to mark progress toward resource management goals. In late 1997...

  17. Evaluation of ecological and in vitro effects of boron on prostate cancer risk (United States).

    PubMed

    Barranco, Wade T; Hudak, Paul F; Eckhert, Curtis D

    2007-02-01

    To determine: (1) the correlation of prostate cancer incidence and mortality with groundwater boron and selenium concentrations; and (2) the impact of boron on prostate cancer cell proliferation during co-treatment with alternative chemo-preventative agents, along with boron pre-treatment effects on cell sensitivity to ionizing radiation. For regression analysis, data on prostate cancer incidence and mortality were obtained from the Texas Cancer Registry, while groundwater boron and selenium concentrations were derived from the Texas Water Development Board. Cultured DU-145 prostate cancer cells were used to assess the impact of boric acid on cell proliferation when applied in combination with selenomethionine and genistein, or preceding radiation exposure. Groundwater boron levels correlated with a decrease in prostate cancer incidence (R = 0.6) and mortality (R = 0.6) in state planning regions, whereas selenium did not (R = 0.1; R = 0.2). Growth inhibition was greater during combined treatments of boric acid and selenomethionine, or boric acid and genistein, versus singular treatments. 8-day boric acid pre-exposure enhanced the toxicity of ionizing radiation treatment, while dose-dependently decreasing the expression of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. Increased groundwater boron concentrations, across the state of Texas, correlate with reduced risk of prostate cancer incidence and mortality. Also, boric acid improves the anti-proliferative effectiveness of chemo-preventative agents, selenomethionine and genistein, while enhancing ionizing radiation cell kill.

  18. Ecological Risk Assessment Process under the Endangered Species Act

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This document provides an overview of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ecological risk assessment process for the evaluation of potential risk to endangered and threatened (listed) species from exposure to pesticides.

  19. Evaluation ecological risks using receptor-specific toxicity reference values and USEPA`s wildlife exposure factors handbook

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, E.K.; Brenzikofer, A.M.; Schmeising, L.M.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment was performed for a site at a closing US Air Force Base in Colorado; contaminated abiotic media included shallow soil, surface water, and sediment. To evaluate the potential for impacts on wildlife species exposed to contaminants in these media, a two-phased approach was used. First, dietary Toxicity Reference Values (TRVs) were developed to represent No Observed Adverse Effect Levels (NOAELs) for each chemical of potential concern for the selected wildlife indicator species, red fox (Vulpes vulpes), deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), and mallard (Anasplatyrhynchos). TRVs were determined by applying a series of Uncertainty Factors (UFs) to dietary toxic effects data obtained from the literature for each chemical. UFs were assigned for three uncertainty categories (intertaxon, study duration, and study endpoint). Dietary TRVs were then compared to the site exposure-point concentrations for contaminants in each medium. If a TRV exceeded the site concentration for a given chemical, then that chemical was retained for the second phase of the evaluation, the exposure assessment. Exposure was evaluated for each species using predictive models for ingestion of soil/sediment, and water, as provided in the USEPA Wildlife Exposure Factors Handbook (1993). These models estimate the potential Average Daily Dose (ADD{sub pot}) received by wildlife species exposed to contaminants in abiotic media. The ADD{sub pot}s were then compared to the TRVs on a dose basis. If an ADD{sub pot} exceeded the dose-based TRV for a given chemical, it was assumed that the predicted amount of contaminant ingested was potentially capable of causing adverse effects to the wildlife indicator species. ADD{sub pot}s for each ingestion route were summed for species exposed to contaminants in multiple media to determine the total average daily dose received via all direct routes.

  20. Ecological risk evaluation of sediment metals in a tropical Euthrophic Bay, Guanabara Bay, Southeast Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Abreu, Ilene Matanó; Cordeiro, Renato Campello; Soares-Gomes, Abílio; Abessa, Denis Moledo S; Maranho, Luciane Alves; Santelli, Ricardo Erthal

    2016-08-15

    Surface sediments were collected from Guanabara Bay, at 14 stations distributed in five sectors, over three sampling campaigns. Analyses of metals, grain size fractions and total organic carbon analyses were performed. The geo-accumulation index and the enrichment factor were estimated to assess contamination status based on background values. Additionally, the sediment quality guidelines were applied to evaluate the adverse biological effects. Results show that there was no seasonal variation in sediment quality based on any methodology, and all methods utilized showed that NW sector and HRJ sector were the worst affected and that the NE sector had the best conditions. The sediments of GB are polluted mainly by Cr, Pb and Zn. According to ΣSEM/AVS, these metals are not available to the biota, although toxicity tests dispute this. Among the various methods employed, those using background values for the area seem to best reflect the local historical contamination. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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...

  2. Enhancing the ecological risk assessment process.

    PubMed

    Dale, Virginia H; Biddinger, Gregory R; Newman, Michael C; Oris, James T; Suter, Glenn W; Thompson, Timothy; Armitage, Thomas M; Meyer, Judith L; Allen-King, Richelle M; Burton, G Allen; Chapman, Peter M; Conquest, Loveday L; Fernandez, Ivan J; Landis, Wayne G; Master, Lawrence L; Mitsch, William J; Mueller, Thomas C; Rabeni, Charles F; Rodewald, Amanda D; Sanders, James G; van Heerden, Ivor L

    2008-07-01

    The Ecological Processes and Effects Committee of the US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board conducted a self-initiated study and convened a public workshop to characterize the state of the ecological risk assessment (ERA), with a view toward advancing the science and application of the process. That survey and analysis of ERA in decision making shows that such assessments have been most effective when clear management goals were included in the problem formulation; translated into information needs; and developed in collaboration with decision makers, assessors, scientists, and stakeholders. This process is best facilitated when risk managers, risk assessors, and stakeholders are engaged in an ongoing dialogue about problem formulation. Identification and acknowledgment of uncertainties that have the potential to profoundly affect the results and outcome of risk assessments also improves assessment effectiveness. Thus we suggest 1) through peer review of ERAs be conducted at the problem formulation stage and 2) the predictive power of risk-based decision making be expanded to reduce uncertainties through analytical and methodological approaches like life cycle analysis. Risk assessment and monitoring programs need better integration to reduce uncertainty and to evaluate risk management decision outcomes. Postdecision audit programs should be initiated to evaluate the environmental outcomes of risk-based decisions. In addition, a process should be developed to demonstrate how monitoring data can be used to reduce uncertainties. Ecological risk assessments should include the effects of chemical and nonchemical stressors at multiple levels of biological organization and spatial scale, and the extent and resolution of the pertinent scales and levels of organization should be explicitly considered during problem formulation. An approach to interpreting lines of evidence and weight of evidence is critically needed for complex assessments, and it would

  3. Enhancing the Ecological Risk Assessment Process

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, Virginia H

    2008-01-01

    The Ecological Processes and Effects Committee of the US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board conducted a self-initiated study and convened a public workshop to characterize the state of the ecological risk assessment (ERA), with a view toward advancing the science and application of the process. That survey and analysis of ERA in decision making shows that such assessments have been most effective when clear management goals were included in the problem formulation; translated into information needs; and developed in collaboration with decision makers, assessors, scientists, and stakeholders. This process is best facilitated when risk managers, risk assessors, and stakeholders are engaged in an ongoing dialogue about problem formulation. Identification and acknowledgment of uncertainties that have the potential to profoundly affect the results and outcome of risk assessments also improves assessment effectiveness. Thus we suggest (1) thorough peer review of ERAs be conducted at the problem formulation stage and (2) the predictive power of risk-based decision making be expanded to reduce uncertainties through analytical and methodological approaches like life cycle analysis. Risk assessment and monitoring programs need better integration to reduce uncertainty and to evaluate risk management decision outcomes. Postdecision audit programs should be initiated to evaluate the environmental outcomes of risk-based decisions. In addition, a process should be developed to demonstrate how monitoring data can be used to reduce uncertainties. Ecological risk assessments should include the effects of chemical and nonchemical stressors at multiple levels of biological organization and spatial scale, and the extent and resolution of the pertinent scales and levels of organization should be explicitly considered during problem formulation. An approach to interpreting lines of evidence and weight of evidence is critically needed for complex assessments, and it

  4. [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.

  5. [Pollution and Potential Ecology Risk Evaluation of Heavy Metals in River Water, Top Sediments on Bed and Soils Along Banks of Bortala River, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhao-yong; Abuduwaili, Jilili; Jiang, Feng-qing

    2015-07-01

    This paper focuses on the sources, pollution status and potential ecology risks of heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Hg, As, Cd, Pb, and Zn) in the surface water, top sediment of river bed and soil along banks of Bortala River, which locates in the oasis region of Xinjiang, northwest China. Results showed that: (1) As a whole, contents of 7 tested heavy metals of Bortala River were low, while the maximum values of Hg, Cd, Pb, and Cr in the river water were significantly higher than those of Secondary Category of the Surface Water Quality Standards of People's Republic of China (GB 3838-2002) and Drinking Water Guideline from WHO. Analysis showed that the heavy metals contents of top sediment on river bed and soils along river banks were significantly higher than those of the river water. (Correlation analysis and enrichment factor (EF) calculation showed that in the river water, top sediment on river bed and soils along river banks, Hg, Cd, Pb, and Cr mainly originated from industrial emissions, urban and rural anthropogenic activities, transportation and agricultural production activities; While Cu, Zn, and As mainly originated from natural geological background and soil parent materials. (3) Pollution assessment showed that in three matrices, the single factor pollution index(Pi) and the integrated pollution index (Pz) of 7 heavy metals were all lower than 1, and they all belonged to safe and clean levels. (4) Potential ecology risk evaluation showed that as a whole the single factor potential ecological risk (Eir) and the integrated potential ecology risks (RI) of 7 heavy metals were relatively low, and would not cause threats to the health of water and soil environment of river basin, while the potential ecology risks of Cd, Hg, Pb, and Cr were significantly higher than those of other heavy metals.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  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. Toward an Ecological Evaluation Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parker, Jackson; Patterson, Jerry L.

    1979-01-01

    The authors suggest that the aura of authority traditionally placed on educational research and evaluation has been based on an outdated understanding of the scientific enterprise. They outline an alternative view of science which is more ecological and provides more scope and power for evaluating educational programs. They propose a new framework…

  10. Toward an Ecological Evaluation Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parker, Jackson; Patterson, Jerry L.

    1979-01-01

    The authors suggest that the aura of authority traditionally placed on educational research and evaluation has been based on an outdated understanding of the scientific enterprise. They outline an alternative view of science which is more ecological and provides more scope and power for evaluating educational programs. They propose a new framework…

  11. 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.

  12. Phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera, Phlebotomidae) of Lanzarote Island (Canary Islands, Spain): Ecological survey and evaluation of the risk of Leishmania transmission.

    PubMed

    Morillas-Márquez, Francisco; Díaz-Sáez, Victoriano; Morillas-Mancilla, María Jesús; Corpas-López, Victoriano; Merino-Espinosa, Gemma; Gijón-Robles, Patricia; Martín-Sánchez, Joaquina

    2017-04-01

    Phlebotomine sandflies are natural vectors of Leishmania spp. and their expansion throughout has been evidenced in the last few years due to the global warming and changes in human behavior, worsening leishmaniasis problem. However, phlebotomine sandflies have been captured in small numbers on the Canary Islands, particularly on the island of Lanzarote, where only one limited survey was carried out almost thirty years ago. The proximity of this island to Morocco, in addition to the high number of tourists, sometimes accompanied by their dogs, from leishmaniasis endemic regions, highlights the importance of studying the sandfly fauna on this island in order to determine the transmission risk of leishmaniasis Thirty-eight sampling sites spread across the island were studied, and ecological features were gathered to identify the ecological traits associated to the presence of sandflies. Only 85 sandfly specimens were captured (1.18/m(2)) with the following species distribution: Sergentomyia minuta (0.15 specimens/m(2)), which was reported for the first time on this island, and S. fallax (1.03/m(2)). Sandfly captured were achieved in only 7 out of 38 stations. No specimen of the Phlebotomus genus was captured and given that none of the species captured has been demonstrated vectors of human pathogenic Leishmania and considering that they were captured in low frequency and density, it can be concluded that the current leishmaniasis transmission risk is null. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Functional remediation components: A conceptual method of evaluating the effects of remediation on risks to ecological receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer

    2016-08-30

    Governmental agencies, regulators, health professionals, tribal leaders, and the public are faced with understanding and evaluating the effects of cleanup activities on species, populations, and ecosystems. While engineers and managers understand the processes involved in different remediation types such as capping, pump and treat, and natural attenuation, there is often a disconnect between (1) how ecologists view the influence of different types of remediation, (2) how the public perceives them, and (3) how engineers understand them. The overall goal of the present investigation was to define the components of remediation types (= functional remediation). Objectives were to (1) define and describe functional components of remediation, regardless of the remediation type, (2) provide examples of each functional remediation component, and (3) explore potential effects of functional remediation components in the post-cleanup phase that may involve continued monitoring and assessment. Functional remediation components include types, numbers, and intensity of people, trucks, heavy equipment, pipes, and drill holes, among others. Several components may be involved in each remediation type, and each results in ecological effects, ranging from trampling of plants, to spreading invasive species, to disturbing rare species, and to creating fragmented habitats. In some cases remediation may exert a greater effect on ecological receptors than leaving the limited contamination in place. A goal of this conceptualization is to break down functional components of remediation such that managers, regulators, and the public might assess the effects of timing, extent, and duration of different remediation options on ecological systems.

  14. Estimating the accumulation of chemicals in an estuarine food web: A case study for evaluation of future ecological and human health risks

    SciTech Connect

    Iannuzzi, T.J.; Finley, B.L.

    1995-12-31

    A model was constructed and calibrated for estimating the accumulation of sediment associated nonionic organic chemicals, including selected PCBs and PCDD/Fs, in a simplified food web of the tidal Passaic River, New Jersey. The model was used to estimate concentrations of several chemicals in infaunal invertebrates, forage fish, blue crab, and adult finfish in the River as part of a screening-level risk assessment that was conducted during the preliminary phase of a CERCLA Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS). Subsequent tissue-residue data were collected to evaluate the performance of the model, and to calibrate the model for multiple chemicals of concern in the River. A follow-up program of data collection was designed to support a more detailed risk assessment. The objectives of calibrating the model are to supplement the extant tissue-residue data that is available for risk assessment, and to evaluate future scenarios of bioaccumulation (and potential ecological and human health risk) under various future conditions in the River. Results to-date suggest that the model performs well for the simplified food web that exists in the Passaic River. A case study was constructed to demonstrate the application of the model for future predictions of ecological risk. These preliminary results suggest that the model is sufficiently sensitive and accurate for estimating variations of bioaccumulation under varying degrees of source control or other future conditions.

  15. Risk and response in watershed ecosystems: Expanding the value of ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Marcy, S.K.M.

    1995-12-31

    Ecological risk assessments have primarily been used to either predict, or retrospectively evaluate, the adverse effects of chemical stressors on selected ecological resources. While useful in many applications, this focus has limited value when ecological resources are simultaneously impacted by diverse chemical, physical and biological stressors, a situation typical in watersheds. With an increased emphasis on ecosystem management and watershed protection, it is critical to provide a scientific basis for evaluating and prioritizing risk and predicting the response of resources to management efforts. An expanded ecological risk assessment methodology can provide this scientific framework for improving watershed assessments by: (1) predicting both the risk and response of ecological resources to a potential range of management options, (2) including retrospective, current status, and predictive evaluations, and (3) addressing multiple diverse stressors. The effectiveness of using ecological risk assessments to improve management and decision making at the watershed level will be discussed based on the development of five watershed case studies.

  16. Sampling of resident earthworms using mustard expellant to evaluate ecological risk at a mixed hazardous and radioactive waste site

    SciTech Connect

    Stair, D.M. Jr.; Keller, L.J.; Hensel, T.W.

    1994-12-31

    As residents of contaminated soils and as prey for many species of wildlife, earthworms can serve as integrative biomonitors of soil contamination, which is biologically available to the terrestrial food chain. The assessment of contaminants within earthworm tissue provides a more realistic measurement of the potential biological hazards and ecological risks than physical and chemical measurements of soil. A unique sampling procedure using a mixture of ground mustard powder and water was implemented for cost-effectively collecting earthworms without digging; the procedure minimized occupational exposure to soil contaminants and reduced the quantity of investigation-derived wastes. The study site is located at a closed burial ground for low-level radioactive waste and transuranic waste that lies within the Valley and Ridge Physiographic Province of East Tennessee. Earthworms were maintained in the laboratory for four days to allow passage of the contents of the digestive tract. Earthworm body burdens, castings, and soil were analyzed for gamma-emitting radioisotopes (potassium 40, cobalt 60, cesium 137), strontium 90, trace metals (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, and selenium), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Ecological effects of soil contamination on the earthworms were also assessed through analysis of weight, abundance, and reproductive success.

  17. 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.

  18. Ecological risk assessment of contaminated sediments in a harbour site.

    PubMed

    Di Termini, I; Panatto, D; Rovatti, M

    2008-09-01

    During major dredging operations in the harbour of Genoa, one of the largest in Italy, a monitoring study was carried out on the quality of marine sediment output, with a view to identifying possible pollutants engendering environmental and ecological risk. The concentration range of all the pollutants evaluated fell within acceptable limits. The only pollutant with concentrations approaching ecological risk levels was nickel. Differences in concentrations of pollutants were mapped and related to specialized areas of harbour activity.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Perception of ecological risk to water environments.

    PubMed

    McDaniels, T L; Axelrod, L J; Cavanagh, N S; Slovic, P

    1997-06-01

    This paper examines lay and expert perceptions of the ecological risks associated with a range of human activities that could adversely affect water resource environments. It employs the psychometric paradigm pioneered in characterizing perceptions of human health risks, which involves surveys to obtain judgments from subjects about risk items in terms of several important characteristics of the risks. The paper builds on a previous study that introduced ecological risk perception. This second study employs a larger, more diverse sample, a more focused topic area, and comparisons between lay and expert judgments. The results confirm that a small set of underlying factors explain a great deal of variability in lay judgments about ecological risks. These have been termed Ecological Impact, Human Benefits, Controllability, and Knowledge. The results are useful in explaining subjects' judgments of the general riskiness of, and need for regulation of, various risk items. The results also indicate several differences and areas of agreement among the lay and expert samples that point to potential key issues in future ecological risk management efforts for water resources.

  3. Translating ecological risk to ecosystem service loss.

    PubMed

    Munns, Wayne R; Helm, Roger C; Adams, William J; Clements, William H; Cramer, Martin A; Curry, Mark; DiPinto, Lisa M; Johns, D Michael; Seiler, Richard; Williams, Lisa L; Young, Dale

    2009-10-01

    Hazardous site management in the United States includes remediation of contaminated environmental media and restoration of injured natural resources. Site remediation decisions are informed by ecological risk assessment (ERA), whereas restoration and compensation decisions are informed by the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) process. Despite similarities in many of their data needs and the advantages of more closely linking their analyses, ERA and NRDA have been conducted largely independently of one another. This is the 4th in a series of papers reporting the results of a recent workshop that explored how ERA and NRDA data needs and assessment processes could be more closely linked. Our objective is to evaluate the technical underpinnings of recentmethods used to translate natural resource injuries into ecological service losses and to propose ways to enhance the usefulness of data obtained in ERAs to the NRDA process. Three aspects are addressed: 1) improving the linkage among ERA assessment endpoints and ecological services evaluated in the NRDA process, 2) enhancing ERA data collection and interpretation approaches to improve translation of ERA measurements in damage assessments, and 3) highlighting methods that can be used to aggregate service losses across contaminants and across natural resources. We propose that ERA and NRDA both would benefit by focusing ecological assessment endpoints on the ecosystem services that correspond most directly to restoration and damage compensation decisions, and we encourage development of generic ecosystem service assessment endpoints for application in hazardous site investigations. To facilitate their use in NRDA, ERA measurements should focus on natural resource species that affect the flow of ecosystem services most directly, should encompass levels of biological organization above organisms, and should be made with the use of experimental designs that support description of responses to contaminants as

  4. Ecological risk assessment on a cadmium contaminated soil landfill--a preliminary evaluation based on toxicity tests on local species and site-specific information.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chien-Min; Liu, Ming-Chao

    2006-04-15

    In recent years, methodology of ecological risk assessment has been developed and applied frequently for addressing various circumstances where ecological impacts are suspected or have occurred due to environmental contamination; however, its practice is very limited in Taiwan. In 1982, brown rice from rice paddy fields in Da-Tan, Tau-Yuan, was found to be contaminated with Cd and Pb due to illegal discharges of wastewater, known as the "Cd rice" incidence. Cadmium laden soil was transferred to a constructed landfill in an industrial park 15 years after the incident. Possible leakage of the landfill was suspected by committee members of a supervising board for the remediation process, and a preliminary ecological risk evaluation was requested. A possible risk scenario was that groundwater contamination due to the leachate containing Cd and Pb from the landfill could result in pollution of coastal water, and subsequently produce toxic effects to aquatic organisms. Chemical dissipation in groundwater systems was simulated and short-term chronic toxicity tests on larvae of three local aquatic species were also performed to determine the no-observed adverse-effect concentrations (NOAECs), as well as the predicted no effect concentrations (PNECs), of the two metals in the organisms tested. The hazard quotient (HQ), the ratio of predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) to PNECs, was used for risk characterization. A worst-case-scenario calculation showed that the maximum Cd concentration at 60 m and farther downstream from the site in the groundwater system would be 0.0028 mg l(-1) with a maximum initial concentration of 0.65 mg l(-1) in the leachate, while for Pb, the highest concentration of 0.044 mg l(-1) would be reached at a distance of 40 m and farther, which was based on an initial concentration of 4.4 mg l(-1) in the leachate; however, both cases would only occur 80 years after the initiation of leakage. A presumed dilution factor of 100 was used to

  5. Ecological risk assessment: implications of hormesis.

    PubMed

    van der Schalie, W H; Gentile, J H

    2000-01-01

    Hormesis is a widespread phenomenon across many taxa and chemicals, and, at the single species level, issues regarding the application of hormesis to human health and ecological risk assessment are similar. For example, convincing the public of a 'beneficial' effect of environmental chemicals may be problematic, and the design and analysis of laboratory studies may require modifications to detect hormesis. However, interpreting the significance of hormesis for even a single species in an ecological risk assessment can be complicated by considerations of competition with other species, predation effects, etc. Ecological risk assessments involve more than a single species; they may involve communities of hundreds or thousands of species as well as a range of ecological processes. Applying hormetic adjustments to threshold effect levels for chemicals derived from sensitivity distributions for a large number of species is impractical. For ecological risks, chemical stressors are frequently of lessor concern than physical stressors such as habitat alteration or biological stressors such as introduced species, but the relevance of hormesis to non-chemical stressors is unclear. Although ecological theories such as the intermediate disturbance hypothesis offer some intriguing similarities between chemical hormesis and hormetic-like responses resulting from physical disturbances, mechanistic explanations are lacking. Further exploration of the relevance of hormesis to ecological risk assessment is desirable. Aspects deserving additional attention include developing a better understanding of the hormetic effects of chemical mixtures, the relevance of hormesis to physical and biological stressors and the development of criteria for determining when hormesis is likely to be relevant to ecological risk assessments.

  6. 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.

  7. An Attempt to Develop AN Environmental Information System of Ecological Infrastructure for Evaluating Functions of Ecosystem-Based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction Eco-Drr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doko, T.; Chen, W.; Sasaki, K.; Furutani, T.

    2016-06-01

    "Ecological Infrastructure (EI)" are defined as naturally functioning ecosystems that deliver valuable services to people, such as healthy mountain catchments, rivers, wetlands, coastal dunes, and nodes and corridors of natural habitat, which together form a network of interconnected structural elements in the landscape. On the other hand, natural disaster occur at the locations where habitat was reduced due to the changes of land use, in which the land was converted to the settlements and agricultural cropland. Hence, habitat loss and natural disaster are linked closely. Ecological infrastructure is the nature-based equivalent of built or hard infrastructure, and is as important for providing services and underpinning socio-economic development. Hence, ecological infrastructure is expected to contribute to functioning as ecological disaster reduction, which is termed Ecosystem-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR). Although ecological infrastructure already exists in the landscape, it might be degraded, needs to be maintained and managed, and in some cases restored. Maintenance and restoration of ecological infrastructure is important for security of human lives. Therefore, analytical tool and effective visualization tool in spatially explicit way for the past natural disaster and future prediction of natural disaster in relation to ecological infrastructure is considered helpful. Hence, Web-GIS based Ecological Infrastructure Environmental Information System (EI-EIS) has been developed. This paper aims to describe the procedure of development and future application of EI-EIS. The purpose of the EI-EIS is to evaluate functions of Eco-DRR. In order to analyse disaster data, collection of past disaster information, and disaster-prone area is effective. First, a number of digital maps and analogue maps in Japan and Europe were collected. In total, 18,572 maps over 100 years were collected. The Japanese data includes Future-Pop Data Series (1,736 maps

  8. Ecological risk assessment, prediction, and assessing risk predictions.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Mark

    2011-11-01

    Ecological risk assessment embodied in an adaptive management framework is becoming the global standard approach for formally assessing and managing the ecological risks of technology and development. Ensuring the continual improvement of ecological risk assessment approaches is partly achieved through the dissemination of not only the types of risk assessment approaches used, but also their efficacy. While there is an increasing body of literature describing the results of general comparisons between alternate risk assessment methods and models, there is a paucity of literature that post hoc assesses the performance of specific predictions based on an assessment of risk and the effectiveness of the particular model used to predict the risk. This is especially the case where risk assessments have been used to grant consent or approval for the construction of major infrastructure projects. While postconstruction environmental monitoring is increasingly commonplace, it is not common for a postconstruction assessment of the accuracy and performance of the ecological risk assessment and underpinning model to be undertaken. Without this "assessment of the assessment," it is difficult for other practitioners to gain insight into the performance of the approach and models used and therefore, as argued here, this limits the rate of improvement of risk assessment approaches.

  9. Environmental risk evaluation of the use of mine spoils and treated sewage sludge in the ecological restoration of limestone quarries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordán, M. M.; Pina, S.; García-Orenes, F.; Almendro-Candel, M. B.; García-Sánchez, E.

    2008-07-01

    The ecologic restoration criteria in areas degraded from extraction activities require making use of their mine spoils. These materials do not meet fertility conditions to guarantee restoration success and therefore, need the incorporation of organic amendments to obtain efficient substratum. Reducing the deficiencies in the organic material and restoration material nutrients with the contribution of treated sewage sludge is proposed in this work. This experiment was based on a controlled study using columns. The work was conducted with two mine spoils, both very rich in calcium carbonate. The first mineral, of poor quality, came from the formation of aggregates of crushed limestone ( Z). The other residual material examined originated in limestone extraction, formed by the levels of interspersed non-limestone materials and the remains of stripped soils ( D). Two treatments were undertaken (30,000 and 90,000 kg/ha of sewage sludge), in addition to a control treatment. The water contribution was carried out with a device that simulated either short-duration rain or a flooding irrigation system in order to cover the surface and then percolate through the soil. The collection of leached water took place 24 h after the applications. Different parameters of the leached water were determined, including pH, electrical conductivity, nitrate anions, ammonium, phosphates, sulphates and chlorides. The values obtained for each irrigation application are discussed, and the nitrate values obtained were very elevated.

  10. Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund: Process for Designing and Conducting Ecological Risk Assessments - Interim Final

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This document provides guidance to site managers and Remedial Project Managers who are legally responsible for the management of a site on how to design and conduct technically defensible ecological risk assessments for the Superfund program.

  11. 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.

  12. Technical Overview of Ecological Risk Assessment: Problem Formulation

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Before the ecological risk assessment is conducted, risk assessors and risk managers engage in a planning dialogue to ensure that the risk assessment will enable the risk managers to make informed environmental decisions.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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...

  15. 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 ...

  16. Determining Significant Endpoints for Ecological risk Analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Hinton, Thimas G.; Bedford, Joel

    1999-06-01

    Our interest is in obtaining a scientifically defensible endpoint for measuring ecological risks to populations exposed to chronic, low-level radiation, and radiation with concomitant exposure to chemicals. To do so, we believe that we must understand the extent to which molecular damage is detrimental at the individual and population levels of biological organization. Ecological risk analyses based on molecular damage, without an understanding of the impacts to higher levels of biological organization, could cause cleanup strategies on DOE sites to be overly conservative and unnecessarily expensive. Our goal is to determine the relevancy of sublethal cellular damage to the performance of individuals and populations. We think that we 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.

  17. Evaluation of anionic surfactant concentrations in US effluents and probabilistic determination of their combined ecological risk in mixing zones.

    PubMed

    McDonough, Kathleen; Casteel, Kenneth; Itrich, Nina; Menzies, Jennifer; Belanger, Scott; Wehmeyer, Kenneth; Federle, Thomas

    2016-12-01

    Alcohol sulfates (AS), alcohol ethoxysulfates (AES), linear alkyl benzenesulfonates (LAS) and methyl ester sulfonates (MES) are anionic surfactants that are widely used in household detergents and consumer products resulting in over 1 million tons being disposed of down the drain annually in the US. A monitoring campaign was conducted which collected grab effluent samples from 44 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) across the US to generate statistical distributions of effluent concentrations for anionic surfactants. The mean concentrations for AS, AES, LAS and MES were 5.03±4.5, 1.95±0.7, 15.3±19, and 0.35±0.13μg/L respectively. Since each of these surfactants consist of multiple homologues that differ in their toxicity, the concentration of each homologue measured in an effluent sample was converted into a toxic unit (TU) by normalizing to the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) derived from high tier effects data (mesocosm studies). The statistical distributions of the combined TUs in the effluents were used in combination with distributions of dilution factors for WWTP mixing zones to conduct a US-wide probabilistic risk assessment for the aquatic environment for each of the surfactants. The 90th percentile level of TUs for AS, AES, LAS and MES in mixing zones were 1.89×10(-2), 2.73×10(-3), 2.72×10(-2), and 3.65×10(-5) under 7Q10 (lowest river flow occurring over a 7day period every 10years) low flow conditions. Because these surfactants have the same toxicological mode of action, the TUs were summed and the aquatic safety for anionic surfactants as a whole was assessed. At the 90th percentile level under the conservative 7Q10 low flow conditions the forecasted TUs were 4.21×10(-2) which indicates that there is a significant margin of safety for the class of anionic surfactants in US aquatic environments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. WEIGHING THE EVIDENCE OF ECOLOGICAL RISK OF CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION IN THE ESTUARINE ENVIRONMENT ADJACENT TO THE PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD, KITTERY, MAINE, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    In characterizing ecological risks, considerable consensus building and professional judgments are required to develop conclusions about risk. This is because how to evaluate all the factors that determine ecological risk is not well defined and is subject to interpretation. Here...

  1. [Escape of transgenes and its ecological risks].

    PubMed

    Lu, Baorong; Zhang, Wenju; Li, Bo

    2003-06-01

    The rapid development of biotechnology, particularly the transgenic technology, has brought us with tremendous opportunities to solve the world's starvation problems that have been caused by the continued expanding of the global population. However, the application of transgenic biotechnology and the environmental release of transgenic organisms have evoked a series of extraordinary debates on biosafety issues related to the prosperity and the future of transgenic technology. The public and scientific communities are desperately interested in knowing whether the transgenic products would pose negative influences on plants and animals, human life and health, as well as on genetic resources and environment. These concerns have become universal hot topics over the last decade. Among the most debated biosafety issues caused potentially by transgenic products, transgene escape to the environment and its consequent ecological risks become one of the appealing focal points. In this review, a series of biosafety issues concerned by public, including the possibility of transgene escape and its various paths, as well as the potential ecological risks caused by such escape were discussed, and various approaches for controlling for transgene escape and the factors to consider when designing safety isolation distance between transgenic varieties and other concerned plants were also examined. The objective of this review is to allow readers to understand the potential biosafety problems caused by environmental release of transgenic crops and by the escape of foreign transgenes in particular, and to use the effective tools to control and avoid transgene escape.

  2. Ecological risk assessment of pesticide runoff from grass surfaces.

    PubMed

    Haith, Douglas A

    2010-08-15

    An ecological risk assessment was performed for runoff of 37 pesticides registered for use on grass surfaces (lawns and golf courses) in the U.S. The assessment was based on 100-yr simulations using TPQPond, a newly developed model of pesticide runoff and subsequent accumulation in a receiving pond. One-in-10 yr pond concentrations were compared with acute toxicity end points for fish, invertebrates, and algae. Simulations were performed for pesticides applied at label rates on lawns, fairways, and greens using weather data for nine U.S. locations. Runoff of 4 of the 37 pesticides produced potential acute risk to invertebrates or fish. Two chemicals posed a comparable danger to plants. Risk was highest with fairways and lowest for greens. Locations with long growing seasons and large amounts of precipitation produced the highest risks. The risk assessment followed the general protocols recommended by USEPA, but with different models, weather data, and scenarios. In spite of the differences, the results confirmed that most but not all of the pesticides which had survived the USEPA registration process were also demonstrated safe, with respect to acute risks, by this independent assessment. The five exceptions were explained by differences in models, simulation scenarios, and input data. These results do not mean that the studied pesticides are free of any ecological dangers. In particular, no attempt was made to evaluate chronic risk.

  3. 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.

  4. The ecological risks of genetically engineered organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfenbarger, Lareesa

    2001-03-01

    Highly publicized studies have suggested environmental risks of releasing genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) and have renewed concerns over the evaluation and regulation of these products in domestic and international arenas. I present an overview of the risks of GEOs and the available evidence addressing these and discuss the challenges for risk assessment. Main categories of risk include non-target effects from GEOs, emergence of new viral diseases, and the spread of invasive (weedy) characteristics. Studies have detected non-target effects in some cases but not all; however, much less information exists on other risks, in part due to a lack of conceptual knowledge. For example, general models for predicting invasiveness are not well developed for any introduced organism. The risks of GEOs appear comparable to those for any introduced species or organism, but the magnitude of the risk or the pathway of exposure to the risk can differ among introduced organisms. Therefore, assessing the risks requires a case-by-case analysis so that any differences can be identified. Challenges to assessing risks to valued ecosystems include variability in effects and ecosystem complexity. Ecosystems are a dynamic and complex network of biological and physical interactions. Introducing a new biological entity, such as a GEO, may potentially alter any of these interactions, but evaluating all of these is unrealistic. Effects on a valued ecosystem could vary greatly depending on the geographical location of the experimental site, the GEO used, the plot size of the experiment (scaling effects), and the biological and physical parameters used in the experiment. Experiments that address these sources of variability will provide the most useful information for risk assessments.

  5. 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

  6. Demonstration and Certification of Amphibian Ecological Risk Assessment Protocol. Cost and Performance Report (Version 2)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-07-01

    innovative technique for the evaluation of potential risks to amphibians in palustrine wetland environments. This technique builds on previous Department of...was designed to demonstrate and validate an innovative technique for the evaluation of potential risks to amphibians in palustrine wetland ...should be considered since these species play a key ecological role in wetlands and are an important link in ecological food chains, serving both as

  7. Ecological risk assessment report, submerged quench incinerator, task IRA-2, basin F liquids treatment design. Version 3. 0. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-03-01

    The objective of this ecological risk assessment is to evaluate the potential impacts of on-site incineration of Basin F liquids. Twenty-nine chemicals were evaluated for potential adverse effects to terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and vegetation on RMA. Based on this assessment, it is concluded that the operation of the submerged quench incinerator poses no quantifiable risks to the wildlife and vegetation. The assessment is divided into the following sections: description of the area - terrestrial and aquatic ecology; contaminants of concern; ecological exposure - description of contaminant transport from incinerator to environment; ecological risk - development of risk criteria, risk characterization; assumptions and uncertainties.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2015-11-09

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Earthworm biomarkers in ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Hernandez, J C

    2006-01-01

    Earthworms have had a notable contribution in terrestrial ecotoxicology. They have been broadly used to assess environmental impact from metal pollution, and they are typical test organisms (e.g., Eisenia) in standardized toxicity tests. Several reviews and international workshops have stressed the need for increasing the understanding and applicability of earthworm biomarkers in the ecological risk assessment (ERA) process. This review summarizes recent available information concerning the most investigated earthworm biomarkers. In earthworms, the use of biomarkers has been focused on assessing metal pollution, and available data on biomarker responses to organic contaminants are rather limited. The potential for applying earthworm biomarkers in the standardized toxicity tests is suggested in view of their significant contribution to the risk assessment of contaminated soils (e.g., estimation of bioavailable and bioactive fraction or sublethal effects). Field studies involving earthworm biomarkers are still scarce and are summarized according to their main practical approaches in retrospective ERA: biological surveys, laboratory tests of the soil, simulated field studies, and in situ exposure bioassays. Despite the great volume of laboratory studies on earthworm biomarkers, future lines of research are suggested besides the recommendations made by others: (1) the potential and limitations of the inclusion of biomarkers in the standardized toxicity tests should be examined under a well-defined weight-of-evidence framework; (2) it is necessary to develop operating guidelines to standardize earthworm biomarker assays, an important step to apply biomarkers in a regulatory context; (3) molecular and physiological biomarkers should be directly linked to behavioral changes with significant ecological implications, an important step in considering them as ecotoxicological biomarkers; and (4) biomarkers to organic pollutants of current concern (e.g., polycyclic aromatic

  12. 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.

  13. Land ecological security evaluation of Guangzhou, China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Linyu; Yin, Hao; Li, Zhaoxue; Li, Shun

    2014-10-15

    As the land ecosystem provides the necessary basic material resources for human development, land ecological security (LES) plays an increasingly important role in sustainable development. Given the degradation of land ecological security under rapid urbanization and the urgent LES requirements of urban populations, a comprehensive evaluation method, named Double Land Ecological Security (DLES), has been introduced with the city of Guangzhou, China, as a case study, which evaluates the LES in regional and unit scales for reasonable and specific urban planning. In the evaluation process with this method, we have combined the material security with the spiritual security that is inevitably associated with LES. Some new coefficients of land-security supply/demand distribution and technology contribution for LES evaluation have also been introduced for different spatial scales, including the regional and the unit scales. The results for Guangzhou indicated that, temporally, the LES supply indices were 0.77, 0.84 and 0.77 in 2000, 2006 and 2009 respectively, while LES demand indices for the city increased in 2000, 2006 and 2009 from 0.57 to 0.95, which made the LES level decreased slowly in this period. Spatially, at the regional scale, the urban land ecological security (ULES) level decreased from 0.2 (marginal security) to -0.18 (marginal insecurity) as a whole; in unit scale, areas in the north and in parts of the east were relatively secure and the security area was shrinking with time, but the central and southern areas turned to be marginal insecurity, especially in 2006 and 2009. This study proposes that DLES evaluation should be conducted for targeted and efficient urban planning and management, which can reflect the LES level of study area in general and in detail.

  14. Land Ecological Security Evaluation of Guangzhou, China

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Linyu; Yin, Hao; Li, Zhaoxue; Li, Shun

    2014-01-01

    As the land ecosystem provides the necessary basic material resources for human development, land ecological security (LES) plays an increasingly important role in sustainable development. Given the degradation of land ecological security under rapid urbanization and the urgent LES requirements of urban populations, a comprehensive evaluation method, named Double Land Ecological Security (DLES), has been introduced with the city of Guangzhou, China, as a case study, which evaluates the LES in regional and unit scales for reasonable and specific urban planning. In the evaluation process with this method, we have combined the material security with the spiritual security that is inevitably associated with LES. Some new coefficients of land-security supply/demand distribution and technology contribution for LES evaluation have also been introduced for different spatial scales, including the regional and the unit scales. The results for Guangzhou indicated that, temporally, the LES supply indices were 0.77, 0.84 and 0.77 in 2000, 2006 and 2009 respectively, while LES demand indices for the city increased in 2000, 2006 and 2009 from 0.57 to 0.95, which made the LES level decreased slowly in this period. Spatially, at the regional scale, the urban land ecological security (ULES) level decreased from 0.2 (marginal security) to −0.18 (marginal insecurity) as a whole; in unit scale, areas in the north and in parts of the east were relatively secure and the security area was shrinking with time, but the central and southern areas turned to be marginal insecurity, especially in 2006 and 2009. This study proposes that DLES evaluation should be conducted for targeted and efficient urban planning and management, which can reflect the LES level of study area in general and in detail. PMID:25321873

  15. Evaluating Potential Exposures to Ecological Receptors Due to Transport of Hydrophobic Organic Contaminants in Subsurface Systems (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) announced the release of the final report, Evaluating Potential Exposures to Ecological Receptors Due to Transport of Hydrophobic Organic Contaminants in Subsurface Systems. This technical paper recommends several ty...

  16. Evaluating Potential Exposures to Ecological Receptors Due to Transport of Hydrophobic Organic Contaminants in Subsurface Systems (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) announced the release of the final report, Evaluating Potential Exposures to Ecological Receptors Due to Transport of Hydrophobic Organic Contaminants in Subsurface Systems. This technical paper recommends several ty...

  17. Comprehensive analysis of an ecological risk assessment of the Daliao River estuary, China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Ge; Chen, Jing; Zhang, Xueqing; Li, Zhengyan

    2013-08-01

    At present, most estuarine ecological risk studies are based on terrestrial ecosystem models, which ignore spatial heterogeneity. The Daliao River estuary has representative characteristics of many estuaries in China, and we used this estuary as the study area to formulate an estuarine ecological risk evaluation model. Targeting the estuary's special hydrodynamic condition, this model incorporated variables that were under the influence of human activities and used them as the major factors for partitioning sections of the river according to risk values. It also explored the spatial and temporal distribution laws of estuarine ecological risk. The results showed that, on the whole, the ecological risk of the Daliao River estuary area was relatively high. At a temporal level, runoff was the main factor resulting in differences in ecological risk, while at the spatial level, the ecological risk index was affected by pollutants carried by runoff from upstream, as well as downstream pollution emissions and dilution by seawater at the mouth of the sea. The characteristics of this model make it possible to simulate the spatial and temporal risk distribution in different regions and under different rainfall regimes. This model can thus be applied in other estuarine areas and provides some technical support for analysis and control of ecological destruction in estuary areas.

  18. Bioaccumulation and food-chain analysis for evaluating ecological risks in terrestrial and wetland habitats: Availability-transfer factors (ATFs) in soil {r_arrow} soil macroinvertebrate {r_arrow} amphibian food chains

    SciTech Connect

    Linder, G.; Bollman, M.; Callahan, C.; Gillette, C.; Nebeker, A.; Wilborn, D.

    1998-12-31

    As part of the ecological risk assessment process for terrestrial and wetland habitats, the evaluation of bioaccumulative chemicals of concern (BCCs) is frequently pursued through food-chain analysis with a subsequent comparison of daily doses to benchmark toxicity reference values, when available. Food-chain analysis has frequently been applied to the analysis of exposure to BCCs identified as chemicals of potential ecological concern (COPECs) in the ecological risk assessment process. Here, designed studies focused on wetland food-chains such as hydric soil {r_arrow} soil macroinvertebrate {r_arrow} amphibian and terrestrial food-chains such as soil {r_arrow} plant {r_arrow} small mammal illustrate an approach for the derivation and validation of trophic transfer factors for metals considered as COPECs such as cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, and zinc. The results clearly indicate that the transfer of chemicals between trophic levels is critical in the bioaccumulation process in wetland and terrestrial food-chains and is influenced by numerous interacting abiotic and biotic factors, including physicochemical properties of soil, and the role, if any, that the metal has in the receptor as a required trace element.

  19. Evaluating Causes of Ecological Impairments in the Estuaries of Ukraine

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ukrainian estuaries have not undergone a systematic evaluation of the causes of ecological impairments caused by anthropogenic contamination. The objective of this evaluation is to use recently developed diagnostic tools to determine the causes of benthic ecological impairments. ...

  20. Evaluating Causes of Ecological Impairments in the Estuaries of Ukraine

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ukrainian estuaries have not undergone a systematic evaluation of the causes of ecological impairments caused by anthropogenic contamination. The objective of this evaluation is to use recently developed diagnostic tools to determine the causes of benthic ecological impairments. ...

  1. Potential ecological risk assessment and predicting zinc accumulation in soils.

    PubMed

    Baran, Agnieszka; Wieczorek, Jerzy; Mazurek, Ryszard; Urbański, Krzysztof; Klimkowicz-Pawlas, Agnieszka

    2017-02-22

    The aims of this study were to investigate zinc content in the studied soils; evaluate the efficiency of geostatistics in presenting spatial variability of zinc in the soils; assess bioavailable forms of zinc in the soils and to assess soil-zinc binding ability; and to estimate the potential ecological risk of zinc in soils. The study was conducted in southern Poland, in the Malopolska Province. This area is characterized by a great diversity of geological structures and types of land use and intensity of industrial development. The zinc content was affected by soil factors, and the type of land use (arable lands, grasslands, forests, wastelands). A total of 320 soil samples were characterized in terms of physicochemical properties (texture, pH, organic C content, total and available Zn content). Based on the obtained data, assessment of the ecological risk of zinc was conducted using two methods: potential ecological risk index and hazard quotient. Total Zn content in the soils ranged from 8.27 to 7221 mg kg(-1) d.m. Based on the surface semivariograms, the highest variability of zinc in the soils was observed from northwest to southeast. The point sources of Zn contamination were located in the northwestern part of the area, near the mining-metallurgical activity involving processing of zinc and lead ores. These findings were confirmed by the arrangement of semivariogram surfaces and bivariate Moran's correlation coefficients. The content of bioavailable forms of zinc was between 0.05 and 46.19 mg kg(-1) d.m. (0.01 mol dm(-3) CaCl2), and between 0.03 and 71.54 mg kg(-1) d.m. (1 mol dm(-3) NH4NO3). Forest soils had the highest zinc solubility, followed by arable land, grassland and wasteland. PCA showed that organic C was the key factor to control bioavailability of zinc in the soils. The extreme, very high and medium zinc accumulation was found in 69% of studied soils. There is no ecological risk of zinc to living organisms in the study area, and in 90

  2. Using landscape ecology to focus ecological risk assessment and guide risk management decision-making.

    PubMed

    Kapustka, L A; Galbraith, H; Luxon, B M; Yocum, J

    2001-06-01

    Ecological risk assessment (EcoRA) generally suffers from limited application of ecological knowledge in the definition and characterization of real-world sites. Not surprisingly, most remediation decisions, which follow, have little or no relationship to the valued ecological resources of the site or the broader region. The practice has evolved to favor engineering-based mitigation strategies, which eliminate excess chemical concentrations at sites, or otherwise break exposure pathways, but which may not be ecologically beneficial. The heavy emphasis of EcoRA on toxicity threshold levels tends to focus dollars on clean up of small areas or volumes with high concentrations. Moreover, intrusive remediation technologies often render an area uninhabitable to the very species that were to be protected. Infusion of ecological knowledge into EcoRA has been difficult. Most professional ecologists choose not to venture into the messy applied fields, leaving their impressive knowledge untapped. Moreover, narrowly defined responsibilities within government circles can limit cooperation and coordination. The realization that land use activities often have greater adverse consequences to wildlife than do chemicals provides an opportunity to change attitudes and practices. We are developing procedures that incorporate landscape features into the environmental management process. Specifically, we are using an iterative approach to: a) identify scenarios where habitat value is important in EcoRAs; b) guide selection of appropriate assessment species, i) keyed to wildlife distribution ranges; ii) keyed to a database of habitat suitability models; iii) cross-linked with the EPA exposure handbook species; iv) referenced to wildlife distributions (e.g., breeding bird survey); c) define data collection needs for reconnaissance-, screening-, and definitive-level characterization of habitat quality for potential assessment species; d) generate spatially explicit descriptions of habitat

  3. 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. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  4. Baseline ecological risk assessment of the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana: 2. An evaluation of the predictive ability of effects-based sediment quality guidelines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacDonald, Donald D.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; Smorong, Dawn E.; Sinclair, Jesse A.; Lindskoog, Rebekka; Wang, Ning; Severn, Corrine; Gouguet, Ron; Meyer, John; Field, Jay

    2011-01-01

    Three sets of effects-based sediment-quality guidelines (SQGs) were evaluated to support the selection of sediment-quality benchmarks for assessing risks to benthic invertebrates in the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana. These SQGs included probable effect concentrations (PECs), effects range median values (ERMs), and logistic regression model (LRMs)-based T50 values. The results of this investigation indicate that all three sets of SQGs tend to underestimate sediment toxicity in the Calcasieu Estuary (i.e., relative to the national data sets), as evaluated using the results of 10-day toxicity tests with the amphipod, Hyalella azteca, or Ampelisca abdita, and 28-day whole-sediment toxicity tests with the H. azteca. These results emphasize the importance of deriving site-specific toxicity thresholds for assessing risks to benthic invertebrates.

  5. Improving ecological risk assessment in the Mediterranean area: selection of reference soils and evaluating the influence of soil properties on avoidance and reproduction of two oligochaete species.

    PubMed

    Chelinho, Sónia; Domene, Xavier; Campana, Paolo; Natal-da-Luz, Tiago; Scheffczyk, Adam; Römbke, Jörg; Andrés, Pilar; Sousa, José Paulo

    2011-05-01

    A current challenge in soil ecotoxicology is the use of natural soils as test substrates to increase ecological relevance of data. Despite the existence of six natural reference soils (the Euro-soils), some parallel projects showed that these soils do not accurately represent the diversity of European soils. Particularly, Mediterranean soils are not properly represented. To fill this gap, 12 natural soils from the Mediterranean regions of Alentejo, Portugal; Cataluña, Spain; and Liguria, Italy, were selected and used in reproduction and avoidance tests to evaluate the soil habitat function for earthworms (Eisenia andrei) and enchytraeids (Enchytraeus crypticus). Predictive models on the influence of soil properties on the responses of these organisms were developed using generalized linear models. Results indicate that the selected soils can impact reproduction and avoidance behavior of both Oligochaete species. Reproduction of enchytraeids was affected by different soil properties, but the test validity criteria were fulfilled. The avoidance response of enchytraeids was highly variable, but significant effects of texture and pH were found. Earthworms were more sensitive to soil properties. They did not reproduce successfully in three of the 10 soils, and a positive influence of moisture, fine sand, pH, and organic matter and a negative influence of clay were found. Moreover, they strongly avoided soils with extreme textures. Despite these limitations, most of the selected soils are suitable substrates for ecotoxicological evaluations.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Screening-Level Ecological Risk Assessment Methods, Revision 3

    SciTech Connect

    Mirenda, Richard J.

    2012-08-16

    This document provides guidance for screening-level assessments of potential adverse impacts to ecological resources from release of environmental contaminants at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL or the Laboratory). The methods presented are based on two objectives, namely: to provide a basis for reaching consensus with regulators, managers, and other interested parties on how to conduct screening-level ecological risk investigations at the Laboratory; and to provide guidance for ecological risk assessors under the Environmental Programs (EP) Directorate. This guidance promotes consistency, rigor, and defensibility in ecological screening investigations and in reporting those investigation results. The purpose of the screening assessment is to provide information to the risk managers so informed riskmanagement decisions can be made. This document provides examples of recommendations and possible risk-management strategies.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  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. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. Ecological risk assessment of urban and industrial systems: a review.

    PubMed

    Perrodin, Yves; Boillot, Clotilde; Angerville, Ruth; Donguy, Gilles; Emmanuel, Evens

    2011-11-15

    Numerous ecological risk assessment methodologies have been developed over the last twenty years around the world for evaluating urban and industrial systems and installations, by both the organisations responsible for implementing regulations and the scientific community. Although these methodologies share the general principle underlying their use, they differ widely with respect to the approaches chosen and the resources employed to apply them. Also, they may even have different objectives: prior assessment as part of an impact study before building a new installation, or retrospective assessment, for example, in view to explaining the reasons for an impact recorded or for forecasting additional expected impacts. This article provides a synthesis of the different approaches used around the world for carrying out each of the major steps common to all ecological risk assessment methodologies. The advantages and limitations of these different options are discussed in order to provide elements for formulating any new methodology adapted to a given scenario. To conclude, perspectives for improving the tools required for these methodologies are proposed, and the research works to which priority should be given are identified. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Prospective ecological risk assessment of sediment resuspension in an estuary.

    PubMed

    Rial, Diego; Beiras, Ricardo

    2012-08-01

    This study assesses potential ecological risk of resuspended sediment in the water column during the construction of a viaduct in the estuary of the Ulla river (Galicia, NW Iberian Peninsula), a shellfish production area. Chemical analyses and toxicity bioassays with elutriates were performed with sediments from the area where the three pillars of the viaduct will be located (CT1, CT2 and CT3) and a reference sediment (A2). Acute toxicity of the elutriate was evaluated in five species of three trophic levels (Isochrysis galbana, Paracentrotus lividus, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Venerupis pullastra and Siriella armata). The sediments of the pillars showed moderate levels of contamination by trace elements (Cu, Cr). Clam and sea urchin embryo-larval toxicity tests showed slightly higher sensitivity than mussel embryo tests, and toxicity was not detected for phytoplankton and mysid bioassays. The predicted no-effect environmental concentration (PNEC) was calculated from the arithmetic mean of the lowest calculated EC(50)s for each sampling site. The predicted environmental concentration (PEC) was estimated from a simple dilution model and the PEC/PNEC ratio was calculated according to different scenarios of resuspension. Negligible ecological risk in the water column is expected during construction of the pillars.

  17. Ecological risk assessment as a watershed management tool -- Case study of middle Snake River, Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Cirone, P.A.; Yearsley, J.; Filbin, G.J.; Norton, D.; Falter, C.M.; Minshall, W.; Brandt, D.

    1995-12-31

    Ecological risk assessment is a scientific tool designed to evaluate the ecological effects of human activities. Historically, risk assessments have been used as a tool to assess risks to human health from environmental exposures to toxic pollutants, or to assess the ecological effects of toxic releases. The middle Snake River has been used as one of five EPA case studies to demonstrate the applicability of risk assessment at the watershed level for assessing the relative effects of multiple stressors on key ecological components of the aquatic ecosystem. The state and federal resource managers and the public identified restoration and protection of native cold water salmonid species and rare and endangered invertebrate species as a management goal. The risk assessment sought to characterize the significance of reduced water flow, sedimentation, and increased nutrients on these ecological components through a process of problem formulation, stressor-effects analysis, and risk characterization. The desired outcome of the assessment is to identify conditions that must be attained to support the management goal as one step in evaluating management options for ecological protection in the watershed.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Summary Report: Risk Assessment Forum Technical Workshop on Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    2008 technical workshop regarding development of additional guidelines or best practices for planning, implementing and interpreting ecological risk assessments that involve population-level assessment endpoints.

  2. 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.

  3. Wetland biogeochemistry and ecological risk assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Junhong; Huang, Laibin; Gao, Haifeng; Zhang, Guangliang

    2017-02-01

    Wetlands are an important ecotone between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and can provide great ecological service functions. Soils/sediments are one of the important components of wetland ecosystems, which support wetland plants and microorganisms and influence wetland productivity. Moreover, wetland soils/sediments serve as sources, sinks and transfers of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and chemical contaminants such as heavy metals. In natural wetland ecosystems, wetland soils/sediments play a great role in improving water quality as these chemical elements can be retained in wetland soils/sediments for a long time. Moreover, the biogeochemical processes of the abovementioned elements in wetland soils/sediments can drive wetland evolution and development, and their changes will considerably affect wetland ecosystem health. Therefore, a better understanding of wetland soil biogeochemistry will contribute to improving wetland ecological service functions.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. A Bayesian Approach to Integrated Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment for the South River, Virginia Mercury-Contaminated Site.

    PubMed

    Harris, Meagan J; Stinson, Jonah; Landis, Wayne G

    2017-01-25

    We conducted a regional-scale integrated ecological and human health risk assessment by applying the relative risk model with Bayesian networks (BN-RRM) to a case study of the South River, Virginia mercury-contaminated site. Risk to four ecological services of the South River (human health, water quality, recreation, and the recreational fishery) was evaluated using a multiple stressor-multiple endpoint approach. These four ecological services were selected as endpoints based on stakeholder feedback and prioritized management goals for the river. The BN-RRM approach allowed for the calculation of relative risk to 14 biotic, human health, recreation, and water quality endpoints from chemical and ecological stressors in five risk regions of the South River. Results indicated that water quality and the recreational fishery were the ecological services at highest risk in the South River. Human health risk for users of the South River was low relative to the risk to other endpoints. Risk to recreation in the South River was moderate with little spatial variability among the five risk regions. Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis identified stressors and other parameters that influence risk for each endpoint in each risk region. This research demonstrates a probabilistic approach to integrated ecological and human health risk assessment that considers the effects of chemical and ecological stressors across the landscape.

  10. Evaluating the role of coastal habitats and sea-level rise in hurricane risk mitigation: An ecological economic assessment method and application to a business decision.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Sheila M W; Guannel, Gregory; Griffin, Robert; Faries, Joe; Boucher, Timothy; Thompson, Michael; Brenner, Jorge; Bernhardt, Joey; Verutes, Gregory; Wood, Spencer A; Silver, Jessica A; Toft, Jodie; Rogers, Anthony; Maas, Alexander; Guerry, Anne; Molnar, Jennifer; DiMuro, Johnathan L

    2016-04-01

    Businesses may be missing opportunities to account for ecosystem services in their decisions, because they do not have methods to quantify and value ecosystem services. We developed a method to quantify and value coastal protection and other ecosystem services in the context of a cost-benefit analysis of hurricane risk mitigation options for a business. We first analyze linked biophysical and economic models to examine the potential protection provided by marshes. We then applied this method to The Dow Chemical Company's Freeport, Texas facility to evaluate natural (marshes), built (levee), and hybrid (marshes and a levee designed for marshes) defenses against a 100-y hurricane. Model analysis shows that future sea-level rise decreases marsh area, increases flood heights, and increases the required levee height (12%) and cost (8%). In this context, marshes do not provide sufficient protection to the facility, located 12 km inland, to warrant a change in levee design for a 100-y hurricane. Marshes do provide some protection near shore and under smaller storm conditions, which may help maintain the coastline and levee performance in the face of sea-level rise. In sum, the net present value to the business of built defenses ($217 million [2010 US$]) is greater than natural defenses ($15 million [2010 US$]) and similar to the hybrid defense scenario ($229 million [2010 US$]). Examination of a sample of public benefits from the marshes shows they provide at least $117 million (2010 US$) in coastal protection, recreational value, and C sequestration to the public, while supporting 12 fisheries and more than 300 wildlife species. This study provides information on where natural defenses may be effective and a replicable approach that businesses can use to incorporate private, as well as public, ecosystem service values into hurricane risk management at other sites. © 2015 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc

  11. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. How do the Chinese perceive ecological risk in freshwater lakes?

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Population-scale assessment endpoints in ecological risk assessment part II: selection of assessment endpoint attributes.

    PubMed

    Landis, Wayne G; Kaminski, Laurel A

    2007-07-01

    Because ecological services often are tied to specific species, the risk to populations is a critical endpoint and important feature of ecological risk assessments. In Part 1 of this series it was demonstrated that population scale assessment endpoints are important expressions of the valued components of ecological structures. This commentary reviews several of the characteristics of populations that can be evaluated and used in population scale risk assessments. Two attributes are evaluated as promising. The 1st attribute is the change in potential productivity of the population over a specified time period. The 2nd attribute is the change in the age structure of a population, expressed graphically or as a normalized effects vector (NEV). The NEV is a description of the change in age structure due to a toxicant or other stressor and appears to be characteristic of specific stressor effects.

  16. 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

  17. Next-generation ecological risk assessment: Predicting risk from molecular initiation to ecosystem service delivery.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Valery E; Galic, Nika

    2016-05-01

    Ecological risk assessment is the process of evaluating how likely it is that the environment may be impacted as the result of exposure to one or more chemicals and/or other stressors. It is not playing as large a role in environmental management decisions as it should be. A core challenge is that risk assessments often do not relate directly or transparently to protection goals. There have been exciting developments in in vitro testing and high-throughput systems that measure responses to chemicals at molecular and biochemical levels of organization, but the linkage between such responses and impacts of regulatory significance - whole organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems - are not easily predictable. This article describes some recent developments that are directed at bridging this gap and providing more predictive models that can make robust links between what we typically measure in risk assessments and what we aim to protect.

  18. 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?"

  19. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goussen, Benoit; Price, Oliver R.; Rendal, Cecilie; Ashauer, Roman

    2016-10-01

    Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic.

  20. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors.

    PubMed

    Goussen, Benoit; Price, Oliver R; Rendal, Cecilie; Ashauer, Roman

    2016-10-26

    Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic.

  1. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors

    PubMed Central

    Goussen, Benoit; Price, Oliver R.; Rendal, Cecilie; Ashauer, Roman

    2016-01-01

    Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic. PMID:27782171

  2. Ecological risk assessment in the context of global climate change.

    PubMed

    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. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Using Toxicity Tests in Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Toxicity tests are used to expose test organisms to a medium-water, sediment, or soil-and evaluate the effects of contamination on the survival, growth, reproduction, behavior and or other attributes of these organisms.

  14. Dynamics and ecological risk assessment of chromophoric dissolved organic matter in the Yinma River Watershed: Rivers, reservoirs, and urban waters.

    PubMed

    Li, Sijia; Zhang, Jiquan; Guo, Enliang; Zhang, Feng; Ma, Qiyun; Mu, Guangyi

    2017-10-01

    The extensive use of a geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing in ecological risk assessment from a spatiotemporal perspective complements ecological environment management. Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), which is a complex mixture of organic matter that can be estimated via remote sensing, carries and produces carcinogenic disinfection by-products and organic pollutants in various aquatic environments. This paper reports the first ecological risk assessment, which was conducted in 2016, of CDOM in the Yinma River watershed including riverine waters, reservoir waters, and urban waters. Referring to the risk formation theory of natural disaster, the entropy evaluation method and DPSIR (driving force-pressure-state-impact-response) framework were coupled to establish a hazard and vulnerability index with multisource data, i.e., meteorological, remote sensing, experimental, and socioeconomic data, of this watershed. This ecological vulnerability assessment indicator system contains 23 indicators with respect to ecological sensitivity, ecological pressure, and self-resilience. The characteristics of CDOM absorption parameters from different waters showed higher aromatic content and molecular weights in May because of increased terrestrial inputs. The assessment results indicated that the overall ecosystem risk in the study area was focused in the extremely, heavily, and moderately vulnerable regions. The ecological risk assessment results objectively reflect the regional ecological environment and demonstrate the potential of ecological risk assessment of pollutants over traditional chemical measurements. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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...

  17. PROBABILITY SURVEYS , CONDITIONAL PROBABILITIES 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 ...

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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...

  1. PROBABILITY SURVEYS , CONDITIONAL PROBABILITIES 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 ...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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 ...

  4. Applying ecological risk principles to watershed assessment and management.

    PubMed

    Serveiss, Victor B

    2002-02-01

    Considerable progress in addressing point source (end of pipe) pollution problems has been made, but it is now recognized that further substantial environmental improvements depend on controlling nonpoint source pollution. A watershed approach is being used more frequently to address these problems because traditional regulatory approaches do not focus on nonpoint sources. The watershed approach is organized around the guiding principles of partnerships, geographic focus, and management based on sound science and data. This helps to focus efforts on the highest priority problems within hydrologically-defined geographic areas. Ecological risk assessment is a process to collect, organize, analyze, and present scientific information to improve decision making. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsored three watershed assessments and found that integrating the watershed approach with ecological risk assessment increases the use of environmental monitoring and assessment data in decision making. This paper describes the basics of the watershed approach, the ecological risk assessment process, and how these two frameworks can be integrated. The three major principles of watershed ecological risk assessment found to be most useful for increasing the use of science in decision making are (1) using assessment endpoints and conceptual models, (2) holding regular interactions between scientists and managers, and (3) developing a focus for multiple stressor analysis. Examples are provided illustrating how these principles were implemented in these assessments.

  5. A Bayesian approach to landscape ecological risk assessment applied to the upper Grande Ronde watershed, Oregon

    Treesearch

    Kimberley K. Ayre; Wayne G. Landis

    2012-01-01

    We present a Bayesian network model based on the ecological risk assessment framework to evaluate potential impacts to habitats and resources resulting from wildfire, grazing, forest management activities, and insect outbreaks in a forested landscape in northeastern Oregon. The Bayesian network structure consisted of three tiers of nodes: landscape disturbances,...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. Evaluation of the potential of the common cockle (Cerastoderma edule L.) for the ecological risk assessment of estuarine sediments: bioaccumulation and biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Lobo, Jorge; Costa, Pedro M; Caeiro, Sandra; Martins, Marta; Ferreira, Ana M; Caetano, Miguel; Cesário, Rute; Vale, Carlos; Costa, Maria H

    2010-11-01

    Common cockles (Cerastoderma edule, L. 1758, Bivalvia: Cardiidae) were subjected to a laboratory assay with sediments collected from distinct sites of the Sado Estuary (Portugal). Cockles were obtained from a mariculture site of the Sado Estuary and exposed through 28-day, semi-static, assays to sediments collected from three sites of the estuary. Sediments from these sites revealed different physico-chemical properties and levels of metals and organic contaminants, ranging from unimpacted (the reference site) to moderately impacted, when compared to available sediment quality guidelines. Cockles were surveyed for bioaccumulation of trace elements (Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd and Pb) and organic contaminants (PAHs, PCBs and DDTs). Two sets of potential biomarkers were employed to assess toxicity: whole-body metallothionein (MT) induction and digestive gland histopathology. The bioaccumulation factor and the biota-to-soil accumulation factor were estimated as ecological indices of exposure to metals and organic compounds. From the results it is inferred that C. edule responds to sediment-bound contamination and might, therefore, be suitable for biomonitoring. The species was found capable to regulate and eliminate both types of contaminants. Still, the sediment contamination levels do not account for all the variation in bioaccumulation and MT levels, which may result from the moderate metal concentrations found in sediments, the species' intrinsic resistance to pollution and from yet unexplained xenobiotic interaction effects.

  10. Evaluating Health Risk Models

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Interest in targeted disease prevention has stimulated development of models that assign risks to individuals, using their personal covariates. We need to evaluate these models and quantify the gains achieved by expanding a model to include additional covariates. This paper reviews several performance measures and shows how they are related. Examples are used to show that appropriate performance criteria for a risk model depend upon how the model is used. Application of the performance measures to risk models for hypothetical populations and for US women at risk of breast cancer illustrate two additional points. First, model performance is constrained by the distribution of risk-determining covariates in the population. This complicates the comparison of two models when applied to populations with different covariate distributions. Second, all summary performance measures obscure model features of relevance to its utility for the application at hand, such as performance in specific subgroups of the population. In particular, the precision gained by adding covariates to a model can be small overall, but large in certain subgroups. We propose new ways to identify these subgroups and to quantify how much they gain by measuring the additional covariates. Those with largest gains could be targeted for cost-efficient covariate assessment. PMID:20623821

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. [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

  15. South Florida Coastal Sediment Ecological Risk Assessment.

    PubMed

    Julian, Paul

    2015-08-01

    This study evaluated the degree of sediment contamination in several South Florida estuaries. During the 2010 National Condition Assessment, Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute collected water column, sediment and biotic data from estuaries across the entire state of Florida. Sediments were analyzed for arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, zinc and total polychlorinated biphenyls and were compared relative to empirically derived sediment quality guidelines. As a result of this data collection and assessment effort, it was determined that the degree of contamination with respect to sediment was low for all southern Florida estuaries assessed, except the Miami River which was determined to be considerably contaminated. However only one monitoring location was used to assess the Miami River, and as such should be viewed with caution. A low degree of contamination was determined for Biscayne Bay sediments, possibly indicating a recovery from its previously reported higher contaminant level.

  16. 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.

  17. Determination of the Biologically Relevant Sampling Depth for Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessments (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) announced the release of the final report, Determination of the Biologically Relevant Sampling Depth for Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessments. This technical paper provides defensible approximations fo...

  18. Determination of the Biologically Relevant Sampling Depth for Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessments (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) announced the release of the final report, Determination of the Biologically Relevant Sampling Depth for Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessments. This technical paper provides defensible approximations fo...

  19. A New Approach to Ecological Risk Assessment: Simulating Effects of Global Warming on Complex Ecological Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yun; Brose, Ulrich; Kastenberg, William; Martinez, Neo D.

    The field of Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) has been under development since the 1970s. Early ERA borrowed basic concepts from human health risk assessment (HRA) methodology [NAS 1983]. However, because of the nature of an ecosystem, there is a fundamental difference between HRA and ERA. In an HRA, the only receptor is a single human being and the concerned endpoints are always associated with human health issues, such as the risk of cancer. In ERA, however, entire populations, communities and ecosystems are at risk, and ERA must rigorously assess these more complex and larger scaled concerns. Many investigators have attempted to develop a new paradigm for ERA that can deal with this intrinsic distinction. Currently, a six-step framework is now widely used by the U.S. EPA and its contractors. This new paradigm is characterized by: (1) receptor identification, (2) hazard identification, (3) endpoint identification, (4) exposure assessment, (5) doseresponse assessment and (6) risk characterization [Lipton et al. 1993, Suter 1993]. The six-step framework identifies receptors at risk, possible hazards related to certain receptors, and chooses appropriate assessment and measurement endpoints [Suter 1990]. While the additional receptor and endpoint identifications improve on the traditional framework, single-species laboratory toxicity tests typically estimate ecological responses simply by predicting an environmental concentration associated with a certain stressor divided by the no-observed effect concentration (NOEC) for that stressor. This "Hazard Quotient" (HQ) approach ignores interactions between species that are critical to the functioning of communities and ecosystems.

  20. Calcium toxicity in a freshwater stream: Results of an ecological risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, D.S.; Stewart, A.J.; Smith, J.G.; Phipps, T.L.

    1995-12-31

    Calcium and other essential elements are often excluded a priori from ecological risk assessments. However, calcium can be a credible contaminant of ecological concern in systems with high concentrations of anions. A baseline ecological risk assessment was performed as part of the CERCLA Remedial Investigation of Bear Creek Valley at the Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge, TN. Unlined surface impoundments at the headwaters of Bear Creek (BC) received nitric acid waste solutions between 1951 and 1984. The resulting groundwater plume now discharges into BC and contains high concentrations of nitrates and dissolved metals, including calcium. Weight-of-evidence suggests that BC water poses a significant risk to benthic invertebrates. The three available lines of evidence indicate that calcium contributes to these risks: (1) dissolved calcium concentrations in upper BC exceed the chronic value for Daphnia magna and a previous evaluation of the charge balance suggested that the solubility of calcium in BC is high because of high concentrations of nitrate ions; (2) water from BC inhibits Ceriodaphnia dubia reproduction and calcium concentrations explained approximately 80% of the variation in this inhibition; (3) the benthic invertebrate community in upper BC, and in particular the Ephemeroptera, are severely degraded, relative to reference streams. These findings serve as a reminder that contaminants of potential ecological concern need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and that interactions among contaminants may yield unexpected results.

  1. [Progress and prospects on evaluation of ecological restoration: a review of the 5th World Conference on Ecological Restoration].

    PubMed

    Ding, Jing-Yi; Zhao, Wen-Wu

    2014-09-01

    The 5th World Conference on Ecological Restoration was held in Madison, Wisconsin, USA on October 6-11, 2013. About 1200 delegates from more than 50 countries attended the conference, and discussed the latest developments in different thematic areas of ecological restoration. Discussions on evaluation of ecological restoration were mainly from three aspects: The construction for evaluation indicator system of ecological restoration; the evaluation methods of ecological restoration; monitoring and dynamic evaluation of ecological restoration. The meeting stressed the importance of evaluation in the process of ecological restoration and concerned the challenges in evaluation of ecological restoration. The conference had the following enlightenments for China' s research on evaluation of ecological restoration: 1) Strengthening the construction of comprehensive evaluation indicators system and focusing on the multi-participation in the evaluation process. 2) Paying more attentions on scale effect and scale transformation in the evaluation process of ecological restoration. 3) Expanding the application of 3S technology in assessing the success of ecological restoration and promoting the dynamic monitoring of ecological restoration. 4) Carrying out international exchanges and cooperation actively, and promoting China's international influence in ecological restoration research.

  2. 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.

  3. DETERMINING SIGNIFICANT ENDPOINTS FOR ECOLOGICAL RISK ANALYS ES

    SciTech Connect

    Hinton, Thomas G.

    2000-12-31

    Our interest is in obtaining a scientifically defensible endpoint for measuring ecological risks to populations exposed to chronic, low-level radiation, and radiation with concomitant exposure to chemicals. To do so, we believe that we must understand the extent to which molecular damage is detrimental at the individual and population levels of biological organization. Ecological risk analyses based on molecular damage, without an understanding of the impacts to higher levels of biological organization, could cause cleanup strategies on DOE sites to be overly conservative and unnecessarily expensive. Our goal is to determine the relevancy of sublethal cellular damage to the performance of individuals and populations. We think that we 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).

  4. [Anthropo-ecological aspects of occupational health and various biochemical approaches to the problem of its evaluation in workers in high risk occupations].

    PubMed

    Bobrovnitskiĭ, I P; Ponomarenko, V A

    1991-01-01

    This paper presents the concept of occupational health of man, interpreted as the process of maintenance and development of regulatory properties of the body and his physical, psychic and social well-being, which provide high reliability of his professional activities, professional longevity and maximal lifetime. The paper discusses the main areas of biochemical investigations to evaluate occupational health of the flying personnel, which include identification of correlates between biochemical or immune changes and pathological or premorbid states, that reduce tolerance to environmental effects, as well as study of functional specificities related to the reserves and mechanisms of implementation of adaptive capabilities of the human body. It gives detailed biochemical data derived from pilots with neurotic problems and biochemical indicators of stress tolerance measured during exposure to +Gz acceleration, angular acceleration, hyperthermia, hypoxia, and exercise.

  5. 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.

  6. An integrative approach to assess ecological risks of surface water contamination for fish populations.

    PubMed

    Santos, Raphael; Joyeux, Aude; Besnard, Aurélien; Blanchard, Christophe; Halkett, Cédric; Bony, Sylvie; Sanchez, Wilfried; Devaux, Alain

    2017-01-01

    Contamination of aquatic ecosystems is considered as one of the main threats to global freshwater biodiversity. Within the European Water Framework Directive (EU-WFD) a particular attention is dedicated to assess ecological risks of surface water contamination and mitigation of chemical pressures on aquatic ecosystems. In this work, we evaluated ecological risks of surface water contamination for fish populations in four EU-WFD rivers through an integrative approach investigating three Lines of Evidence (chemical contamination, biomarker responses as early warning signals of contamination impacting individuals and ecological analyses as an indicator of fish community disturbances). This work illustrates through 4 case studies the complementary role of biomarkers, chemical and ecological analyses which, used in combination, provide fundamental information to understand impacts of chemical pressures that can affect fish population dynamics. We discuss the limitations of this approach and future improvements needed within the EU-WFD to assess ecological risk of river contamination for fish populations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The role of mesocosm studies in ecological risk analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, Terence P.; Fairchild, James 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.

  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. [Rare earth elements content in farmland soils and crops of the surrounding copper mining and smelting plant in Jiangxi province and evaluation of its ecological risk].

    PubMed

    Jin, Shu-Lan; Huang, Yi-Zong; Wang, Fei; Xu, Feng; Wang, Xiao-Ling; Gao, Zhu; Hu, Ying; Qiao Min; Li, Jin; Xiang, Meng

    2015-03-01

    Rare earth elements content in farmland soils and crops of the surrounding copper mining and smelting plant in Jiangxi province was studied. The results showed that copper mining and smelting could increase the content of rare earth elements in soils and crops. Rare earth elements content in farmland soils of the surrounding Yinshan Lead Zinc Copper Mine and Guixi Smelting Plant varied from 112.42 to 397.02 mg x kg(-1) and 48.81 to 250.06 mg x kg(-1), and the average content was 254.84 mg x kg(-1) and 144.21 mg x kg(-1), respectively. The average contents of rare earth elements in soils in these two areas were 1.21 times and 0.68 times of the background value in Jiangxi province, 1.36 times and 0.77 times of the domestic background value, 3.59 times and 2.03 times of the control samples, respectively. Rare earth elements content in 10 crops of the surrounding Guixi Smelting Plant varied from 0.35 to 2.87 mg x kg(-1). The contents of rare earth elements in the leaves of crops were higher than those in stem and root. The contents of rare earth elements in Tomato, lettuce leaves and radish leaves were respectively 2.87 mg x kg(-1), 1.58 mg x kg(-1) and 0.80 mg x kg(-1), which were well above the hygienic standard limit of rare earth elements in vegetables and fruits (0.70 mg x kg(-1)). According to the health risk assessment method recommended by America Environmental Protection Bureau (USEPA), we found that the residents' lifelong average daily intake of rare earth elements was 17.72 mg x (kg x d)(-1), lower than the critical value of rare earth elements damage to human health. The results suggested that people must pay attention to the impact of rare earth elements on the surrounding environment when they mine and smelt copper ore in Jiangxi.

  10. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Occurrence, source identification and ecological risk evaluation of metal elements in surface sediment: toward a comprehensive understanding of heavy metal pollution in Chaohu Lake, Eastern China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ji-Zhong; Peng, Shu-Chuan; Chen, Tian-Hu; Zhang, Liu

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, surface sediment samples from 48 sites covering the whole water area and three main estuaries of Chaohu Lake were collected to determine the concentrations of 25 metal elements using microwave-assisted digestion combined with ICP-MS. Spatial variation, source appointments, and contamination evaluation were examined using multivariate statistical techniques and pollution indices. The results show that for the elements Cd, Pb, Zr, Hf, U, Sr, Zn, Th, Rb, Sn, Cs, Tl, Bi, and Ba, which had higher coefficients of variation (CV), the concentrations were significantly higher in the eastern lake than in the western lake, but other elements with low CV values did not show spatial differences. The accumulation of Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, Zr, Cd, Sn, Cs, Ba, Hf, Ta, Tl, Pb, Bi, U, and Th in the surface sediments was inferred as long-term agricultural cultivation impact, but that of Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, and Ni may have been a natural occurrence. The contribution from industrial and municipal impact was negligible, despite the rapid urbanization around the studied area. Principal component analysis-multiple linear regression (PCA-MLR) predicted the contribution from agricultural activities to range from 0.45 ± 1.31% for Co to 92.7 ± 17.7% for Cd. The results of the pollution indices indicate that Chaohu Lake was weakly to moderately affected by Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, and Ni but was severely contaminated by Hf and Cd. The overall pollution level in the eastern lake was higher than that in the western lake with respect to the pollution level index (PLI). Therefore, our results can help comprehensively understand the sediment contamination by metals in Chaohu Lake.

  12. [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.

  13. [Ecological risk assessment of dam construction for terrestrial plant species in middle reach of Lancangjiang River, Southwest China].

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Yan; Dong, Shi-Kui; Liu, Shi-Liang; Peng, Ming-Chun; Li, Jin-Peng; Zhao, Qing-He; Zhang, Zhao-Ling

    2012-08-01

    Taking the surrounding areas of Xiaowan Reservoir in the middle reach of Lancangjiang River as study area, and based on the vegetation investigation at three sites including electricity transmission area (site 1), electricity-transfer substation and roadsides to the substation (site 2), and emigration area (site 3) in 1997 (before dam construction), another investigation was conducted on the vegetation composition, plant coverage, and dominant species at the same sites in 2010 (after dam construction), aimed to evaluate the ecological risk of the dam construction for the terrestrial plant species in middle reach of Lancangjiang River. There was an obvious difference in the summed dominance ratio of dominant species at the three sites before and after the dam construction. According the types of species (dominant and non-dominant species) and the changes of plant dominance, the ecological risk (ER) for the plant species was categorized into 0 to IV, i.e., no or extremely low ecological risk (0), low ecological risk (I), medium ecological risk (II), high ecological risk (III), and extremely high ecological risk (IV). As affected by the dam construction, the majority of the species were at ER III, and a few species were at ER IV. The percentage of the plant species at ER III and ER IV at site 3 was higher than that at sites 1 and 2. The decrease or loss of native plants and the increase of alien or invasive plants were the major ecological risks caused by the dam construction. Effective protection strategies should be adopted to mitigate the ecological risk of the dam construction for the terrestrial plants at species level.

  14. Probability surveys, conditional probability, and ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Paul, John F; Munns, Wayne R

    2011-06-01

    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 broad geographic areas. Under certain conditions (including appropriate stratification of the sampled population, sufficient density of samples, and sufficient range of exposure levels paired with concurrent response values), this empirical approach provides estimates of risk using extant field-derived monitoring data. The monitoring data were used to prescribe the exposure field and to model the exposure-response relationship. We illustrate this approach by estimating risks to benthic communities from low dissolved oxygen (DO) in freshwater streams of the mid-Atlantic region and in estuaries of the Virginian Biogeographical Province of the United States. In both cases, the estimates of risk are consistent with the U.S. EPA's ambient water quality criteria for DO. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  15. Characterization of ecological risks at the Milltown Reservoir-Clark Fork River Sediments Superfund Site, Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pascoe, Gary A.; Blanchet, Richard J.; Linder, Greg L.; Palawski, Don; Brumbaugh, William G.; Canfield, Tim J.; Kemble, Nile E.; Ingersoll, Chris G.; Farag, Aïda M.; DalSoglio, Julie A.

    1994-01-01

    A comprehensive field and laboratory approach to the ecological risk assessment for the Milltown Reservoir-Clark Fork River Sediments Site, a Superfund site in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, has been described in the preceding reports of this series. The risk assessment addresses concerns over the ecological impacts of upstream releases of mining wastes to fisheries of the upper Clark Fork River (CFR) and the benthic and terrestrial habitats further downstream in Milltown Reservoir. The risk characterization component of the process integrated results from a triad of information sources: (a) chemistry studies of environmental media to identify and quantify exposures of terrestrial and aquatic organisms to site-related contaminants; (b) ecological or population studies of terrestrial vegetation, birds, benthic communities, and fish; and (c) in situ and laboratory toxicity studies with terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates and plants, small mammals, amphibians, and fish exposed to contaminated surface water, sediments, wetland soils, and food sources. Trophic transfer studies were performed on waterfowl, mammals, and predatory birds using field measurement data on metals concentrations in environmental media and lower trophic food sources. Studies with sediment exposures were incorporated into the Sediment Quality Triad approach to evaluate risks to benthic ecology. Overall results of the wetland and terrestrial studies suggested that acute adverse biological effects were largely absent from the wetland; however, adverse effects to reproductive, growth, and physiological end points of various terrestrial and aquatic species were related to metals exposures in more highly contaminated depositional areas. Feeding studies with contaminated diet collected from the upper CFR indicated that trout are at high risk from elevated metals concentrations in surface water, sediment, and aquatic invertebrates. Integration of chemical analyses with toxicological and ecological

  16. 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.

  17. Ecological risk assessment for residual coal fly ash at Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The Tennessee Valley Authority conducted a Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment (BERA) for the Kingston Fossil Plant ash release site to evaluate potential effects of residual coal ash on biota in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee. The BERA was in response to a release of 4.1 million m(3) of coal ash on December 22, 2008. It used multiple lines of evidence to assess risks for 17 different ecological receptors to approximately 400000 m(3) of residual ash in the Emory and Clinch rivers. Here, we provide a brief overview of the BERA results and then focus on how the results were used to help shape risk management decisions. Those decisions included selecting monitored natural recovery for remediation of the residual ash in the Emory and Clinch rivers and designing a long-term monitoring plan that includes adaptive management principles for timely adjustment to changing conditions. This study demonstrates the importance of site-specific ecological data (e.g., tissue concentrations for food items, reproductive data, and population data) in complex ecological risk assessments. It also illustrates the value of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) data quality objectives process in building consensus and identifying multiple uses of results. The relatively limited adverse effects of this likely worst-case scenario for ash-related exposures in a lotic environment provide important context for the USEPA's new coal combustion residue disposal rules. © 2014 SETAC.

  18. [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.

  19. A watershed-level approach to evaluating ecological impacts at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Elias, M.C.; Thebeau, L.C.; Neubauer, J.; Drendel, G.; Paul, J.; Durda, J.L.

    1994-12-31

    Aberdeen Proving Ground is a US Army installation occupying approximately 32,400 hectares of relatively undeveloped coastal plain uplands, wetlands, and estuary on the upper Chesapeake Bay. The installation was established in 1917 and historically has been used for research, development, and testing of chemical warfare agents, conventional weapons, and other material. Past activities have resulted in several hundred known or suspected potential sources of contamination in numerous drainage basins of two main watersheds (the Gunpowder River watershed and the Bush River watershed) and several smaller watersheds. All of these watersheds discharge to the upper reaches of the Chesapeake Bay. Investigations are being conducted to evaluate risks to ecological resources in the drainage basins of these watersheds. Following these investigations, watershed-level risk assessments will be conducted to evaluate the individual and combined risks of these multiple sources of contamination to ecological resources within each watershed. Risks to ecological resources in the potentially affected regions of the upper Chesapeake Bay via the migration of contaminants from the watersheds will also be evaluated. The approach being used for the watershed-level ecological assessment is discussed along with the implications of applying this approach to the evaluation of hazardous waste sites.

  20. Legal and institutional considerations in the application of ecological risk assessment at Department of Energy facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Bilyard, G.R.; Bascietto, J.; Beckert, H.

    1992-10-01

    As defined in EPA`s Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment, ecological risk assessment is a promising tool that DOE can use to help meet its legal and institutional obligations during remediation and restoration activities. The adoption of ecological risk assessment as a tool for meeting legal and societal obligations, and as a means of providing information for resource management decisions has several implications for DOE, including the need to define a process for using ecological risk assessment to support regulatory compliance and institutionally mandated activities. This paper first identifies regulatory requirements and institutional considerations that could be important to DOE, and that could be supported by ecological risk assessments. Considering this set of regulatory requirements and institutional considerations, the often complex characteristics of DOE sites, and the elements of EPA`s ecological risk assessment framework, a process for using ecological risk assessment at DOE sites is then proposed.

  1. Legal and institutional considerations in the application of ecological risk assessment at Department of Energy facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Bilyard, G.R. ); Bascietto, J.; Beckert, H. )

    1992-10-01

    As defined in EPA's Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment, ecological risk assessment is a promising tool that DOE can use to help meet its legal and institutional obligations during remediation and restoration activities. The adoption of ecological risk assessment as a tool for meeting legal and societal obligations, and as a means of providing information for resource management decisions has several implications for DOE, including the need to define a process for using ecological risk assessment to support regulatory compliance and institutionally mandated activities. This paper first identifies regulatory requirements and institutional considerations that could be important to DOE, and that could be supported by ecological risk assessments. Considering this set of regulatory requirements and institutional considerations, the often complex characteristics of DOE sites, and the elements of EPA's ecological risk assessment framework, a process for using ecological risk assessment at DOE sites is then proposed.

  2. The current status of heavy metal in lake sediments from China: Pollution and ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yongfeng; Wu, Yi; Han, Jiangang; Li, Pingping

    2017-07-01

    Heavy metal contamination in lake sediments is a serious problem, particularly in developing countries such as China. To evaluate heavy metal pollution and risk of contamination in lake sediments on a national scale in China, we collated available data in the literature of the last 10 years on lake sediments polluted with heavy metals from 24 provinces in China. Based on these data, we used sediment quality guidelines, geoaccumulation index, and potential ecological risk index to assess potential ecological risk levels. The results showed that approximately 20.6% of the lakes studied exceeded grade II level in Chinese soil quality standards for As, 31.3% for Cd, 4.6% for Cu, 20.8% for Ni, 2.8% for Zn, and 11.1% for Hg, respectively. Besides, the mean concentrations for As in 10.3% of lakes, Hg in 11.9% of lakes, and Ni in 31.3% of lakes surpassed the probable effect level. The potential ecological risk for toxic metals decreased in the order of Cd > Hg > As > Cu > Pb > Ni > Cr > Zn, and there were 21.8% of the lakes studied in the state of moderate risk, 10.9% in high risk, and 12.7% in very high risk. It can be concluded that Chinese lake sediments are polluted by heavy metals to varying degrees. In order to provide key management targets for relevant administrative agencies, based on the results of the pollution and ecological risk assessments, Cd, Hg, As, Cu, and Ni were selected as the priority control heavy metals, and the eastern coastal provinces and Hunan province were selected as the priority control provinces. This article, therefore, provides a comprehensive assessment of heavy metal pollution in lake sediments in China, while providing a reference for the development of lake sediment quality standards.

  3. 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.

  4. [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.

  5. 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.

  6. A conceptual model for assessing ecological risk to water quality function of bottomland hardwood forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowrance, Richard; Vellidis, George

    1995-03-01

    Ecological risk assessment provides a methodology for evaluating the threats to ecosystem function associated with environmental perturbations or stressors. This report documents the development of a conceptual model for assessing the ecological risk to the water quality function (WQF) of bottomland hardwood riparian ecosystems (BHRE) in the Tifton-Vidalia upland (TVU) ecoregion of Georgia. Previus research has demonstrated that mature BHRE are essential to maintaining water quality in this portion of the coastal plain. The WQF of these ecosystems is considered an assessment endpoit—an ecosystem function or set of functions that society chooses to value as evidenced by laws, regulations, or common usage. Stressors operate on ecosystems at risk through an exposure scenario to produce ecological effects that are linked to loss of the desired function or assessment end point. The WQF of BHRE is at risk because of the ecological and environmental quality effects of a suite of chemical, physical, and biological stressors. The stressors are related to nonpoint source pollution from adjacent land uses, especially agriculture; the conversion of BHRE to other land uses; and the encroachment of domestic animals into BHRE. Potential chemical, physical, and biological stressors to BHRE are identified, and the methodology for evaluating appropriate exposure scenarios is discussed. Field-scale and watershed-scale measurement end points of most use in assessing the effects of stressors on the WQF are identified and discussed. The product of this study is a conceptual model of how risks to the WQF of BHRE are produced and how the risk and associated uncertainties can be quantified.

  7. 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.

  8. [Study on ecological risk assessment technology of fluoride pollution from arid oasis soil].

    PubMed

    Xue, Su-Yin; Li, Ping; Wang, Sheng-Li; Nan, Zhong-Ren

    2014-03-01

    According to translocation regulation of fluoride in the typical oasis soil-plant system under field, an ecological risk assessment model of fluoride was established, and this model was used to assess ecological risk to fluoride pollution from suburban oasis soils in Baiyin City, which was specifically expressed with the potential ecological risk of bioavailability (ER(bc)) model to assess ecological risk of fluoride pollution in oasis regions. Results showed that the ecological risk indices of fluoride pollution from this region were 1.37-24.81, the level of risk at most sites was high to very high, the average ecological risk index was 11.28, belonged to very high risk. This indicated that in the suburb soil of Baiyin City needs to be concerned about the remediation of fluoride pollution.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Integration of human health and ecological risk assessments in the RI/FS process. Part A: Overview and methods

    SciTech Connect

    Pueuler, E.A.; Clarkson, J.R.; Mazzera, D.M.; Cura, J.K.; Menzie, C.A.; Morrisey, D.; Sarmiento, R.

    1995-12-31

    In the US, human health and ecological risk assessments are required components of remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) efforts at Superfund sites. However, these assessments are often conducted as independent evaluations rather than being optimally integrated into the RI/FS process. The purpose of this presentation is to describe how these independent assessments can be coordinated and ultimately used together in remedial action decision-making. Part A of this presentation will provide an overview of the approach and the methods used to integrate the human health and ecological risk assessments. An RI/FS conducted at a coastal Superfund site will be used to illustrate this integrated evaluation of potential human and ecological risk. Initial investigation of soils, sediment, water, and fish tissue data at the site indicated potential for adverse effects to human health and potential ecological receptors. A multi-component field investigation was designed to allow qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the potential for adverse impacts to biota at the site. The field investigation elements were primarily focused on acquiring data to support the ecological assessment. However, additional consideration was given to the concurrent collection of data to supplement human health risk decision-making. This included analyses of fish samples analyzed for whole-body and edible portions. The results were combined with site-specific field observations on the use and activities at the site by local human and ecological populations in order to support conservative, yet realistic site-specific exposure assumptions.

  13. Issuance of Final Guidance: Ecological Risk Assessment and Risk Management Principles for Superfund Sites, October 7, 1999

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This guidance is intended to help Superfund risk managers make ecological risk management decisions that are based on sound science, consistent across Regions, and present a characterization of site risks that is transparent to the public.

  14. Application of Computational Toxicology to Prospective and Diagnostic Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Application of Computational Toxicology to Prospective and Diagnostic Ecological Risk Assessment (Presented by: Dan Villeneuve, Ph.D., Research Toxicologist, US-EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division) (1/24/2013)

  15. 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.

  16. Ecological criteria for evaluating candidate sites for marine reserves

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roberts, Callum M.; Andelman, Sandy; Branch, George; Bustamante, Rodrigo H.; Castilla, Juan Carlos; Dugan, Jenifer; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Leslie, Heather; Lubchenco, Jane; McArdle, Deborah; Possingham, Hugh P.; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Warner, Robert R.

    2003-01-01

    Several schemes have been developed to help select the locations of marine reserves. All of them combine social, economic, and biological criteria, and few offer any guidance as to how to prioritize among the criteria identified. This can imply that the relative weights given to different criteria are unimportant. Where two sites are of equal value ecologically, then socioeconomic criteria should dominate the choice of which should be protected. However, in many cases, socioeconomic criteria are given equal or greater weight than ecological considerations in the choice of sites. This can lead to selection of reserves with little biological value that fail to meet many of the desired objectives. To avoid such a possibility, we develop a series of criteria that allow preliminary evaluation of candidate sites according to their relative biological values in advance of the application of socioeconomic criteria. We include criteria that, while not strictly biological, have a strong influence on the species present or ecological processes. Our scheme enables sites to be assessed according to their biodiversity, the processes which underpin that diversity, and the processes that support fisheries and provide a spectrum of other services important to people. Criteria that capture biodiversity values include biogeographic representation, habitat representation and heterogeneity, and presence of species or populations of special interest (e.g., threatened species). Criteria that capture sustainability of biodiversity and fishery values include the size of reserves necessary to protect viable habitats, presence of exploitable species, vulnerable life stages, connectivity among reserves, links among ecosystems, and provision of ecosystem services to people. Criteria measuring human and natural threats enable candidate sites to be eliminated from consideration if risks are too great, but also help prioritize among sites where threats can be mitigated by protection. While our

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil

    PubMed Central

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil to that of the control site) observed for As (3.5x102), Co (2.8x102) and Ni (1.1x102). Potential ecological risk index values for metals and metalloids determined from soil metal and metalloid concentrations and their respective risk factors were correspondingly highest for As (3.5x103) and Co (1.4x103), whereas Mn (0.6) presented the lowest ecological risk. Human health risk was assessed using Hazard Quotient (HQ), Chronic Hazard Index (CHI) and carcinogenic risk levels, where values of HQ > 1, CHI > 1 and carcinogenic risk values > 1×10−4 represent elevated risks. Values for HQ indicated high exposure-related risk for As (53.7), Cr (14.8), Ni (2.2), Zn (2.64) and Mn (1.67). Children were more at risk from heavy metal and metalloid exposure than adults. Cancer-related risks associated with metal and metalloid exposure among children were also higher than in adults with cancer risk values of 3×10−2 and 4×10−2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10−3 and 4×10−3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing factor to a setback in the health of residents in informal settlements dominating this mining area as the immune systems of some of these residents are already

  20. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil to that of the control site) observed for As (3.5x102), Co (2.8x102) and Ni (1.1x102). Potential ecological risk index values for metals and metalloids determined from soil metal and metalloid concentrations and their respective risk factors were correspondingly highest for As (3.5x103) and Co (1.4x103), whereas Mn (0.6) presented the lowest ecological risk. Human health risk was assessed using Hazard Quotient (HQ), Chronic Hazard Index (CHI) and carcinogenic risk levels, where values of HQ > 1, CHI > 1 and carcinogenic risk values > 1×10-4 represent elevated risks. Values for HQ indicated high exposure-related risk for As (53.7), Cr (14.8), Ni (2.2), Zn (2.64) and Mn (1.67). Children were more at risk from heavy metal and metalloid exposure than adults. Cancer-related risks associated with metal and metalloid exposure among children were also higher than in adults with cancer risk values of 3×10-2 and 4×10-2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10-3 and 4×10-3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing factor to a setback in the health of residents in informal settlements dominating this mining area as the immune systems of some of these residents are already compromised by

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The future direction of ecological risk assessment in the United States: reflecting on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Examination of risk assessment practices and principles".

    PubMed

    DeMott, Robert P; Balaraman, Anita; Sorensen, Mary T

    2005-01-01

    As part of an agency evaluation of the development of risk assessment tools, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued a staff paper in March 2004 describing the current state of practices and policies regarding risk assessment from the agency's perspective. The staff paper provided a rationale for the agency's positions regarding technical topics frequently the subject of comments or complaints. Considerations relevant to ecological risk assessment were included, primarily in a single chapter focused on this topic. This commentary highlights four technical issues important to the advancement of ecological risk assessment practice and discusses how some of the points raised by the U.S. EPA in the staff paper have significance to ecological risk assessors. Discussion regarding incorporating population- and community-level analysis into risk assessments and the apparent reluctance of the U.S. EPA to adopt advances in this area is provided. Also, continuing inconsistencies in the body weight scaling of toxicity values between human health and ecological risk assessment practices are discussed. Ideas for refining the calculation of exposure point concentrations for ecological receptors and the progression between screening steps and comprehensive risk assessment are also discussed.

  6. Use of Chesapeake Bay Restoration Goals Index in ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Biksey, T.

    1995-12-31

    Restoration goals for Chesapeake Bay benthic infaunal communities have been developed by the USEPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The Restoration Goals Index (RGI) includes measures that describe characteristics of benthic assemblages expected in habitats having little evidence of environmental stress or disturbance. The RGI includes parameters for biodiversity, life history strategy, subsurface activity, abundance, biomass, and feeding guild. Eight habitat classes were defined by salinity and sediment type to account for natural habitat variability. Ecological risk assessments use measurement endpoints as quantitative expressions of an observed or measured effect of an environmental stressor to evaluate assessment endpoints -- the ecological value to be protected. Many of the same expressions used as measurement endpoints or effect indicators are included in the RGI. The use of the RGI in ecological risk assessments conducted at the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown helped reduced the uncertainty in the risk characterization phase. The RGIs provided a reference condition for refining the natural temporal and spatial variability inherent in benthic infaunal communities. The significance of the risk to aquatic receptors was placed in perspective to the regional conditions in the York River and lower Chesapeake Bay ecosystems.

  7. 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.

  8. [Ecological risk assessment and its management of Bailongjiang watershed, southern Gansu based on landscape pattern].

    PubMed

    Gong, Jie; Zhao, Cai-Xia; Xie, Yu-Chu; Gao, Yan-Jing

    2014-07-01

    Watershed ecological risk assessment is an important research subject of watershed ecological protection and environmental management. Research on the ecological risk focuses on addressing the influence of human activities and its spatial variation at watershed scale is vital to policy-making to control the impact of human activity and protocols for sustainable economic and societal development. A comprehensive ecological environment index, incorporating a landscape index and an assessment of ecological vulnerability, was put forward to assess the spatio-temporal characteristics of ecological risk of the Bailongjiang watershed, southern Gansu Province, Northwest China. Using ArcGIS and Fragstats software and a land use map of 2010, an ecological risk map was obtained through spatial sampling and disjunctive Kriging interpolation. The results indicated that there were some obvious spatial differences of ecological risk levels in the watershed. The ecological risk level of the north and northwest of the Bailongjiang was higher than that of the western and southern extremities of the watershed. Ecological risk index (ERI) of Wudu and Tanchang was higher than that of Wenxian and Diebu. Some measures for ecological risk management were put forward on the basis of ERI of Bailongjiang watershed. To strengthen the integrated management of human activities and land use in the watershed, to carry out the vegetation restoration and ecological reconstruction, and to reduce the ecological risks and hazards of irrational human disturbance, are vital to the realization 'multiple-win' of the economic, social and ecological protection and for the sustainable development in the hilly area in southern Gansu.

  9. METHODOLOGY FOR THE EVALUATION OF CUMULATIVE EPISODIC EXPOSURE TO CHEMICAL STRESSORS IN AQUATIC RISK ASSESSMENT.

    EPA Science Inventory

    An ecological risk assessment method was developed to evaluate the magnitude, duration, and episodic nature of chemical stressors on aquatic communities. The percent of an ecosystem's species at risk from a designated chemical exposure scenario is generated. In effects assessment...

  10. METHODOLOGY FOR THE EVALUATION OF CUMULATIVE EPISODIC EXPOSURE TO CHEMICAL STRESSORS IN AQUATIC RISK ASSESSMENT.

    EPA Science Inventory

    An ecological risk assessment method was developed to evaluate the magnitude, duration, and episodic nature of chemical stressors on aquatic communities. The percent of an ecosystem's species at risk from a designated chemical exposure scenario is generated. In effects assessment...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Haloacetic acids in the aquatic environment. Part II: ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Mark L; Solomon, Keith R

    2004-08-01

    Haloacetic acids (HAAs) are environmental contaminants found in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world as a result of both anthropogenic and natural production. The ecological risk posed by these compounds to organisms in freshwater environments, with a specific focus on aquatic macrophytes, was characterized. The plants evaluated were Lemna gibba, Myriophyllum spicatum and M. sibiricum and the HAAs screened were monochloroacetic acid (MCA), dichloroacetic acid (DCA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and chlorodifluoroacetic acid (CDFA). Laboratory toxicity data formed the basis of the risk assessment, but field studies were also utilized. The estimated risk was calculated using hazard quotients (HQ), as well as effect measure distributions (EMD) in a modified probabilistic ecological risk assessment. EMDs were used to estimate HAA thresholds of toxicity for use in HQ assessments. This threshold was found to be a more sensitive measure of low toxicity than the no observed effect concentrations (NOEC) or the effective concentration (EC10). Using both deterministic and probabilistic methods, it was found that HAAs do not pose a significant risk to freshwater macrophytes at current environmental concentrations in Canada, Europe or Africa for both single compound and mixture exposures. Still, HAAs are generally found as mixtures and their potential interactions are not fully understood, rendering this phase of the assessment uncertain and justifying further effects characterization. TCA in some environments poses a slight risk to phytoplankton and future concentrations of TFA and CDFA are likely to increase due to their recalcitrant nature, warranting continued environmental surveillance of HAAs.

  14. Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to Evaluate Current Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Marszalek, Jolanta; Morgulec-Adamowicz, Natalia; Rutkowska, Izabela; Kosmol, Andrzej

    2014-01-01

    Objective. The purpose of this study was to assess the value of ecological momentary assessment in evaluating physical activity among children, adolescents, and adults. It also determines whether ecological momentary assessment fulfills the criteria of validity, reliability, objectivity, norms, and standardization applied to the tools used for the evaluation of physical activity. Methods. The EBSCO-CINHAL, Medline, PsycINFO, PubMed, and SPORTDiscuss databases were reviewed in December 2012 for articles associated with EMA. Results. Of the 20 articles examined, half (10) used electronic methods for data collection, although various methods were used, ranging from pen and paper to smartphone applications. Ten studies used objective monitoring equipment. Nineteen studies were performed over 4 days. While the validity of the EMA method was discussed in 18 studies, only four found it to be objective. In all cases, the EMA procedures were precisely documented and confirmed to be feasible. Conclusions. Ecological momentary assessment is a valid, reliable, and feasible approach to evaluate activity and sedentary behavior. Researchers should be aware that while ecological momentary assessment offers many benefits, it simultaneously imposes many limitations which should be considered when studying physical activity. PMID:25126580

  15. Ecological risk assessment of TBT in Ise Bay.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Joji; Yonezawa, Yoshitaka; Nakata, Kisaburo; Horiguchi, Fumio

    2009-02-01

    An ecological risk assessment of tributyltin (TBT) in Ise Bay was conducted using the margin of exposure (MOE) method. The assessment endpoint was defined to protect the survival, growth and reproduction of marine organisms. Sources of TBT in this study were assumed to be commercial vessels in harbors and navigation routes. Concentrations of TBT in Ise Bay were estimated using a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model, an ecosystem model and a chemical fate model. Estimated MOEs for marine organisms for 1990 and 2008 were approximately 0.1-2.0 and over 100 respectively, indicating a declining temporal trend in the probability of adverse effects. The chemical fate model predicts a much longer persistence of TBT in sediments than in the water column. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor the harmful effects of TBT on benthic organisms.

  16. 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.

  17. Metaresearch for Evaluating Reproducibility in Ecology and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Fidler, Fiona; Chee, Yung En; Wintle, Bonnie C.; Burgman, Mark A.; McCarthy, Michael A.; Gordon, Ascelin

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Recent replication projects in other disciplines have uncovered disturbingly low levels of reproducibility, suggesting that those research literatures may contain unverifiable claims. The conditions contributing to irreproducibility in other disciplines are also present in ecology. These include a large discrepancy between the proportion of “positive” or “significant” results and the average statistical power of empirical research, incomplete reporting of sampling stopping rules and results, journal policies that discourage replication studies, and a prevailing publish-or-perish research culture that encourages questionable research practices. We argue that these conditions constitute sufficient reason to systematically evaluate the reproducibility of the evidence base in ecology and evolution. In some cases, the direct replication of ecological research is difficult because of strong temporal and spatial dependencies, so here, we propose metaresearch projects that will provide proxy measures of reproducibility. PMID:28596617

  18. Ecological evaluation of artificial soils treated with phosphogypsum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yakovlev, A. S.; Kaniskin, M. A.; Terekhova, V. A.

    2013-06-01

    An attempt to set up ecologically acceptable concentrations of toxic components contained in phosphogypsum was made for soils of different land uses. For this purpose, an experimental ecological evaluation of a standard soil mixture (model artificial soil ISO 11268-1) treated with phosphogypsum was performed. Both positive and negative effects of the phosphogypsum components were found. Thus, a significant increase in the biomass of lawn grasses was observed in the model soil with the phosphogypsum content of less than 3.3%. In the soil containing more than 6.8% phosphogypsum, the concentrations of Sr and F exceeded the maximum permissible values and adversely affected the living organisms. According to the basic ecological norms, the allowable content of phosphogypsum should be ≤2.0% for the soils of specially protected natural areas; ≤6.8% for agricultural and urban soils; and ≤9.6% for the soils of forest, water management, and transport lands.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Yangtze River: the potential ecological risk of heavy metals in sediment from 1996 to 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Xinyu; Xu, Lina; Dai, Yanhui

    2017-04-01

    The Yangtze River is a typical river basin in China. As the third largest river in the world and closely related to the life of 4 hundred million people, the Yangtze River has attracted much attention. The heavy metal content of sediments is an important part to evaluate the heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystem. In this work, seven kinds of heavy metals including Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn, Cr, Cd and As were selected as the research objects, and the potential ecological risk index method was selected as the analysis method. Based on the results on the investigations of heavy metals in Yangtze River sediments in recent 20 years that we could find until 2016, we conducted a collection and analysis. The results showed that the potential ecological risk of these seven heavy metals in the Yangtze River Basin in the past 20 years had a low level. In addition, the ecological risk factors of Cd and Hg were significantly higher than other heavy metals, which should be paid attention in the future management and control work.

  4. Ecological risk assessment of sediment management areas: application to Sado Estuary, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Caeiro, Sandra; Costa, Maria Helena; DelValls, Angel; Repolho, Tiago; Gonçalves, Margarida; Mosca, Alice; Coimbra, Ana Paula; Ramos, Tomás B; Painho, Marco

    2009-11-01

    The purpose of this work was to integrate different methodologies to assess the potential ecological risk of estuarine sedimentary management areas, using the Sado Estuary in Portugal as case study. To evaluate the environmental risk of sediment contamination, an integrative and innovative approach was used involving assessment of sediment chemistry, sediment toxicity, benthic community structure, human driving forces and pressures and management areas organic load levels. The basis for decision-making for overall assessment was a statistical multivariate analysis appended into a score matrix tables, using a best expert judgment. The integrated approach allowed to identify from the 19 management areas analyzed, three with no risk but other three with high risk to cause adverse effects in the biota, related with the contaminants analyzed. The methodologies used showed to be effective as a support for decision making leading to future estuarine management recommendations.

  5. Ecological risk assessment: An amalgam of populist politics and science-based technology

    SciTech Connect

    Kapustka, L.A.; Fairbrother, A.; Williams, B.A.; Bennett, R.S.

    1995-12-31

    The United States is embroiled in a contentious political debate over the merits, capabilities, and manipulation of Risk Assessments as part of environmental regulation and management. Much of the debate focuses on the scientific basis of risk assessment as if SCIENCE were the dominant force in the process. But is that assumption valid? The science community continues to improve methods and procedures to characterize exposure and predict consequences. Guidelines for developing exposure models, fate and transport mechanisms, data management systems, and statistical tools are emerging in many professional arenas. These efforts can advance the technical features of risk assessment and will increase the likelihood of getting more uniform and consistent analyses but will the products be relevant? Confusion over social values and compromises of scientific principles can easily confound the risk assessment process in ways that diminish the quality of risk estimates and frustrate risk communication. This paper will examine the parallels between risk assessment and the scientific process to illustrate the boundaries of the scientific-technical aspects of the risk assessment process. Key risk assessment issues including exposure assumptions, assessment (safety) factors, deterministic models, and ecological paradigms will be evaluated against Judge Overton`s criteria of science. Clearly identifying what parts are science versus what parts are political/social constructs should, in the long run, improve risk assessment, management, and communication.

  6. Potential ecological and human health risks of heavy metals in surface soils associated with iron ore mining in Pahang, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Diami, Siti Merryan; Kusin, Faradiella Mohd; Madzin, Zafira

    2016-10-01

    The composition of heavy metals (and metalloid) in surface soils of iron ore mine-impacted areas has been evaluated of their potential ecological and human health risks. The mining areas included seven selected locations in the vicinity of active and abandoned iron ore-mining sites in Pahang, Malaysia. Heavy metals such as Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Co, Pb, Cr, Ni, and Cd and metalloid As were present in the mining soils of the studied area, while Cu was found exceeding the soil guideline value at all sampling locations. However, the assessment of the potential ecological risk index (RI) indicated low ecological risk (RI between 44 and 128) with respect to Cd, Pb, Cu, As, Zn, Co, and Ni in the surface soils. Contributions of potential ecological risk [Formula: see text]by metal elements to the total potential ecological RI were evident for Cd, As, Pb, and Cu. Contribution of Cu appears to be consistently greater in the abandoned mining area compared to active iron ore-mining site. For non-carcinogenic risk, no significant potential health risk was found to both children and adults as the hazard indices (HIs) were all below than 1. The lifetime cancer risk (LCR) indicated that As has greater potential carcinogenic risk compared to other metals that may induce carcinogenic effects such as Pb, Cr, and Cd, while the LCR of As for children fell within tolerable range for regulatory purposes. Irrespective of carcinogenic or non-carcinogenic risk, greater potential health risk was found among children (by an order of magnitude higher for most metals) compared to adults. The hazard quotient (HQ) and cancer risk indicated that the pathways for the risk to occur were found to be in the order of ingestion > dermal > inhalation. Overall, findings showed that some metals and metalloid were still present at comparable concentrations even long after cessation of the iron ore-mining activities.

  7. Refuse and the 'Risk Society': The Political Ecology of Risk in Inter-war Britain.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Timothy; Bulmer, Sarah

    2013-05-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Ranking ecological risks of multiple chemical stressors on amphibians.

    PubMed

    Fedorenkova, Anastasia; Vonk, J Arie; Lenders, H J Rob; Creemers, Raymond C M; Breure, Anton M; Hendriks, A Jan

    2012-06-01

    Populations of amphibians have been declining worldwide since the late 1960s. Despite global concern, no studies have quantitatively assessed the major causes of this decline. In the present study, species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were developed to analyze the sensitivity of anurans for ammonium, nitrate, heavy metals (cadmium, copper), pesticides (18 compounds), and acidification (pH) based on laboratory toxicity data. Ecological risk (ER) was calculated as the probability that a measured environmental concentration of a particular stressor in habitats where anurans were observed would exceed the toxic effect concentrations derived from the species sensitivity distributions. The assessment of ER was used to rank the stressors according to their potential risk to anurans based on a case study of Dutch freshwater bodies. The derived ERs revealed that threats to populations of anurans decreased in the sequence of pH, copper, diazinon, ammonium, and endosulfan. Other stressors studied were of minor importance. The method of deriving ER by combining field observation data and laboratory data provides insight into potential threats to species in their habitats and can be used to prioritize stressors, which is necessary to achieve effective management in amphibian conservation.

  12. Valuing ecosystem services in terms of ecological risks and returns.

    PubMed

    Abson, David J; Termansen, Mette

    2011-04-01

    The economic valuation of ecosystem services is a key policy tool in stemming losses of biological diversity. It is proposed that the loss of ecosystem function and the biological resources within ecosystems is due in part to the failure of markets to recognize the benefits humans derive from ecosystems. Placing monetary values on ecosystem services is often suggested as a necessary step in correcting such market failures. We consider the effects of valuing different types of ecosystem services within an economic framework. We argue that provisioning and regulating ecosystem services are generally produced and consumed in ways that make them amenable to economic valuation. The values associated with cultural ecosystem services lie outside the domain of economic valuation, but their worth may be expressed through noneconomic, deliberative forms of valuation. We argue that supporting ecosystem services are not of direct value and that the losses of such services can be expressed in terms of the effects of their loss on the risk to the provision of the directly valued ecosystem services they support. We propose a heuristic framework that considers the relations between ecological risks and returns in the provision of ecosystem services. The proposed ecosystem-service valuation framework, which allows the expression of the value of all types of ecosystem services, calls for a shift from static, purely monetary valuation toward the consideration of trade-offs between the current flow of benefits from ecosystems and the ability of those ecosystems to provide future flows. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  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. 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...

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. Predicted no-effect concentrations for mercury species and ecological risk assessment for mercury pollution in aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Du, Meng; Wei, Dongbin; Tan, Zhuowei; Lin, Aiwu; Du, Yuguo

    2015-02-01

    Mercury (Hg) exists in different chemical forms presenting varied toxic potentials. It is necessary to explore an ecological risk assessment method for different mercury species in aquatic environment. The predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for Hg(II) and methyl mercury (MeHg) in the aqueous phase, calculated using the species sensitivity distribution method and the assessment factor method, were 0.39 and 6.5×10(-3)μg/L, respectively. The partition theory of Hg between sediment and aqueous phases was considered, along with PNECs for the aqueous phase to conduct an ecological risk assessment for Hg in the sediment phase. Two case studies, one in China and one in the Western Black Sea, were conducted using these PNECs. The toxicity of mercury is heavily dependent on their forms, and their potential ecological risk should be respectively evaluated on the basis of mercury species. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Mapping ecological risks with a portfolio-based technique: incorporating uncertainty and decision-making preferences

    Treesearch

    Denys Yemshanov; Frank H. Koch; Mark Ducey; Klaus Koehler

    2013-01-01

    Geographic mapping of risks is a useful analytical step in ecological risk assessments and in particular, in analyses aimed to estimate risks associated with introductions of invasive organisms. In this paper, we approach invasive species risk mapping as a portfolio allocation problem and apply techniques from decision theory to build an invasion risk map that combines...

  2. 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...

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

  8. Ecological evaluation of oil-contaminated soils (Sakhalin) using enchytraeidae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovaleva, E. I.; Yakovlev, A. S.; Nikolaenko (Kegiyan), M. G.; Makarov, A. O.; Makarov, A. A.

    2017-03-01

    The ecological status of oil-contaminated soils of Sakhalin and their background analogues has been evaluated with the use of soil invertebrates. The survival rates of Enchytraeus albidus in soils with different textures and the contents of organic carbon and nutrients have been compared. The indicative role of soil mesofauna ( Enchytraeus albidus) for the ecological evaluation of oil-contaminated soils with due account for their properties has been shown. The permissible residual concentration of oil hydrocarbons in some soils of Sakhalin—acid brown forest soils (Umbrisols), high-moor peat soils (Histosols), acid meadow alluvial soils (Fluvisols), cultivated meadow soddy soils (Anthrosols), and mucky-podzolic surface-gleyed soils (Gleysols)— has been determined from data on the response of Enchytraeus albidus to different levels of the soil contamination with oil hydrocarbons.

  9. Restoration ecology: longterm evaluation as an essential feature of rehabilitation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gannon, John E.

    1993-01-01

    In its brief existence as a recognized scientific discipline, restoration ecology has focused almost exclusively on terrestrial and wetland habitat. As a consequence, aquatic restoration and rehabilitation, an important component of restoration ecology is a relatively new discipline. This article examines the ecosystem approach to rehabilitation of the Great Lakes Basin and proposes that waterfront redevlopment and terrestrial and wetland habitat restoration should be accompanied by aquatic habitat restoration. Furthermore, aquatic habitat restoration must include rehabilitation of hard-bottom substrates and structures as well as pollution cleanup and management of soft sediments. Lastly, the article suggests that longterm evaluation is indispensable for aquatic habitat restoration and rehabiliation to be truly successful in the Great Lakes region. Only through longterm evaluation can we determine whether habitat restoration goals have been met at specific sites and transfer successful lessons learned at other locations.

  10. 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.

  11. Ecological risk perception in the societies in transition: Case study of Baltic States

    SciTech Connect

    Klavins, M.; Cimdins, P.; Rodinov, V.

    1994-12-31

    The state of the environment and human health in countries that arise after the collapse of the USSR in influenced by different factors. The heritage of the previous regime can be characterized with a high environmental pollution level. However the transition from centrally planned to a free market economy is accompanied not only with changes in the political and social system, but also with changes in attitudes and in environmental values. All these processes have been analyzed on example of Baltic states analyzing the changes in ecological risk perception in societies of different economical and political structure. The ecological risk perception at first is associated with education level, especially regarding environmental education. However another important aspect is the perception of ecological risk at level of state policy. Just now this aspect can be regarded as the most important factor in ecological risk perception. Surprisingly low is the role of scientifical expertise in the ecological risk identification.

  12. Effects of urbanization expansion on landscape pattern and region ecological risk in Chinese coastal city: a case study of Yantai city.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Di; Shi, Ping; Wu, Xiaoqing; Ma, Jinwei; Yu, Junbao

    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 km(2) with average expansion area of 5.42 km(2) 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.

  13. 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

  14. Characterizing ecological risk for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in water from Lake Taihu, China.

    PubMed

    Guo, Guanghui; Wu, Fengchang; He, Hongping; Zhang, Ruiqing; Feng, Chenglian; Li, Huixian; Chang, Ming

    2012-11-01

    Lake Taihu provides vital ecological services for humans in China; it receives a great deal of attention regarding its ecological and environmental conditions. In this study, the ecological risks of eight individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water were assessed using probabilistic distributions of the hazard quotient based on Monte Carlo simulation. The results show that the 95th percentile of the hazard quotients ranged from 0.00074 to 2.831, and the ecological risk of Flua was highest, followed by, in descending order of risk, B[a]P > Pyr > Ant > Phe > Flu > Ace > Chr. The probabilities of hazard quotients exceeding a decision criteria of 0.3 were 18.09%, 6.51%, 3.76%, and 2.85% for Flua, B[a]P, Pyr, and Ant, respectively, indicating their potential ecological risks to aquatic organisms. The spatial distribution of hazard quotients for these four individual PAHs with potential ecological risk were obtained using Geographic Information System (GIS), and similar spatial distribution patterns were also observed in the lake. The highest ecological risks of these four individual PAHs to aquatic organisms were found in Meiliang Bay, followed by Gonghu Bay and Xukou Bay. The uncertainty within the ecological risk assessment was also discussed.

  15. Coupling biological measurement endpoints used in ecological risk assessment with chemical measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Goodrich, M.; Mahato, M.

    1995-12-31

    Collections of surface water, sediments, and the benthic community were made in support of an ecological risk assessment for a stream on a US Air Force base in Oklahoma. Over 250 chemicals were detected within water and sediments, of which over 30 of those screened were classified as chemicals of potential ecological concern (COPEC) based on available toxicity benchmarks. Many of the chemicals detected were clustered in specific samples and in various concentration combinations, To address the complexity of this mixture of chemicals and chemical concentrations, the results of 28-day chronic Hyalella azteca bulk sediment toxicity tests, early life-stage, 7-day fathead minnow toxicity tests, 7-day survival and reproduction results with Ceriodaphnia dubia, and benthic community indices (i.e. biotic index(ices), number of taxa, number of individuals) were evaluated for correlations and associations with the chemicals detected. The resultant evaluation was useful in discriminating those COPEC`s within the various samples that were associated and predictive of the observed ecological measurement endpoints. Additional parameters such as, sulfide analysis of the overlying water from the sediment samples, was enlightening especially regarding an apparent reversal of the correlation between metal concentrations and toxicity. Benthic community indices were also useful in evaluating relationships between chemical concentrations, toxicological effects and aquatic hazard quotients. The approach presented is believed to be superior to the triad approach based on its ability to address mixtures of chemicals and variable chemical concentrations in combination. The results of this evaluation were able to more concisely identify the COPEC`s as well as, establish a priority system and clarify the risk assessment in the context of the complexity of chemical mixtures.

  16. [Ecological function evaluation and related management strategies of river ecosystem in Taizi River basin, North China].

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong-Yan; Zhang, Yuan; Ma, Shu-Qin; Meng, Wei

    2013-10-01

    By the method of index evaluation at reach scale, this paper evaluated the ecological functions of aquatic biodiversity maintenance, habitat maintenance, water quality sustainment, and hydrological support of the river system in Taizi River basin of North China. The dominant ecological functions and the total ecological function were determined after sorting and summing. All the reaches in the basin were divided into four hierarchies of ecological functions. Overall, the total ecological function showed a spatially degrading trend from the mountainous region to the plain. Based on the evaluation results of the total function and dominant functions, six ecosystem management strategies were proposed. For the reaches with the functions of aquatic biodiversity- and habitat maintenance, the primary ecological management strategies included ecological conservation, ecological maintenance, and ecological restoration; for the reaches with the functions of water quality sustainment and hydrological support, the primary strategies of ecological management included limited development, development optimization, and exploitation.

  17. 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

    2015-11-06

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Ecological risk assessment in the United States environmental protection agency: a historical overview.

    PubMed

    Suter, Glenn W

    2008-07-01

    This is 1 of 4 papers from the US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board's Ecological Processes and Effects Committee workshop on the current and future practice of ecological risk assessment. The workshop was held in Washington, DC in February 2006. Risk assessment originated with the insurance industry and spread to the estimation of risks to people and property in other contexts, including the regulation of environmental contamination. Ecological assessment became an important component of environmental management in the United States with the legal mandate for environmental impact assessment in 1970. Risk assessment and ecological assessment merged in the 1980s to form ecological risk assessment (ERA). Since then, ERA has been institutionalized with the development of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (hereafter, USEPA or Agency) framework and guidance documents. Ecological risk assessment has been adapted by the Agency's program offices to fit their legal and policy contexts. The future of ERA will inevitably include the incorporation of more complex and demanding methods. However, the biggest challenge for future risk assessors will be to make ecological risks more compelling to decision makers.

  20. Quantifying reduction in ecological risk in Penrhyn Estuary, Sydney, Australia, following groundwater remediation.

    PubMed

    Hunt, James; Birch, Gavin; Warne, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The environmental risk associated with discharge of contaminated groundwater containing a complex mixture of at least 14 volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons (VCHs) to Penrhyn Estuary, Sydney, Australia has previously been assessed. That probabilistic ecological risk assessment (ERA) was undertaken using surface water monitoring data from 2004 to 2005. Subsequently, in 2006, a groundwater remediation system was installed and commissioned to prevent further discharge of VCHs into the estuary. The present study assessed the ecological risk posed to the estuary after 2006 to evaluate the success of the remediation system. The ERA was undertaken using toxicity data derived from direct toxicity assessment (DTA) of preremediation contaminated groundwater using indigenous species, exposure data from surface water monitoring between 2007 and 2008 and the joint probability curve (JPC) methodology. The risk posed was measured in 4 zones of the entire site: source area (2), tributary (2), the inner estuary and outer estuary at high, low, and a combination of high and low tides. In the 2 source areas, risk decreased by over 2 and over 1 orders of magnitude to maximum values of less than 0.5%. In 1 estuary, risk decreased by over 1 order of magnitude, from a maximum of 36% to a maximum of 2.3%. At the other tributary and both the inner and outer estuaries, the risk decreased to less than 1%, regardless of the tide. This analysis revealed that the remediation system was very effective and that the standard level of protection required for slightly to moderately affected ecosystems (95% of species) by the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality was met postremediation.

  1. [Distribution, sources and ecological risk assessment of polychlorinated biphenyl in sediments from Songhua River Basin].

    PubMed

    Nie, Hai-Feng; Zhao, Chuan-Dong; Liu, Ying-Han; Peng, Min; Li, Kuo; Yang, Ke; Liu, Fei

    2012-10-01

    In order to find out the distribution, source and pollution situation of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in sediments of Songhua River basin, GC-ECD and GC-MS were used to determine the PCBs contents in sediments of Songhua River basin. Regulations of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Canadian Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQG) and the potential ecological risk index (Er) were utilized to evaluate the ecological risk of PCBs in the sediments. The results showed that 2-10 PCBs congeners were detected in the sediments. The total contents of PCBs varied from 0.83 ng x g(-1) to 125.53 ng x g(-1) in sediments of Songhua river basin, 0.83-4.44 ng x g(-1) for Nen River, 12.44-125.53 ng x g(-1) for Second Songhua River, and 1.74-6.25 ng x g(-1) for the mainstream of Songhua River. The highest level of PCBs was detected in sediments of Second Songhua River, which mainly came from pollution sources which are related with industrial products such as paint, insulation materials and the like, and were distributed along the river. While in other rivers, the dominant PCB was Dichlorobiphenyl, which mainly came from the atmospheric deposition. Risk assessment using three methods (EPA, SQG and Er) showed that PCBs in the sediment of the Second Songhua River has already reached the medium to high level of contamination, and PCBs in sediments of other rivers has no ecological risks at the moment.

  2. 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.

  3. [Sources, pollution statue and potential ecological risk of heavy metals in surface sediments of Aibi Lake, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhao-Yong; Abuduwaili, Jilili; Jiang, Feng-Qing

    2015-02-01

    In this paper, the surface sediment samples were harvested from Aibi Lake, and total contents of 8 heavy metals ( Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Hg, Cr, Ni and Cd) were determined. Then the sources, pollution statue, and potential ecological risk were analyzed by using multiple analysis methods. The results show that: (1) The order of the skewness for these 8 heavy metals is: Hg > Cd > Pb > Zn > As > Cu > Cr > Ni. (2) Multivariate statistical analysis shows that 8 heavy metals can be classified to 2 principle components, among which PC1 ( Cd, Pb, Hg and Zn) is man-made source factor and mainly came from all kinds of waste of agriculture; PC2 ( Cu, Ni, Cr and As) is natural source and was mainly controlled by the background of the natural geography of this area. (3) Accumulation of index evaluation results show that the order of pollution degree values of 8 heavy metals in surface sediments of Aibi Lake is: Cd > Hg > Pb > Zn > As > Cu > Ni > Cr. In all samples, heavy metals Hg, Cd and Pb all belong to low and partial moderate pollution statue, while Zn, As, Cr, Ni and Cu belong to no pollution statue in majority samples. (4) Potential ecological risk assessment results show that the potential ecological risk of heavy metals in surface sediments of Aibi Lake mainly caused by Cd, Hg and Pb, and they accounting for 42.6%, 28.6% and 24.0% of the total amount, respectively, among which Cd is the main ecological risk factor, followed by Hg and Pb. In all samples, the potential ecological risk index values (RI) of 8 heavy metals are all lower than 150, and they are all at low ecological risk levels. However, this research also shows that there have high content of Cd and Pb in the sediment. Therefore, we should make long-term monitoring of the lake environment.

  4. System dynamic modelling to assess economic viability and risk trade-offs for ecological restoration in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Crookes, D J; Blignaut, J N; de Wit, M P; Esler, K J; Le Maitre, D C; Milton, S J; Mitchell, S A; Cloete, J; de Abreu, P; Fourie nee Vlok, H; Gull, K; Marx, D; Mugido, W; Ndhlovu, T; Nowell, M; Pauw, M; Rebelo, A

    2013-05-15

    Can markets assist by providing support for ecological restoration, and if so, under what conditions? The first step in addressing this question is to develop a consistent methodology for economic evaluation of ecological restoration projects. A risk analysis process was followed in which a system dynamics model was constructed for eight diverse case study sites where ecological restoration is currently being pursued. Restoration costs vary across each of these sites, as do the benefits associated with restored ecosystem functioning. The system dynamics model simulates the ecological, hydrological and economic benefits of ecological restoration and informs a portfolio mapping exercise where payoffs are matched against the likelihood of success of a project, as well as a number of other factors (such as project costs and risk measures). This is the first known application that couples ecological restoration with system dynamics and portfolio mapping. The results suggest an approach that is able to move beyond traditional indicators of project success, since the effect of discounting is virtually eliminated. We conclude that systems dynamic modelling with portfolio mapping can guide decisions on when markets for restoration activities may be feasible.

  5. 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

  6. [National immunization day evaluation in Colombia, 2001: an ecological approach].

    PubMed

    Rojas, Jaid C; Prieto, Franklyn E

    2004-01-01

    To determine OPV coverage impact of the 2001 national immunization day in different geographic regions and its association with the Unsatisified Basic Needs Index (NBI), forced displacement and armed conflict. This is an analytical ecological study of multiple groups using multilevel observation units such as region, department, province and municipality. A bivariate analysis with difference between proportions between paired samples (McNemar test), estimation of OR, lineal regression and relative risk determination (Morgenstern) was carried out. In addition, protected and susceptible populations in each observation unit were compared. The OPV3 coverage increase between October and December, 2001, was 15 to 19% (p<0.05) and the final coverage was 78-84%. The provincial analysis demonstrated a 25.8% of total population with OPV3 coverage greater than 95%. An increase of 4 to 7 departments and 281 to 328 cities with at least 95% coverage (p<0.05) was observed. The risk of having incomplete immunization schedules decreased in armed conflict zones, remained stable in areas with high NBI and increased in areas with a high proportion of displaced families. The booster goal of the OPV had reached a median of 61%. The national immunization day diminished immunization access barriers for children under 5 years. The analysis of different geographic units controls the effect of the unknown population denominators. The ecological studies improved routine data analysis.

  7. Ecological risk of pesticide residues in the British Columbia environment: 1973-2012.

    PubMed

    Wan, Michael T

    2013-01-01

    An updated ecological risk assessment was conducted to re-evaluate and review the overall risk of pesticide residues to certain aquatic life. The focus was the impact on offsite non-target, freshwater organisms of pesticide operational sprays in British Columbia from 1973 until 2012. The values of risk quotients for pesticides of selected indicator organisms were determined to measure the effect. When compared with organophosphorus, carbamate, and other miscellaneous pesticides, this risk assessment analysis suggests that the historical use of persistent and highly toxic organochlorine pesticides posed, and continue to pose, a deleterious ecological risk. The risk is both short-term acute and long-term sub-acute, chronic toxicity to offsite, non-target aquatic invertebrates and juvenile salmonid fish. Data indicated that these organisms were, and remain, subjected to harmful effects of pesticide residues to varying degrees. Most vulnerable were, and also are, benthic organisms inhabiting bottom sediments. This substrate is the natural sink for persistent pesticide residues, predominantly organochlorine pesticides from historical use, as well as dioxins, furans, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from wood preservatives, and other sources. Environment Canada's main aquatic protection strategy was a 10 metre no-treatment buffer zone, augmented with an additional appropriate setback along shorelines of fishery and wildlife resource-sensitive water bodies. This study discusses why this guideline was necessary, useful and effective, but was only partially successful. The physical-chemical properties of pesticide residues, from either an individual compound or different compounds in combination, also influence the nature of biological impacts on non-target, aquatic organisms. Few studies have been conducted in British Columbia aquatic environments to investigate the significance of this aspect.

  8. 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

  9. 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

    2016-03-31

    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.

  10. Preliminary systems engineering evaluations for the National Ecological Observatory Network.

    SciTech Connect

    Robertson, Perry J.; Kottenstette, Richard Joseph; Crouch, Shannon M.; Brocato, Robert Wesley; Zak, Bernard Daniel; Osborn, Thor D.; Ivey, Mark D.; Gass, Karl Leslie; Heller, Edwin J.; Dishman, James Larry; Schubert, William Kent; Zirzow, Jeffrey A.

    2008-11-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is an ambitious National Science Foundation sponsored project intended to accumulate and disseminate ecologically informative sensor data from sites among 20 distinct biomes found within the United States and Puerto Rico over a period of at least 30 years. These data are expected to provide valuable insights into the ecological impacts of climate change, land-use change, and invasive species in these various biomes, and thereby provide a scientific foundation for the decisions of future national, regional, and local policy makers. NEON's objectives are of substantial national and international importance, yet they must be achieved with limited resources. Sandia National Laboratories was therefore contracted to examine four areas of significant systems engineering concern; specifically, alternatives to commercial electrical utility power for remote operations, approaches to data acquisition and local data handling, protocols for secure long-distance data transmission, and processes and procedures for the introduction of new instruments and continuous improvement of the sensor network. The results of these preliminary systems engineering evaluations are presented, with a series of recommendations intended to optimize the efficiency and probability of long-term success for the NEON enterprise.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Ecological risk assessment and its application to elasmobranch conservation and management.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, A J; Kyne, P M; Hammerschlag, N

    2012-04-01

    Ecological risk assessments (ERAs) are employed to quantify and predict the vulnerability of a particular species, stock or population to a specific stressor, e.g. pollution, harvesting, climate change, by-catch. Data generated from ERAs are used to identify and prioritize species for implementation of effective conservation and management strategies. At this time, ERAs are of particular importance to elasmobranchs, given the ecological importance and documented global population declines of some elasmobranch species. Here, ERAs as a tool for elasmobranch conservation and management are reviewed and a theoretical roadmap provided for future studies. To achieve these goals, a brief history of ERAs and approaches used within them (in the context of elasmobranchs) are given, and a comprehensive review conducted of all ERA studies associated with elasmobranchs published between 1998 and 2011. The hazards assessed, species evaluated and methodological approaches taken are recorded. Chronological and geographical patterns suggest that this tool has grown in popularity as a commercial fishery management instrument, while also signalling a recent precautionary approach to elasmobranch management in commercial fisheries globally. The analysis demonstrates that the predominant parameters incorporated in previous ERAs are largely based on life-history characteristics, and sharks have received the majority of attention; batoids (including skates) have received less attention. Recreational fishing and habitat degradation are discussed as hazards which warrant future investigation through ERA. Lastly, suggestions are made for incorporating descriptive ecological data to aid in the continued development and evolution of this management tool as it applies to future elasmobranch conservation.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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,...

  18. 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,...

  19. Ecological risk assessment of the Assaluyeh and Bassatin estuaries (northern Persian Gulf) using sediment quality indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davoodi, Hamid; Gharibreza, Mohammadreza; Negarestan, Hossein; Mortazavi, Mohammad Sedigh; Lak, Razieh

    2017-06-01

    The Assaluyeh and Bassatin estuaries are located in Nayband Bay in the northern Persian Gulf, which faces long-term contamination and ecological risks. The research objectives of this study were designed to assess the ecological risks for human health and aquatic life and to evaluate impacts on environmental changes. Accordingly, an index analysis approach (using the contamination factor Cf, contamination degree Cd, potential ecological risk factor for individual metals Er, and potential ecological risk index for the basin, RI) in conjunction with the enrichment factor (Ef) and sediment quality levels (comprised of the threshold effect level, TEL, the probable effect level, PEL, and the effects range medium, ERM) were employed. In total, 147 sediment samples were tested to determine the content of organic matter and sulfur, as well as the concentrations of terrestrial and rare earth elements (REEs) and toxic metals, namely As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni and Hg, using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Gulf War oil spills in addition to oil and gas industries of the Pars South Especial Economic Zone (PSEEZ) were identified as the primary source of pollution in the study area. Gulf War contamination in the study area is highlighted by increased levels of Cd and RI at key horizons at 29 cm, 35 cm and 49 cm depth in the sedimentary columns of the Assaluyeh and Bassatin estuaries and Gavbandi River, respectively. Adverse effects of PSEEZ were revealed by increasing concentrations of toxic metals, P and S in the top 25-30 cm of the sedimentary columns. As a result, superficial sediments have been severely polluted by As, Ni, Cd, Cu and Cr, while the entire sedimentary column of the Assaluyeh estuary has been polluted by Hg. Based on the locations of the key horizons, the sedimentation rates of the previous decade at the Assaluyeh and Bassatin estuaries and the Gavbandi River were calculated to be 1.26 cm, 1.52 cm, and 2.13 cm, respectively. The

  20. Organism and population-level ecological models for chemical risk assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment typically focuses on animal populations as endpoints for regulatory ecotoxicology. Scientists at USEPA are developing models for animal populations exposed to a wide range of chemicals from pesticides to emerging contaminants. Modeled taxa include aquat...

  1. 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.

  2. Ecological risk analysis and genetically modified salmon: management in the face of uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Darek T R

    2014-02-01

    The commercialization of growth hormone transgenic Atlantic salmon for aquaculture has become a controversial public policy issue. Concerns exist over the potential ecological effects of this biotechnology should animals escape captivity. From within an ecological risk-analysis framework, science has been sought to provide decision makers with evidence upon which to base regulatory decisions pertaining to genetically modified salmon. Here I review the available empirical information on the potential ecological and genetic effects of transgenic salmon and discuss the underlying eco-evolutionary science behind the topic. I conclude that data gaps and irreducible epistemic uncertainties limit the role of scientific inference in support of ecological risk management for transgenic salmon. I argue that predictive uncertainties are pervasive in complex eco-evolutionary systems and that it behooves those involved in the risk-analysis process to accept and communicate these limitations in the interest of timely, clear, and cautious risk-management options.

  3. Organism and population-level ecological models for chemical risk assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment typically focuses on animal populations as endpoints for regulatory ecotoxicology. Scientists at USEPA are developing models for animal populations exposed to a wide range of chemicals from pesticides to emerging contaminants. Modeled taxa include aquat...

  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.

  5. 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,…

  6. 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,…

  7. Environmental management: Integrating ecological evaluation, remediation, restoration, natural resource damage assessment and long-term stewardship on contaminated lands

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna

    2014-01-01

    Ecological evaluation is essential for remediation, restoration, and Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), and forms the basis for many management practices. These include determining status and trends of biological, physical, or chemical/radiological conditions, conducting environmental impact assessments, performing remedial actions should remediation fail, managing ecosystems and wildlife, and assessing the efficacy of remediation, restoration, and long-term stewardship. The objective of this paper is to explore the meanings of these assessments, examine the relationships among them, and suggest methods of integration that will move environmental management forward. While remediation, restoration, and NRDA, among others, are often conducted separately, it is important to integrate them for contaminated land where the risks to ecoreceptors (including humans) can be high, and the potential damage to functioning ecosystems great. Ecological evaluations can range from inventories of local plants and animals, determinations of reproductive success of particular species, levels of contaminants in organisms, kinds and levels of effects, and environmental impact assessments, to very formal ecological risk assessments for a chemical or other stressor. Such evaluations can range from the individual species to populations, communities, ecosystems or the landscape scale. Ecological evaluations serve as the basis for making decisions about the levels and kinds of remediation, the levels and kinds of restoration possible, and the degree and kinds of natural resource injuries that have occurred because of contamination. Many different disciplines are involved in ecological evaluation, including biologists, conservationists, foresters, restoration ecologists, ecological engineers, economists, hydrologist, and geologists. Since ecological evaluation forms the basis for so many different types of environmental management, it seems reasonable to integrate management options

  8. Environmental management: integrating ecological evaluation, remediation, restoration, natural resource damage assessment and long-term stewardship on contaminated lands.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna

    2008-08-01

    Ecological evaluation is essential for remediation, restoration, and Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), and forms the basis for many management practices. These include determining status and trends of biological, physical, or chemical/radiological conditions, conducting environmental impact assessments, performing remedial actions should remediation fail, managing ecosystems and wildlife, and assessing the efficacy of remediation, restoration, and long-term stewardship. The objective of this paper is to explore the meanings of these assessments, examine the relationships among them, and suggest methods of integration that will move environmental management forward. While remediation, restoration, and NRDA, among others, are often conducted separately, it is important to integrate them for contaminated land where the risks to ecoreceptors (including humans) can be high, and the potential damage to functioning ecosystems great. Ecological evaluations can range from inventories of local plants and animals, determinations of reproductive success of particular species, levels of contaminants in organisms, kinds and levels of effects, and environmental impact assessments, to very formal ecological risk assessments for a chemical or other stressor. Such evaluations can range from the individual species to populations, communities, ecosystems or the landscape scale. Ecological evaluations serve as the basis for making decisions about the levels and kinds of remediation, the levels and kinds of restoration possible, and the degree and kinds of natural resource injuries that have occurred because of contamination. Many different disciplines are involved in ecological evaluation, including biologists, conservationists, foresters, restoration ecologists, ecological engineers, economists, hydrologist, and geologists. Since ecological evaluation forms the basis for so many different types of environmental management, it seems reasonable to integrate management options

  9. Evaluation of Ecological Momentary Assessment for Tinnitus Severity.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Rachel L; Piccirillo, Marilyn L; Nicklaus, Joyce; Skillington, Andrew; Lenze, Eric; Rodebaugh, Thomas L; Kallogjeri, Dorina; Piccirillo, Jay F

    2017-07-01

    Existing patient-reported outcome measures of tinnitus assess the severity and disability retrospectively, which may result in adequate reliability, but cannot capture the fluctuating and individualized nature of tinnitus. Experience sampling may provide an alternative. To use an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to measure tinnitus disability and associated constructs. Forty adults with tinnitus provided self-report of their tinnitus bother using 5 questions measured by EMA, as well as standard retrospective outcome measures. In this 6-week longitudinal observational study conducted from July 15 to December 22, 2014, participants provided EMA data for 2 weeks (part 1); then after a 2-week break, they provided EMA data for an additional 2 weeks (part 2). A text message with a link to the EMA survey was sent for a total of 56 assessments during each 2-week assessment period. Ecological momentary assessment responses were evaluated using multilevel confirmatory factor analysis to assess the fluctuating nature of bothersome tinnitus across the group and within the pool of individuals over time. Ecological momentary assessment questions measured tinnitus disability and associated constructs. Compliance in each study part was assessed based on response rates. The Tinnitus Functional Index and the Overall Global Rating of Bother Scale were assessed at the beginning and end of each 2-week assessment period to explore the effect of the frequent EMAs on the perceived level of bother from tinnitus. Of the 40 participants in the study (10 women and 30 men; mean [SD] age, 60.0 [10.5] years), the median survey response rate was high (49 responses to 56 surveys sent [88%] for part 1 and 47 responses of 56 surveys sent [84%] for part 2). The latent factor identified by the 2-level confirmatory factor analysis models demonstrates that within-individual tinnitus bother, loudness, and stress vary together over time. In addition, tinnitus bother, feeling, and stress symptoms all

  10. Hulun Lake's ecological health and evaluation of its' eutrophication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, W.; Yang, W.; Wang, X.; Huang, J.; Sun, B.; Li, X.

    2013-12-01

    Hulun Lake is the largest lake in the north of china. The special geological location determines its important position in regional environmental protection. In terms of Hulun Lake's current situation, this paper chooses the indexes of lake system, lake structure and lake condition. Based on the calculation of these indexes and related theory , the evaluation standards of Hulun Lake's ecological healthy system are worked out. The author used Analytic Hierarchy Process to determine the weight of each indicator layer and criteria layer, and then applied fuzzy-pattern recognition model to calculate, finally, identifying the status of Hulun Lake according to the degrees of all levels. At the same time, the author used an integrated nutrition state index method to do the eutrophication assessment. Evaluation results show that the current status of Hulun Lake is healthy and it is in the moderate level of eutrophication.

  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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. The multiple stressor ecological risk assessment for the mercury-contaminated South River and upper Shenandoah River using the Bayesian network-relative risk model.

    PubMed

    Landis, Wayne G; Ayre, Kimberley K; Johns, Annie F; Summers, Heather M; Stinson, Jonah; Harris, Meagan J; Herring, Carlie E; Markiewicz, April J

    2017-01-01

    We have conducted a regional scale risk assessment using the Bayesian Network Relative Risk Model (BN-RRM) to calculate the ecological risks to the South River and upper Shenandoah River study area. Four biological endpoints (smallmouth bass, white sucker, Belted Kingfisher, and Carolina Wren) and 4 abiotic endpoints (Fishing River Use, Swimming River Use, Boating River Use, and Water Quality Standards) were included in this risk assessment, based on stakeholder input. Although mercury (Hg) contamination was the original impetus for the site being remediated, other chemical and physical stressors were evaluated. There were 3 primary conclusions from the BN-RRM results. First, risk varies according to location, type and quality of habitat, and exposure to stressors within the landscape. The patterns of risk can be evaluated with reasonable certitude. Second, overall risk to abiotic endpoints was greater than overall risk to biotic endpoints. By including both biotic and abiotic endpoints, we are able to compare risk to endpoints that represent a wide range of stakeholder values. Third, whereas Hg reduction is the regulatory priority for the South River, Hg is not the only stressor driving risk to the endpoints. Ecological and habitat stressors contribute risk to the endpoints and should be considered when managing this site. This research provides the foundation for evaluating the risks of multiple stressors of the South River to a variety of endpoints. From this foundation, tools for the evaluation of management options and an adaptive management tools have been forged. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:85-99. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  13. Spatial distribution and ecological risk assessment of heavy metal on surface sediment in west part of Java Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Effendi, Hefni; Wardiatno, Yusli; Kawaroe, Mujizat; Mursalin; Fauzia Lestari, Dea

    2017-01-01

    The surface sediments were identified from west part of Java Sea to evaluate spatial distribution and ecological risk potential of heavy metals (Hg, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn and Ni). The samples were taken from surface sediment (<0.5 m) in 26 m up to 80 m water depth with Eikman grab. The average material composition on sediment samples were clay (9.86%), sand (8.57%) and mud sand (81.57%). The analysis showed that Pb (11.2%), Cd (49.7%), and Ni (59.5%) exceeded of Probably Effect Level (PEL). Base on ecological risk analysis, {{Cd }}≤ft( {E_r^i:300.64} \\right) and {{Cr }}≤ft( {E_r^i:0.02} \\right) were categorized to high risk and low risk criteria. The ecological risk potential sequences of this study were Cd>Hg>Pb>Ni>Cu>As>Zn>Cr. Furthermore, the result of multivariate statistical analysis shows that correlation among heavy metals (As/Ni, Cd/Ni, and Cu/Zn) and heavy metals with Risk Index (Cd/Ri and Ni/Ri) had positive correlation in significance level p<0.05. Total variance of analysis factor was 80.04% and developed into 3 factors (eigenvalues >1). On the cluster analysis, Cd, Ni, Pb were identified as fairly high contaminations level (cluster 1), Hg as moderate contamination level (cluster 2) and Cu, Zn, Cr with lower contamination level (cluster 3).

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  18. [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.

  19. [Landscape ecological evaluation of Fenglin Nature Reverse: quantification and interpretation].

    PubMed

    Guo, Qingxi; Wang, Tianming

    2005-05-01

    Fenglin National Class Nature Reserve is the largest well-saved virginal Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) forest area and a precious species gene bank in China. In this study, the indexes diversity, naturalness, representativity, rarity, area suitability, stability, and anthropogenic interference were selected to establish a ranking ecological evaluation system to estimate the ecological condition of the Reserve. The value of each index was determined by the evaluation system, and the weight percentage was decided by Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). In the Reserve, there were 568 higher plant species belonging to 113 families and 220 higher animal species, with score 3 of species diversity. The zonal "climax" vegetation type broad-leaved Korean pine forest and the intrazonal community type spruce-fir forest constituted the principal part of the Reserve forest, which was the epitome of the virgin broad-leaved Korean pine forest in Lesser Xing'an Mountains, with representativity score 3. During the past 20-30 years, the natural habitat in the Reserve was quite good, and secondary succession was obtained effective control with few natural or anthropogenic disturbance, with score 4 of naturalness and anthropogenic interference. There were a lot of ancient species of the tertiary period, such as Pinus koraiensis, Fraxinus mandsurica, Juglans mandshurica, Pellodendron amurense, Tilia amurensis and Acer mono, and Pinus koraiensis was listed as one of severe danger species by the FAO of UN, with rarity score 4. The Reserve covered an area of 18165 hm2, with an enough size to maintain the structure and function of the ecosystem. Accordingly, its area suitability score was 4. Broad-leaved Korean pine forest was the most typical and stable vegetation type in the Reserve, and thus, its stability score was 4. Finally, the composite evaluation index (CEI) was figured out as 0.87, showing that the ecological quality of the Reserve was very good, and the protection value was

  20. 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.

  1. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in southwestern catchments of the Bohai Sea, China.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Lin; Zeng, Siyu; Dong, Xin; Zhang, Tianzhu; Chen, Jining

    2013-10-01

    A probability risk assessment was undertaken to study the individual and combined ecological risks induced by six polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) both in surface water and sediment from southwestern catchments of the Bohai Sea, China. The actual measured PAH concentrations in water and sediment were compared with toxicity effect data (the 10th percentile of predicted no effect concentration) to calculate the risk quotients (RQs) for an individual PAH. The equilibrium partitioning method was applied to estimate toxicity data in sediment. A method based on the equivalent concentration concept was proposed and applied to assess the combined ecological risk of multiple PAHs. Monte Carlo simulation and bootstrap technique were utilized to calculate the distribution of RQs and associated uncertainties. The ecological safety level was defined by RQ ≤ 1. Results indicated that both in water and sediment, fluoranthene and pyrene posed the highest risks, whereas acenaphthene and fluorene posed negligible risks. Naphthalene and phenanthrene did not pose risks to the ecological community in surface water but had relatively higher risks in sediment. The median RQs of combined risk in surface water and sediment were 0.934 and 2.42, and the probabilities of RQ > 1 were up to 0.473 and 0.599, respectively, which were much higher than the individual compound acting alone. The risk level in sediment was quite higher than in surface water probably owing to the non-equilibrium distribution between two phases, which suggested that local authorities should focus more on sediment quality management.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Adaptive economic and ecological forest management under risk

    Treesearch

    Joseph Buongiorno; Mo Zhou

    2015-01-01

    Background: Forest managers must deal with inherently stochastic ecological and economic processes. The future growth of trees is uncertain, and so is their value. The randomness of low-impact, high frequency or rare catastrophic shocks in forest growth has significant implications in shaping the mix of tree species and the forest landscape...

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. ecological geological maps: GIS-based evaluation of the Geo-Ecological Quality Index (GEQUI) in Sicily (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Arisco, Giuseppe; Perricone, Marcella; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    synthetic way. The first, characterized or estimated, prognosticated one or several indexes of geological ecological conditions. In the second type of maps, the whole complex is reflected, which defined the modern or prognosticable ecological geological situation. Regarding the ecological geological zoning maps, the contemporary state of ecological geological conditions may be evaluated by a range of parameters into classes of conditions and, on the basis of these informations, the estimation from the position of comfort and safety of human life and function of ecosystem is given. Otherwise, the concept of geoecological land evaluation has become established in the study of landscape/environmental plannings in recent years. It requires different thematic data-sets, deriving from the natural-, social- and amenity-environmental resources analysis, that may be translate in environmental (vulnerability/quality) indexes. There have been some attempts to develop integrated indices related to various aspects of the environment within the framework of sustainable development (e.g.: United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, World Economic Forum, Advisory Board on Indicators of Sustainable Development of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Living Planet Index established by the World Wide Fund for Nature, etc.). So, the ecological geological maps represent the basic tool for the geoecological land evaluation policies and may be computed in terms of index-maps. On these basis, a GIS application for assessing the ecological geological zoning is presented for Sicily (Central Mediterranean). The Geo-Ecological Quality Index (GEQUI) map was computed by considering a lot of variables. Ten variables (lithology, climate, landslide distribution, erosion rate, soil type, land cover, habitat, groundwater pollution, roads density and buildings density) generated from available data, were used in the model, in which weighting values to each informative layer were

  10. Health Risks to Ecological Workers on Contaminated Sites - the Department of Energy as a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Background At most contaminated sites the risk to workers focuses on those ‘hazardous waste workers’ directly exposed to chemicals or radionuclides, and to the elaborate approaches implemented to protecting their health and safety. Ecological workers generally are not considered. Objectives To explore the risks to the health and safety of ecological workers on sites with potential chemical and radiological exposures before, during or after remediation of contamination. To use the U.S. Department of Energy as a case study, and to develop concepts that apply generally to sites contaminated with hazardous or nuclear wastes, Methods Develop categories of ecological workers, describe their usual jobs, and provide information on the kinds of risks they face. Ecological activities include continued surveillance and monitoring work on any sites with residual contamination, subject to institutional controls and engineered barriers following closure as well as the restoration. Results The categories of ecological workers and their tasks include 1) Ecological characterization, mapping and monitoring, 2) biodiversity studies, 2) Contaminant fate and transport, 3) On-going industrial activities 4) Remediation activities (environmental management), 5) Environmental restoration, 6) Post-cleanup surveillance and monitoring, and 7) Post-closure future site activities. There are a set of functional activities that can occur with different frequencies and intensities, including visual inspection, collecting biological samples, collecting media physical samples, collecting biological debris, restoration planting, and maintaining ecosystems. Conclusions Ecological workers face different exposures and risks than other environmental cleanup workers. Many of their tasks mimic shift work with long hours leading to fatigue, and they are exposed to biological as well as chemical/radiological hazards. DOE and other entities need to examine the risks to ecological workers on site with an

  11. [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.

  12. Application of species sensitivity distribution in aquatic probabilistic ecological risk assessment of cypermethrin: a case study in an urban stream in South China.

    PubMed

    Li, Huizhen; You, Jing

    2015-03-01

    A tiered ecological risk assessment was applied to quantitatively refine the overall probabilistic risk of cypermethrin, a pyrethroid insecticide, to aquatic organisms. These results were then validated through the bioassays using field water from an urban stream, Chebei Creek in Guangzhou, South China. Seventeen water samples were collected along Chebei Creek for evaluation. In total, 71% of the field waters were acutely toxic to Hyallela azteca and 24% of the waters caused 100% mortality. Toxic unit evaluation suggested that cypermethrin was one of the main contributors to toxicity. The tiered ecological risk assessment approach (deterministic quotient method and probabilistic methods, including joint probability curve and Monte Carlo Simulation) suggested that cypermethrin posed significant threats to aquatic ecology in this stream. The overall probabilistic risk of cypermethrin to aquatic species in Chebei Creek reached 66% when acute-to-chronic ratios were set at 125. An exceedance probability of cypermethrin in Chebei Creek that affected H. azteca as modeled using the joint probability curve method was 88%, suggesting that most sites were at risk due to cypermethrin exposure. This value was similar to the results obtained from acute toxicity tests (71% of field water samples were acutely toxic to H. azteca), indicating the effectiveness of the tiered approach to assess risk of cypermethrin in urban waterways. To the authors' knowledge, the present study is the first to provide a focused probabilistic evaluation of ecological risk for cypermethrin in a complex urban waterway environment. Despite uncertainties existing in the ecological risk assessment procedure, this approach provides a comprehensive assessment of ecological risk of cypermethrin, and subsequently, a foundation for further risk diagnosis and management in urban waterways.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A tiered ecological risk assessment of three chlorophenols in Chinese surface waters.

    PubMed

    Jin, Xiaowei; Gao, Jijun; Zha, Jinmiao; Xu, Yiping; Wang, Zijian; Giesy, John P; Richardson, Kristine L

    2012-06-01

    The ecological risks posed by three chlorophenols (CPs), 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP), 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP), and pentachlorophenol (PCP) in Chinese surface waters were assessed. This was achieved by applying a tiered ecological risk assessment (ERA) approach ranging from deterministic methods to probabilistic options to measured concentrations of CPs in surface water of seven major watersheds and three drainage regions in China and the chronic toxicity data for indigenous Chinese species. The results show that the risks of three chlorophenols are ranked PCP>2,4-DCP≈2,4,6-TCP. PCP posed little ecological risk while 2,4-DCP and 2,4,6-TCP posed negligible or de minimis risk in Chinese surface water. However, the risks varied with different river basins, for example, PCP posed some ecological risk in the Yangtze, Huaihe, and Pearl Rivers. The magnitude of 2,4-DCP and 2,4,6-TCP pollution in North China was more serious than that in South China. The probabilistic risk assessment approach, which can provide more information for risk managers and decision makers, was favored over the screening-level single-value estimate method. However, the results from all tiers of the ERA methods in the framework were consistent with each other.

  16. 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.

  17. Software design for professional risk evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ionescu, V.; Calea, G.; Amza, G.; Iacobescu, G.; Nitoi, D.; Dimitrescu, A.

    2016-08-01

    Professional risk evaluation represents a complex activity involving each economic operator, with important repercussion upon health and security in work. Article represents an innovative study method, regarding professional risk analyze in which cumulative working posts are evaluated. Work presents a new software that helps in putting together all the working positions from a complex organizational system and analyzing them in order to evaluate the possible risks. Using this software, a multiple analysis can be done like: risk estimation, risk evaluation, estimation of residual risks and finally searching of risk reduction measures.

  18. Composition profiles, levels, distributions and ecological risk assessments of trihalomethanes in surface water from a typical estuary of Bohai Bay, China.

    PubMed

    Niu, Zhiguang; Li, Xiaonan; Zhang, Ying

    2017-01-31

    To characterize the spatiotemporal distribution and potential ecological risk for trihalomethanes (THMs) in the surface water of a river estuary, surface water samples were collected over five consecutive months (from March to July 2016) from four sites in the Haihe River estuary of Bohai Bay. The potential ecological risks of THMs were evaluated quantitatively based on a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) model. The results demonstrate that trichloromethane (TCM) was the predominant THM in surface water of the Haihe River estuary (2.93±1.98μg/L) followed by tribromomethane (TBM) (0.42±0.33μg/L), bromodichloromethane (BDCM) (0.14±0.06μg/L) and dibromochloromethane (DBCM) (0.09±0.10μg/L). The concentration of TCM was higher in summer than that in spring, while TBM displayed the opposite trend. The TCM concentration decreased from the estuary to the adjacent sea. However, the levels of TBM and DBCM in the adjacent sea were higher than those in the estuary. The ecological risks of THMs in surface water of Haihe River were notably low, and the ecological risks of THMs in freshwater were generally higher than those in seawater. Compared with other contaminants in water and surface sediment from rivers and coastal areas, the ecological risk levels of THMs in surface water can be considered low. This study is a contribution to the progress of ecological risk assessment of THMs.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-11

    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 (C(deg)) 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 (C(i)(f)), C(deg), monomial ecological risk (E(i)(r)) 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.

  1. Technical Overview of Ecological Risk Assessment - Analysis Phase: Exposure Characterization

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Exposure Characterization is the second major component of the analysis phase of a risk assessment. For a pesticide risk assessment, the exposure characterization describes the potential or actual contact of a pesticide with a plant, animal, or media.

  2. 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.'

  3. Evaluating the ecological integrity of Atlantic forest remnants by using rapid ecological assessment.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, Hugo Reis; Torezan, José Marcelo

    2013-05-01

    The need for quick identification of priority areas for biodiversity protection makes rapid assessment methods important management tools for defining conservation strategies. An increasingly used rapid assessment method is rapid ecological assessment (REA), a fast and flexible survey directed toward selected indicator species and vegetation forms. The purpose of this study was to propose and test REA based on plant community features of the semideciduous Atlantic forest (SAF). Correlation tests were performed between data collected by REA and plant species diversity, richness, and abundance collected by conventional woody plant inventory methods. The study was conducted in 21 SAF patches in Northern Paraná State, Brazil. The phytosociological inventory was conducted along a single transect and required 2 days to complete (excluding time spent for herbarium identification), whereas REA was conducted along three to four transects per working day. REA results correlated positively with woody plant diversity, proving REA to be an efficient method for defining the conservation status of SAF fragments, but accuracy of evaluations of threats to biological integrity are relatively low. Both the selection of appropriate variables and the skill level of field staff are critical and can strongly influence REA results.

  4. MULTIVARIATE STATISTICAL APPLICATIONS FOR ADDRESSING MULTIPLE STRESSORS IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk managers more and more frequently are asking how specific risk factors act in the environment within the context of the large number of natural stressor amount of variability that always have occurred. They wish to manage for cologically relevant solutions that wi...

  5. 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.

  6. Urban ecological environment monitoring and evaluation based on remote sensing ecological index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Peng-gen; Tong, Cheng-zhuo; Chen, Xiao-yong; Nie, Yun-ju

    2015-12-01

    At present, the dynamic change monitoring of urban ecological environment has became an important guarantee measure for urban management, planning and construction. In this paper, taking Nanchang city as a case study, the remote sensing ecological index (RSEI) which is based on the natural factors is used to study the changes of the urban ecological environment. The Landsat images in the three different time periods of 1996, 2005, and 2013 in Nanchang were selected. To extract the four factors of green level, moisture, dryness and heat respectively as sub-indexs of the ecological assessment, in which the single window algorithm was used to calculate the heat. Based on the four factors, the RSEI in each year was finally calculated. The results show that the ecological environment in Nanchang deteriorated in the past 17 years, the value of the RSEI has decreased from 0.385 in 1996 to 0.267 in 2005, falling by 30.65%, but the ecological environment has improved in the later period, with the value of RSEI value rising to 0.413, increased by 54.68% compared with the results in 2005. It is indicates that the urban ecological environment of Nanchang has been significantly improved after some effective measures such as urban greening, pollution control, environmental protection were taken.

  7. Ecological accounting and evaluation of urban economy: Taking Beijing city as the case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Xi

    2011-03-01

    Urban economy is confronted with increasing biophysical limitations derived from the exhaustion of natural resources and the depletion of environmental capacity, and human cultural diversity has been declining during the fast urbanization. The conventional anthropocentric economics, regarding the natural environment as the 'exterior' of human economy, is invalid in the scientific evaluation on the contribution of natural resources and environment as well as human culture when facing the current urban crises. The theory of embodied cosmic exergy, as the latest development of ecological economics and ecological thermodynamics, is introduced in this study to construct an ecological evaluation framework of urban economy. The advantage of embodied cosmic exergy dedicated to ecological economics has been discussed in comparison with other ecological evaluation alternatives. Transformities describing hierarchies and manifesting quality are systematically calculated and tabulated. A new framework of embodied cosmic exergy based on network accounting (EmexNA) is sketched out in this study, taking not only diversity flows but also ecological stocks into consideration. The stock based concept of 'ecological wealth' and the flow based concept of 'ecological cost' as well as related evaluation indicators are developed based on EmexNA. Taking Beijing city as the case, the network accounting and related ecological evaluation of a practical urban economy are carried out in this study in the light of the basic social, economic and environmental data available from 1990 to 2005 of Beijing. The system construction and the ecological mechanism of the development of Beijing economy are correspondingly illuminated and discussed.

  8. 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.

  9. Evaluation of the ecological relevance of mysid toxicity tests using population modeling techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhn-Hines, A.; Munns, W.R. Jr.; Lussier, S.; Champlin, D.; Poucher, S.

    1995-12-31

    A number of acute and chronic bioassay statistics are used to evaluate the toxicity and risks of chemical stressors to the mysid shrimp, Mysidopsis bahia. These include LC{sub 50}S from acute tests, NOECs from 7-day and life-cycle tests, and the US EPA Water Quality Criteria Criterion Continuous Concentrations (CCC). Because these statistics are generated from endpoints which focus upon the responses of individual organisms, their relationships to significant effects at higher levels of ecological organization are unknown. This study was conducted to evaluate the quantitative relationships between toxicity test statistics and a concentration-based statistic derived from exposure-response models describing population growth rate ({lambda}) to stressor concentration. This statistic, C{sup {sm_bullet}} (concentration where {lambda} = I, zero population growth) describes the concentration above which mysid populations are projected to decline in abundance as determined using population modeling techniques. An analysis of M. bahia responses to 9 metals and 9 organic contaminants indicated the NOEC from life-cycle tests to be the best predictor of C{sup {sm_bullet}}, although the acute LC{sub 50} predicted population-level response surprisingly well. These analyses provide useful information regarding uncertainties of extrapolation among test statistics in assessments of ecological risk.

  10. Assessing ecological risks to the fish community from residual coal fly ash in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee

    DOE PAGES

    Rigg, David K.; Wacksman, Mitch N.; Iannuzzi, Jacqueline; ...

    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

  11. 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

  12. Assessing ecological risks to the fish community from residual coal fly ash in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Rigg, David K; Wacksman, Mitch N; Iannuzzi, Jacqueline; Baker, Tyler F; Adams, Marshall; Greeley, Mark S

    2015-01-01

    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 article 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. This study demonstrates that a thorough and detailed investigation using multiple measurement endpoints is needed to properly evaluate

  13. Ecological impact assessments fail to reduce risk of bat casualties at wind farms.

    PubMed

    Lintott, Paul R; Richardson, Suzanne M; Hosken, David J; Fensome, Sophie A; Mathews, Fiona

    2016-11-07

    Demand for renewable energy is rising exponentially. While this has benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there may be costs to biodiversity [1]. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are the main tool used across the world to predict the overall positive and negative effects of renewable energy developments before planning consent is given, and the Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIAs) within them assess their species-specific effects. Given that EIAs are undertaken globally, are extremely expensive, and are enshrined in legislation, their place in evidence-based decision making deserves evaluation. Here we assess how well EIAs of wind-farm developments protect bats. We found they do not predict the risks to bats accurately, and even in those cases where high risk was correctly identified, the mitigation deployed did not avert the risk. Given that the primary purpose of an EIA is to make planning decisions evidence-based, our results indicate that EIA mitigation strategies used to date have been ineffective in protecting bats. In the future, greater emphasis should be placed on assessing the actual impacts post-construction and on developing effective mitigation strategies.

  14. Sustainable and safe design of footwear integrating ecological footprint and risk criteria.

    PubMed

    Herva, Marta; Álvarez, Antonio; Roca, Enrique

    2011-09-15

    The ecodesign of a product implies that different potential environmental impacts of diverse nature must be taken into account considering its whole life cycle, apart from the general design criteria (i.e. technical, functional, ergonomic, aesthetic or economic). In this sense, a sustainability assessment methodology, ecological footprint (EF), and environmental risk assessment (ERA), were combined for the first time to derive complementary criteria for the ecodesign of footwear. Four models of children's shoes were analyzed and compared. The synthetic shoes obtained a smaller EF (6.5 gm(2)) when compared to the leather shoes (11.1 gm(2)). However, high concentrations of hazardous substances were detected in the former, even making the Hazard Quotient (HQ) and the Cancer Risk (CR) exceed the recommended safety limits for one of the synthetic models analyzed. Risk criteria were prioritized in this case and, consequently, the design proposal was discarded. For the other cases, the perspective provided by the indicators of different nature was balanced to accomplish a fairest evaluation. The selection of fibers produced under sustainable criteria and the reduction of the materials consumption was recommended, since the area requirements would be minimized and the absence of hazardous compounds would ensure safety conditions during the use stage. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The occurrence and potential ecological risk assessment of bauxite mine-impacted water and sediments in Kuantan, Pahang,Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Kusin, Faradiella Mohd; Rahman, Muhammad Syazwan Abd; Madzin, Zafira; Jusop, Shamshuddin; Mohamat-Yusuff, Ferdaus; Ariffin, Mariani; Z, Mohd Syakirin Md

    2017-01-01

    Recent bauxite mining activities in the vicinity of Kuantan, Pahang, have been associated with apparent environmental quality degradation and have raised environmental concerns among the public. This study was carried out to evaluate the overall ecological impacts on water and sediment quality from the bauxite mining activities. Water and sediment samples were collected at seven sampling locations within the bauxite mining areas between June and December 2015. The water samples were analyzed for water quality index (WQI) and distribution of major and trace element geochemistry. Sediment samples were evaluated based on geochemical indices, i.e., the enrichment factor (EF) and geoaccumulation index (I geo). Potential ecological risk index was estimated to assess the degree to which sediments of the mine-impacted areas have been contaminated with heavy metals. The results showed that WQIs of some locations were classified as slightly polluted and contained metal contents exceeding the recommended guideline values. The EFs indicated minimal to moderate enrichment of metals (Pb, Cu, Zn, Mn, As, Cd, Cr, Ni, Co, and Sr) in the sediments. I geo showed slightly to partially polluted sediments with respect to As at some locations. The potential ecological risk index (RI) showed that As posed the highest potential ecological risk with RI of 52.35-60.92 at two locations, while other locations indicated low risk. The findings from this study have demonstrated the impact of recent bauxite mining activities, which might be of importance to the local communities and relevant authorities to initiate immediate rehabilitation phase of the impacted area.

  16. The Ecology of a Chicano Student at Risk.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seda, Milagros; Bixler-Marquez, Dennis J.

    1994-01-01

    A case study is reported that identified the individual, aggregate, and interactive effect of socioeconomic status, cultural, psychosocial, and academic factors that shaped the at-risk status of a Chicano fourth grader. The most significant at-risk factors included home violence and lack of continuous positive adult contact in school.…

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Nam, Sun-Hwa; Lee, Woo-Mi; An, Youn-Joo

    2012-06-01

    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.

  19. Evaluating European Climate Change Policy: An Ecological Justice Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muhovic-Dorsner, Kamala

    2005-01-01

    To date, the concept of ecological justice, when applied to international climate change policy, has largely focused on the North-South dichotomy and has yet to be extended to Central and Eastern European countries. This article argues that current formulations of climate change policy cannot address potential issues of ecological injustice to…

  20. Evaluating European Climate Change Policy: An Ecological Justice Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muhovic-Dorsner, Kamala

    2005-01-01

    To date, the concept of ecological justice, when applied to international climate change policy, has largely focused on the North-South dichotomy and has yet to be extended to Central and Eastern European countries. This article argues that current formulations of climate change policy cannot address potential issues of ecological injustice to…

  1. Application of ecological momentary assessment in workplace health evaluation.

    PubMed

    Engelen, Lina; Chau, Josephine Y; Burks-Young, Sarah; Bauman, Adrian

    2016-08-31

    Issue addressed: Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) involves repeated sampling of current behaviours and experiences in real-time at random intervals. EMA is an innovative measurement method for program evaluation, using mobile technology (e.g. smartphones) to collect valid contextual health promotion data with good compliance. The present study examined the feasibility of using EMA for measuring workplace health outcomes.Methods: Twenty-two office-based adults were prompted at four random times per work-day during a 5-day period to respond to a short survey via a smartphone application. The prompting stopped when participants had either responded 12 times or the 5-day period had ended. The questions pertained to posture, task currently being undertaken, social interactions, musculoskeletal issues, mood, and perceptions of engagement and creativity.Results: In total 156 responses were collected. Nine participants completed all 12 surveys; the average completion rate was 58% (7/12). The average completion time was initially 50s and reduced to 24s during the later surveys. On average the participants were sitting and standing in 79% and 14% of survey instances, respectively. The participants reported they were working alone at their desks in 68% of instances. Reported productivity and stress were on average 6 and 3 out of 10, respectively, but varied up to 6-8 points within one person, hence the method appears sensitive to temporal variations in perceptions and mood.Conclusion: Given the rich real-time data, minimal participant burden and use of readily available technology, EMA has substantial potential in workplace health promotion evaluation through the measurement of participants' well being, activities, and behaviour change.So what?: An in-the-moment method using readily available mobile technology to assess participants' perceptions, mood and activity that provides rich information with minimal participant burden is a promising way to evaluate future health

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Reducing uncertainty in regulatory decision-making for transgenic crops: more ecological research or clearer environmental risk assessment?

    PubMed

    Raybould, Alan

    2010-01-01

    Ecological research and environmental risk assessment are similar in that they address interesting problems by formulating and testing hypotheses. They differ in the types of problems that are interesting, the characteristics of good hypotheses to solve those problems, and the methods for rigorous testing of hypotheses. It is important to recognize the differences between environmental risk assessment and basic ecological research because confusing them can lead to ineffective risk assessment and missed opportunities to advance ecological theory. Uncertainty in regulatory decision-making about transgenic crops may be reduced more effectively by clarifying the purpose and structure of environmental risk assessments than by further research on the ecology of the crops.

  6. [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.

  7. The use of terrestrial and aquatic microcosms and mesocosms for the ecological risk assessment of veterinary medicinal products.

    PubMed

    Van den Brink, Paul J; Tarazona, Jose V; Solomon, Keith R; Knacker, Thomas; Van den Brink, Nico W; Brock, Theo C M; Hoogland, J P

    2005-04-01

    In this paper, we investigate the applicability of experimental model ecosystems (microcosms and mesocosms) for the ecological risk assessment of veterinary medicinal products (VMPs). VMPs are used in large quantities, but the assessment of associated risks to the environment is limited, although they are continually infused into the environment via a number of routes. It is argued that the experience obtained by pesticide research largely can be used when evaluating VMPs, although there are several major differences between pesticides and pharmaceuticals (e.g., knowledge of their mechanisms of action on nontarget organisms). Also, because microorganisms are often the target organisms of VMPs, risk assessment should focus more on endpoints describing functional processes. This paper provides a review of the current risk assessment schemes of Europe and North America along with examples of experiments already performed with veterinary medicinal products in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem models. We suggest that some of the approaches developed for pesticide risk assessment can be used for VMPs and offer suggestions for the development of a framework for ecological risk assessment of VMPs.

  8. Ecological risk caused by land use change in the coastal zone: a case study in the Yellow River Delta High-Efficiency Ecological Economic Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, X. H.; Wang, Y. D.; Hou, X. Y.

    2014-03-01

    China's coastal zone plays an important role in ecological services production and social-economic development; however, extensive and intensive land resource utilization and land use change have lead to high ecological risk in this area during last decade. Regional ecological risk assessment can provide fundamental knowledge and scientific basis for better understanding of the relationship between regional landscape ecosystem and human activities or climate changes, facilitating the optimization strategy of land use structure and improving the ecological risk prevention capability. In this paper, the Yellow River Delta High-Efficiency Ecological Economic Zone is selected as the study site, which is undergoing a new round of coastal zone exploitation and has endured substantial land use change in the past decade. Land use maps of 2000, 2005 and 2010 were generated based on Landsat images by visual interpretation method, and the ecological risk index was then calculated. The index was 0.3314, 0.3461 and 0.3176 in 2000, 2005 and 2010 respectively, which showed a positive transition of regional ecological risk in 2005.

  9. Using Qualitative Disease Risk Analysis for Herpetofauna Conservation Translocations Transgressing Ecological and Geographical Barriers.

    PubMed

    Bobadilla Suarez, Mariana; Ewen, John G; Groombridge, Jim J; Beckmann, K; Shotton, J; Masters, N; Hopkins, T; Sainsbury, Anthony W

    2017-03-01

    Through the exploration of disease risk analysis methods employed for four different UK herpetofauna translocations, we illustrate how disease hazards can be identified, and how the risk of disease can be analysed. Where ecological or geographical barriers between source and destination sites exist, parasite populations are likely to differ in identity or strain between the two sites, elevating the risk from disease and increasing the number and category of hazards requiring analysis. Simplification of the translocation pathway through the avoidance of these barriers reduces the risk from disease. The disease risk analysis tool is intended to aid conservation practitioners in decision making relating to disease hazards prior to implementation of a translocation.

  10. 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.

  11. [Heavy metal pollution characteristics and ecological risk analysis for soil around Haining electroplating industrial park].

    PubMed

    Li, Jiong-Hui; Weng, Shan; Fang, Jing; Huang, Jia-Lei; Lu, Fang-Hua; Lu, Yu-Hao; Zhang, Hong-Ming

    2014-04-01

    The pollution status and potential ecological risks of heavy metal in soils around Haining electroplating industrial park were studied. Hakanson index approach was used to assess the ecological hazards of heavy metals in soils. Results showed that average concentrations of six heavy metals (Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cd and Cr) in the soils were lower than the secondary criteria of environmental quality standard for soils, indicating limited harmful effects on the plants and the environment in general. Though the average soil concentrations were low, heavy metal concentrations in six sampling points located at the side of road still exceeded the criteria, with excessive rate of 13%. Statistic analysis showed that concentrations of Cu and Cd in roadside soils were significantly higher than those in non-roadside soils, indicating that the excessive heavy metal accumulations in the soil closely related with traffic transport. The average potential ecological hazard index of soils around Haining electroplating industrial park was 46.6, suggesting a slightly ecological harm. However, the potential ecological hazard index of soils with excessive heavy metals was 220-278, suggesting the medium ecological hazards. Cd was the most seriously ecological hazard factor.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Survey of methodologies for developing media screening values for ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Barron, Mace G; Wharton, Steven R

    2005-11-01

    This review evaluates the methodologies of 13 screening value (SV) compilations that have been commonly used in ecological risk assessment (ERA), including compilations from state and U.S. federal agencies, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Canada, The Netherlands, and Australia. The majority of surfacewater SVs were primarily derived for the protection of aquatic organisms using 2 approaches: (1) a statistical assessment of toxicity values by species groupings, such as "ambient water quality criteria," or (2) extrapolation of a lowest observed adverse effect level determined from limited toxicity data using an uncertainty factor. Sediment SVs were primarily derived for the protection of benthic invertebrates using 2 approaches: (1) statistical interpretations of databases on the incidence of biological effects and chemical concentrations in sediment, or (2) values derived from equilibrium partitioning based on a surfacewater SV. Soil SVs were derived using a diversity of approaches and were usually based on the lowest value determined from soil toxicity to terrestrial plants or invertebrates and, less frequently, from modeled, incidental soil ingestion or chemical accumulation in terrestrial organisms. The various SV compilations and methodologies had varying levels of conservatism and were not consistent in the pathways and receptors considered in the SV derivation. Many SVs were derived from other compilations and were based on outdated values, or they relied on only older toxicity data. Risk assessors involved in ERA should carefully evaluate the technical basis of SVs and consider the uncertainty in any value used to determine the presence or absence of risk and the need for further assessment.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    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

  18. Metal bioavailability in ecological risk assessment of freshwater ecosystems: From science to environmental management.

    PubMed

    Väänänen, Kristiina; Leppänen, Matti T; Chen, XuePing; Akkanen, Jarkko

    2017-09-07

    Metal contamination in freshwater ecosystems is a global issue and metal discharges to aquatic environments are monitored in order to protect aquatic life and human health. Bioavailability is an important factor determining metal toxicity. In aquatic systems, metal bioavailability depends on local water and sediment characteristics, and therefore, the risks are site-specific. Environmental quality standards (EQS) are used to manage the risks of metals in aquatic environments. In the simplest form of EQSs, total concentrations of metals in water or sediment are compared against pre-set acceptable threshold levels. Now, however, the environmental administration bodies have stated the need to incorporate metal bioavailability assessment tools into environmental regulation. Scientific advances have been made in metal bioavailability assessment, including passive samplers and computational models, such as biotic ligand models (BLM). However, the cutting-edge methods tend to be too elaborate or laborious for standard environmental monitoring. We review the commonly used metal bioavailability assessment methods and introduce the latest scientific advances that might be applied to environmental management in the future. We present the current practices in environmental management in North America, Europe and China, highlighting the good practices and the needs for improvement. Environmental management has met these new challenges with varying degrees of success: the USA has implemented site-specific environmental risk assessment for water and sediment phases, and they have already implemented metal mixture toxicity evaluation. The European Union is promoting the use of bioavailability and BLMs in ecological risk assessment (ERA), but metal mixture toxicity and sediment phase are still mostly neglected. China has regulation only for total concentrations of metals in surface water. We conclude that there is a need for (1) Advanced and up-to-date guidelines and legislation

  19. Evaluation system of water ecological civilization of irrigation area in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Z.; Chen, J.; Chen, D.; Zhang, S.; Li, X. C.; Zhu, Y.; Li, Y.

    2016-08-01

    Irrigation area is an important carrier, and also has a pivotal role in the construction of water ecological civilization in China, as well as worldwide. This work extracted the five basic characteristics of water ecological civilization of irrigated area, namely "resource saving, efficient production, ecological nature, beautiful environment, and civilized consciousness". Further, based on the frequency analysis of indicators related to the evaluation of irrigation area, we proposed the evaluation system of water ecological civilization of irrigated area. Taking an irrigation district of Huaian City, Jiangsu Province, China as an example, we carried out the case evaluation in use of the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method. Thus, we provide the theoretical and technical reference for the construction and assessment of water ecological civilization of irrigation district to both China and abroad.

  20. Ecological risk assessment to support fuels treatment project decisions

    Treesearch

    Jay O' Laughlin

    2010-01-01

    Risk is a combined statement of the probability that something of value will be damaged and some measure of the damage’s adverse effect. Wildfires burning in the uncharacteristic fuel conditions now typical throughout the Western United States can damage ecosystems and adversely affect environmental conditions. Wildfire behavior can be modified by prefire fuel...

  1. Ecological risk assessment of soil pollution with heavy metals

    SciTech Connect

    Kuperman, R.G.

    1995-12-31

    The structure and function of soil ecosystems in an area with a wide range of concentrations of heavy metals were studied in portions of the US Army`s Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The objective of this project was to develop and test the efficacy of a comprehensive methodology for assessing ecological impacts of soil contamination. A hierarchical approach which integrated biotic parameters and ecosystem processes was used to give insight into the mechanisms that lead to alterations in the structure and function of soil ecosystems in contaminated areas. This approach involved (1) a thorough survey of the soil biota to establish community structure, (2) laboratory and field tests on critical ecosystem processes, (3) toxicity trials, and (4) the use of spatial analyses to provide input in the decision making process. Soil invertebrate communities showed significant reductions in the abundance of several taxonomic and trophic groups in contaminated areas. The numbers of soil microorganisms were lower in areas of soil contamination. Ten-to-fifty fold reductions in enzyme activities were observed as heavy metal concentrations increased. These results suggest that soil contamination with heavy metals may have detrimental effects on soil biota and the rates of organic matter degradation and subsequent release of nutrients to aboveground communities in the area. The proposed methodology appears to offer an efficient and potentially cost saving tool for remedial investigations at contaminated sites.

  2. Evaluating indices of traditional ecological knowledge: a methodological contribution

    PubMed Central

    Reyes-García, Victoria; Vadez, Vincent; Tanner, Susan; McDade, Thomas; Huanca, Tomás; Leonard, William R

    2006-01-01

    Background New quantitative methods to collect and analyze data have produced novel findings in ethnobiology. A common application of quantitative methods in ethnobiology is to assess the traditional ecological knowledge of individuals. Few studies have addressed reliability of indices of traditional ecological knowledge constructed with different quantitative methods. Methods We assessed the associations among eight indices of traditional ecological knowledge from data collected from 650 native Amazonians. We computed Spearman correlations, Chronbach's alpha, and principal components factor analysis for the eight indices. Results We found that indices derived from different raw data were weakly correlated (rho<0.5), whereas indices derived from the same raw data were highly correlated (rho>0.5; p < 0.001). We also found a relatively high internal consistency across data from the eight indices (Chronbach's alpha = 0.78). Last, results from a principal components factor analysis of the eight indices suggest that the eight indices were positively related, although the association was low when considering only the first factor. Conclusion A possible explanation for the relatively low correlation between indices derived from different raw data, but relatively high internal consistency of the eight indices is that the methods capture different aspects of an individual's traditional ecological knowledge. To develop a reliable measure of traditional ecological knowledge, researchers should collect raw data using a variety of methods and then generate an aggregated measure that contains data from the various components of traditional ecological knowledge. Failure to do this will hinder cross-cultural comparisons. PMID:16638119

  3. Ecological risk assessment of piscivorous wildlife of the Clinch River

    SciTech Connect

    Sample, B.

    1995-12-31

    A weight-of-evidence approach was employed to assess risks to osprey, great blue heron, and mink along the Clinch River, downstream of the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Available data consisted of comparisons of exposure estimates to literature-derived NOAELs and LOAELs (all three species), field surveys (osprey and heron only), and toxicity tests (mink only). Contaminants of potential concern (COPCS) were identified by comparing exposure estimates generated using point estimates of parameter values to NOAELS. COPCs included mercury, PCBs and selenium. Exposure to COPCs was re-estimated using Monte Carlo simulations then compared to LOAELS. Exposure of osprey to mercury was identified as a significant risk at only one location. This location did not present a risk when the foraging area of osprey was included in the exposure model. Estimated exposure for heron or mink was not sufficient to present a risk for any COPC or location. Field surveys of four heron rookeries indicated that while contaminant levels are elevated in eggs and chicks near the reservation, reproduction is not affected. Fledgling success at three osprey nests near the ORR exceeded the mean for US osprey. Mink fed fish from the Clinch River displayed impaired reproduction only in the most contaminated of five toxicity test diets. Mercury in all diets was less than the literature-based LOAEL. PCBs in the highest diet that produced no adverse effects were 16 times greater than the literature-based LOAEL. The maximum exposure estimated for mink along the Clinch River was significantly lower than the toxicity test exposure that produced adverse effects The weight-of-evidence indicates that contaminants from the ORR do not present a risk to piscivorous wildlife along the Clinch River.

  4. Criteria for assessing the ecological risk of nonylphenol for aquatic life in Chinese surface fresh water.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liangmao; Wei, Caidi; Zhang, Hui; Song, Mingwei

    2017-10-01

    The typical environmental endocrine disruptor nonylphenol is becoming an increasingly common pollutant in both fresh and salt water; it compromises the growth and development of many aquatic organisms. As yet, water quality criteria with respect to nonylphenol pollution have not been established in China. Here, the predicted "no effect concentration" of nonylphenol was derived from an analysis of species sensitivity distribution covering a range of species mainly native to China, as a means of quantifying the ecological risk of nonylphenol in surface fresh water. The resulting model, based on the log-logistic distribution, proved to be robust; the minimum sample sizes required for generating a stable estimate of HC5 were 12 for acute toxicity and 13 for chronic toxicity. The criteria maximum concentration and criteria continuous concentration were, respectively 18.49 μg L(-1) and 1.85 μg L(-1). Among the 24 sites surveyed, two were associated with a high ecological risk (risk quotient >1) and 12 with a moderate ecological risk (risk quotient >0.1). The potentially affected fraction ranged from 0.008% to 24.600%. The analysis provides a theoretical basis for both short- and long-term risk assessments with respect to nonylphenol, and also a means to quantify the risk to aquatic ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of DDTs in the Bohai Bay based on a food web bioaccumulation model.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bin; Yu, Gang; Huang, Jun; Wang, Tai; Hu, Hongying

    2011-01-01

    The fugacity-based food web model was developed to simulate the bioaccumulation of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethanes (DDTs) in the aquatic ecosystem in the Bohai Bay. The internal exposure levels (IELs) of DDTs in various organism categories were calculated. Monte Carlo-based uncertainty analysis was performed to get the of IEL distributions of DDTs in organisms. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment (ERA) was performed based on IEL distributions and internal species sensitivity distributions (SSDs). The results show that fugacities and bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) generally increased with increasing trophic level in the food web. Octanol-water partition coefficient (K(ow)), DDT levels in water and the lipid contents had the greatest influences on IELs in the organism bodies. The ecological risks of DDTs were relatively high. The risk order was p,p'-DDT>p,p'-DDE>p,p'-DDD. At an internal hazard quotient (HQ(int)) criterion of 1/5, the risk probabilities were 0.10 (0.055-0.17), 0.079 (0.045-0.13) and 0.053 (0.028-0.092) for p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE and p,p'-DDD, respectively. The results from ERA based on the internal exposure approximated those based on external exposure. The food web model is a feasible method to predict the extent of bioaccumulation and IELs of hydrophobic organic pollutants in organisms as a step to evaluate their risk posed on aquatic ecosystems.

  6. Spatial ecology of the steephead parrotfish ( Chlorurus microrhinos): an evaluation using acoustic telemetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, J. Q.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2012-03-01

    Herbivory and other ecosystem processes are widely accepted as important factors in maintaining coral reef resilience. While the spatial scales over which these processes occur have been evaluated, the spatial ecology of individual taxa responsible for shaping these processes is almost entirely unknown. This study combined acoustic telemetry and ecological assessments to evaluate the movement patterns and feeding range of a functionally important coral reef fish, Chlorurus microrhinos (f. Labridae). The diurnal home range and feeding areas of C. microrhinos, on Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef, were quantified using active acoustic telemetry. The average diurnal home range of C. microrhinos was 7,830 m2 ± 940 (SE). Core areas of activity (50% kernel utilization distributions) were relatively small, encompassing approximately 22% of an individual's home range (1,690 m2 ± 220). Core areas exhibited greater topographic complexity. C. microrhinos may select these areas because of decreased predation risk. Feeding intensities were not homogenous throughout the home range. Core areas were found to have a greater number of feeding scars and are thus exposed to increased bioerosion and algal removal by C. microrhinos. While important in shaping key ecosystem processes, the ecosystem impact of individual C. microrhinos in Pioneer Bay appears to be restricted to small areas within a narrow band along the reef crest.

  7. [Assessment of heavy metal pollution and potential ecological risks of urban soils in Kaifeng City, China].

    PubMed

    Li, Yi-Meng; Ma, Jian-Hua; Liu, De-Xin; Sun, Yan-Li; Chen, Yan-Fang

    2015-03-01

    Ninety-nine topsoil (0-15 cm) samples were collected from Kaifeng City, China using the grid method, and then the concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in the samples were measured by standard methods. Soil pollution levels and potential ecological risks of the heavy metals were assessed using the pollution load index (PLI) and potential ecological risk index (RI), respectively. Ordinary Kriging interpolation technique was employed to investigate the spatial distribution of PLI and RI of the city. The results showed that high pollution of Cd occurred in Kaifeng urban soils, and there was moderate pollution of Zn, slight pollution of Pb and Cu, and no pollution of Ni, Cr and As. Very high ecological risk was posed by Cd and low risk by other metals. The mean PLI of the 7 metals from all sample points was 2.53, which was categorized as moderate pollution. The average RI was 344.58 which represented a considerable ecological risk. PLI and RI shared a similar spatial distribution with high values centralized in the old industrial area in the southeast and railway stations for passengers and goods in the south of the city, followed by the old town within the ancient city wall, and low values located in the north and west areas. Cadmium was the main factor for both soil pollution and potential ecological risk primarily due to farmland topsoil in the eastern suburb of Kaifeng City with high Cd concentrations resulted from sewage irrigation deposited in the urban area by wind, human activities such as soot discharged from the chemical fertilizer plant of Kaifeng, transportation and coal combustion.

  8. INTEGRATION OF HUMAN HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The WHO International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) have developed a collaborative partnership to foster integration of assessment approaches to evaluate ...

  9. INTEGRATION OF HUMAN HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The WHO International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) have developed a collaborative partnership to foster integration of assessment approaches to evaluate ...

  10. Probabilistic Approaches for Evaluating Space Shuttle Risks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vesely, William

    2001-01-01

    The objectives of the Space Shuttle PRA (Probabilistic Risk Assessment) are to: (1) evaluate mission risks; (2) evaluate uncertainties and sensitivities; (3) prioritize contributors; (4) evaluate upgrades; (5) track risks; and (6) provide decision tools. This report discusses the significance of a Space Shuttle PRA and its participants. The elements and type of losses to be included are discussed. The program and probabilistic approaches are then discussed.

  11. [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

  12. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. [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.

  15. 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…

  16. INTEGRATION OF HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT - CASE STUDY DEMONSTRATIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION NEEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The WHO International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), together with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has developed a framework for integrated assessment of human health and ecological risks. Four case stu...

  17. Procedural Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessments at U.S. Army Sites. Volume 1.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-12-01

    Inferring population-level significance from individual- level effects : An extrapolation from fisheries science to ecotoxicology . p. 289-300. In G.W...Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Using this approach will provide AEC with cost- effective , tiered procedures...19 2.4 Identifying the Ecosystem Potentially at Risk . . . 22 2.5 Ecological Effects ........... ................ 23 2.6 Endpoint

  18. 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…

  19. DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF POPULATION MODELS TO SUPPORT EPA'S ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESSES FOR PESTICIDES

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of a broader exploratory effort to develop ecological risk assessment approaches to estimate potential chemical effects on non-target populations, we describe an approach for developing simple population models to estimate the extent to which acute effects on individual...

  20. 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...

  1. 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…

  2. 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...

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS: RISK ASSESSMENT NEEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The symposium session, Indicators for Effects and Predictions of Harmful Algal Blooms, explored the current state of indicators used to assess the human health and ecological risks caused by harmful algal blooms, and highlighted future needs and impediments that must be overcome...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  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. 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…

  12. HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS: RISK ASSESSMENT NEEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The symposium session, Indicators for Effects and Predictions of Harmful Algal Blooms, explored the current state of indicators used to assess the human health and ecological risks caused by harmful algal blooms, and highlighted future needs and impediments that must be overcome...

  13. Integrated ecological risk assessment of pesticides in tropical ecosystems: a case study with carbofuran in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Chelinho, Sónia; Lopes, Isabel; Natal-da-Luz, Tiago; Domene, Xaxier; Nunes, Maria Edna Tenorio; Espíndola, Evaldo L G; Ribeiro, Rui; Sousa, Jose P

    2012-02-01

    The aim of the present study is to contribute an ecologically relevant assessment of the ecotoxicological effects of pesticide applications in agricultural areas in the tropics, using an integrated approach with information gathered from soil and aquatic compartments. Carbofuran, an insecticide/nematicide used widely on sugarcane crops, was selected as a model substance. To evaluate the toxic effects of pesticide spraying for soil biota, as well as the potential indirect effects on aquatic biota resulting from surface runoff and/or leaching, field and laboratory (using a cost-effective simulator of pesticide applications) trials were performed. Standard ecotoxicological tests were performed with soil (Eisenia andrei, Folsomia candida, and Enchytraeus crypticus) and aquatic (Ceriodaphnia silvestrii) organisms, using serial dilutions of soil, eluate, leachate, and runoff samples. Among soil organisms, sensitivity was found to be E. crypticus < E. andrei < F. candida. Among the aqueous extracts, mortality of C. silvestrii was extreme in runoff samples, whereas eluates were by far the least toxic samples. A generally higher toxicity was found in the bioassays performed with samples from the field trial, indicating the need for improvements in the laboratory simulator. However, the tool developed proved to be valuable in evaluating the toxic effects of pesticide spraying in soils and the potential risks for aquatic compartments.

  14. Ecological risk assessment of land use change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone, China.

    PubMed

    Xie, Hualin; Wang, Peng; Huang, Hongsheng

    2013-01-14

    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.

  15. 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

  16. The new transgenic Cry1Ab/vip3H rice poses no ecological risks to arthropod communities in rice agroecosystems

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The ecological risks to non-target organisms should be rigorously assessed before Bt crops are released. Here, the impacts of a new Cry1Ab/Vip3H rice line on arthropod communities in rice agroecosystems were evaluated across three years. Arthropods collected via vacuum were sorted into five guilds. ...

  17. Synthesis evaluation with entire-array-polygon method to ecological economic system of Funing County in Jiangsu Province.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shuyu; Bian, Xinmin

    2007-04-01

    Based on the theory of ecological footprint this paper analyzed the ecological economic system in Funing County in the view of demands of economic system to natural resource and supply of ecosystem for natural resources. It was proposed that the concept of ecological deficit (ecological remainder) per ten thousands yuan GDP be used to evaluate development of ecological economic system. With a synthesis appraisement to the ecological economic system using entire-array-polygon method combined with Ulanowicz development ability and with ecological deficit (ecological remainder) per ten thousands yuan GDP, it provides a theoretical base for reconstructing and managing of demonstration eco-region.

  18. 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.

  19. A procedure for incorporating spatial variability in ecological risk assessment of Dutch river floodplains.

    PubMed

    Kooistra, L; Leuven, R S; Nienhuis, P H; Wehrens, R; Buydens, L M

    2001-09-01

    Floodplain soils along the river Rhine in the Netherlands show a large spatial variability in pollutant concentrations. For an accurate ecological risk characterization of the river floodplains, this heterogeneity has to be included into the ecological risk assessment. In this paper a procedure is presented that incorporates spatial components of exposure into the risk assessment by linking geographical information systems (GIS) with models that estimate exposure for the most sensitive species of a floodplain. The procedure uses readily available site-specific data and is applicable to a wide range of locations and floodplain management scenarios. The procedure is applied to estimate exposure risks to metals for a typical foodweb in the Afferdensche and Deestsche Waarden floodplain along the river Waal, the main branch of the Rhine in the Netherands. Spatial variability of pollutants is quantified by overlaying appropriate topographic and soil maps resulting in the definition of homogeneous pollution units. Next to that, GIS is used to include foraging behavior of the exposed terrestrial organisms. Risk estimates from a probabilistic exposure model were used to construct site-specific risk maps for the floodplain. Based on these maps, recommendations for future management of the floodplain can be made that aim at both ecological rehabilitation and an optimal flood defense.

  20. BIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF THE SEA URCHIN, ARBACIA PUNTULATA, TO LEAD CONTAMINATION FOR AN ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    An estuarine ecological risk assessment for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) Kittery, ME, was conducted utilizing the U.S. EPA's Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). As part of the analysis phase of the ERA, laboratory studies were conducted to develop quantitative ...

  1. BIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF THE SEA URCHIN, ARBACIA PUNTULATA, TO LEAD CONTAMINATION FOR AN ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    An estuarine ecological risk assessment for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) Kittery, ME, was conducted utilizing the U.S. EPA's Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). As part of the analysis phase of the ERA, laboratory studies were conducted to develop quantitative ...

  2. 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.

  3. [Contamination and ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediment in karst underground river].

    PubMed

    Lan, Jia-Cheng; Sun, Yu-Chuan; Shi, Yang; Liang, Zuo-Bing

    2015-03-01

    In order to understand pollution characteristics and ecological risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface sediment from Laolongdong underground river, the concentration and composition of 16 priority PAHs were analyzed. The results showed that the total concentrations of PAHs ranged from 58.2 to 3 598 ng x g(-1), and most of the values were between 100 and 5 000 ng x g(-1). It means that sediments in the river were moderately and heavily polluted by PAHs. The PAH composition were dominated by 2-4 rings (accounted for 75.1%) compounds in Laolongdong, while 4-6 rings PAHs accounted for 56.6% in Xiannvdong. Sediments in Laolongdong mainly came from the transportation of the upstream water and surface soil. 2 - 3 rings PAHs had higher transport capability with farther migration distance, while 4-6 rings PAHs had lower transport capability and shorter migration distance in the conduit, because 4-6 rings PAHs could be easily absorbed by sediments. The result of ecological assessment of PAHs showed that the ecological risk level in Laolongdong was low, leading to little negative ecological impact. However, the level in Xiannvdong was high. Once PAHs migrated from upstream to downstream, it would result in ecological threat for the downstream area.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Fractionation and ecological risk of metals in urban river sediments in Zhongshan City, Pearl River Delta.

    PubMed

    Cai, Jiannan; Cao, Yingzi; Tan, Haijian; Wang, Yanman; Luo, Jiaqi

    2011-09-01

    Surface sediments collected from nine urban rivers located in Zhongshan City, Pearl River Delta, were analyzed for total concentration of metals with digestion and chemical fractionation adopting the modified European Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) sequential extraction procedure. The results showed that concentration and fractionation of metals varied significantly among the rivers. The total concentration of eight metals in most rivers did not exceed the China Environmental Quality Standard for Soil, Grade III. The potential ecological risk of metals to rivers were related to the land use patterns, in the order of manufacturing areas > residential areas > agriculture areas. The concentration of Pb in the reducible fraction was relatively high (60.0-84.3%). The dominant proportions of Cd, Zn and Cu were primary in the non-residual fraction (67.0%, 71.8% and 81.4% on average respectively), while the percentages of the residual fractions of Cr and Ni varied over a wide range (43-85% and 24-71% respectively). The approaches of the Håkanson ecological risk index and Secondary Phase Enrichment Factor were applied for ecological risk assessment and metal enrichment calculation. The results indicated Hg and Cd had posed high potential ecological risk to urban rivers in this region. Meanwhile, there was widespread pollution and high enrichment of Cu in river sediments in this region. Multiple regression analysis showed that five water quality parameters (pH, DO, COD(Mn), NH(4)(+)-N, TP) had little influence on the distribution of metal fractionation. This result revealed that the ecological risk of metals was not eliminated along with the improvement in water quality. Correlation studies showed that among the metals, Group A (Cd, As, Pb, Zn Hg, r = 0.730-0.924) and Group B (Cr, Cu, Ni, r = 0.815-0.948) were obtained, and the metal contaminations were from industrial activities rather than residential.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Potential bioavailability assessment, source apportionment and ecological risk of heavy metals in the sediment of Brisbane River estuary, Australia.

    PubMed

    Duodu, Godfred Odame; Goonetilleke, Ashantha; Ayoko, Godwin A

    2017-02-12

    A weak acid extraction was used to mobilize the loosely bound metals in estuary sediment samples. More than 30% of Ag, As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Hg, Mn Ni, Pb and Zn were leached from the sediment showing that these metals are significantly present in the bioavailable form. PCA/APCS identified three sources of the metals, namely: lithogenic accounting for 72%, shipping related contributing 15% and traffic related representing 13% of the total load. Application of pollution index (PI) and modified pollution index (MPI) revealed that the sediment range from unpolluted to heavily polluted while ecological risk index (RI) classifies the sediment as posing low ecological risk modified ecological risk index (MRI) suggests considerable to very high ecological risk. To provide holistic insights into the ecological risks posed by metals, enrichment factor, MPI and MRI are recommended for the assessment of sediment in complex environments such as estuaries.

  11. Quantitative evaluation of regional vegetation ecological environment quality by using remotely sensed data over Qingjiang, Hubei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Cheng; Sun, Yan; Li, Lijun; Zhang, Qiuwen

    2007-11-01

    Vegetation cover is an important component and the best indication to the region ecological environment. The paper adopts a new method of integrating remote sensing technology and composite index appraisal model based multiple linear regression for quantitatively evaluating the regional vegetation ecological environment quality(VEEQ). This method is different to the traditional ecological environment research methods. It fully utilizes the advantages of quantitatively remote sensing technology, directly extracts the key influencing factors of VEEQ, such as vegetation indices (RVI, NDVI, ARVI, TMG), humidity indices(NDMI, MI, TMW), soil and landform indices(NDSI, TMB, GRABS) as the evaluating parameters from data the Landsat 5/TM remotely sensed images, and then puts these factors mentioned above into the multiple linear regression evaluating model. Ultimately we obtain the VEEQ evaluation rank figure of the experimental field-part of Qingjiang region. The handy multiple linear regression model, is proved to be well fit the experimental field for the vegetation ecological environment evaluation research.

  12. 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.

  13. Assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) ecological risk in surface seawater from the west Bohai Bay, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, X. M.; Li, J. Y.; Tian, S. Y.

    2017-08-01

    In order to understand the pollution characteristics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in west Bohai Bay, China, the sixteen PAHs listed by US EPA in surface seawater were investigated in the Qinhuangdao (QHD), Caofeidian (CFD) and Huanghuagang (HHG) areas. Distribution and composition of PAHs in the dissolved phase (DP) and the suspended particulate associated phase (SP) were detected by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS), respectively. An ecological risk assessment was evaluated using risk quotients (RQ). The results showed that the 16 PAHs were prevalent in west Bohai Bay and the 2-3 rings PAHs were the predominant chemicals. The QHD area had the highest concentration of total PAHs (TPAHs), which ranged from 186.3 to 531.3 ng/L in DP and 222.7 to 715.7 ng/L in SPM. In all three areas, the PAHs levels in SPM were higher than those in DP. The risk assessment showed that there was a relatively low potential ecological risk of PAHs in the coastal regions of Bohai Bay.

  14. Screening level ecological risk assessment for phenols in surface water of the Taihu Lake.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Wenjue; Wang, Donghong; Xu, Xiaowei; Luo, Qian; Wang, Bingyi; Shan, Xiaoquan; Wang, Zijian

    2010-08-01

    A number of approaches have been proposed for screening level ecological risk assessment. In this paper, we first established a mass spectrum library including 50 phenols using retention time locking (RTL) technology and deconvolution reporting software (DRS). Distribution of phenols in surface water of the Taihu Lake was screened. Among the 22 identified phenols, 14 phenols were quantified. The concentrations of total phenols ranged 675.2-3346.1 ng L(-1). The distributions of ecological effect quotients (EEQs) of 14 phenols were characterized in terms of the exposure concentration distributions (ECDs) and species sensitivity distributions (SSDs). Those phenols with EEQs exceeding the threshold proposed by Water Environment Research Foundation of Alexandria were selected as priorities. As a result, 2-nitrophenol (2-NP), p-chloro-m-xylenol (PCMX) and pyrocatechol were determined as potential ecological risk stressors in surface water of the Taihu Lake. Results of the present study suggested that the proposed approach is feasible for the screening level ecological risk assessment.

  15. 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.

  16. Heavy metal contamination and ecological risk in Futian mangrove forest sediment in Shenzhen Bay, South China.

    PubMed

    Li, Rongyu; Li, Ruili; Chai, Minwei; Shen, Xiaoxue; Xu, Hualin; Qiu, Guoyu

    2015-12-15

    Surface sediments in the Futian mangrove forest (South China) were analyzed for heavy metals including cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn). The heavy metal distributions varied greatly in surface sediments, reflecting some sediment heterogeneity. The heavy metal concentrations decreased in the order of Zn>Cr>Pb>Cu>Cd. According to the mean probable effects level quotient, the combination of studied metals had a 21% probability of being toxic. The potential ecological risk index and geo-accumulation index also revealed high metal contamination. Cd was of primary concern due to its higher assessment values and potential for adverse biological effects. Multivariate analysis implied that clay and silt played a significant role in raising the levels of Cr, Cu and Zn. The percentage of mobile heavy metals was relatively higher, without considerable ecological risk to the biota based on the risk assessment code.

  17. Sediment toxicity and ecological risk of trace metals from streams surrounding a municipal solid waste landfill.

    PubMed

    Sayadi, M H; Rezaei, M R; Rezaei, A

    2015-05-01

    The present study is an attempt to assess the pollution intensity and corresponding ecological risk of heavy metals such as Cd, Ni, Pb, Cu, Zn and Cr using various indices like geo-accumulation index, concentration factor, pollution loading and ecological risk index. In all 21 surface sediments samples were collected from the stream flowing around the solid waste disposal landfill of Qayen city in southeastern Iran. Although Igeo values for Cd varied greatly, sites 18-21 with class 5 show heavy loads of Cd (values between 4.13 and 4.45). PLI values (3.37-12.89) clearly suggest strong contamination with respect to the measured metals. This study clearly indicates that the contamination risk in the downstream reservoir is much higher than upstream sites due to transfer and accumulation of leached metals from upstream to downstream.

  18. Comprehensive evaluation of ecological security in mining area based on PSR-ANP-GRAY.

    PubMed

    He, Gang; Yu, Baohua; Li, Shuzhou; Zhu, Yanna

    2017-09-06

    With the large exploitation of mineral resources, a series of problems have appeared in the ecological environment of the mining area. Therefore, evaluating the ecological security of mining area is of great significance to promote its healthy development. In this paper, the evaluation index system of ecological security in mining area was constructed from three dimensions of nature, society and economy, combined with Pressure-State-Response framework model. Then network analytic hierarchy process and GRAY relational analysis method were used to evaluate the ecological security of the region, and the weighted correlation degree of ecological security was calculated through the index data of a coal mine from 2012 to 2016 in China. The results show that the ecological security in the coal mine area is on the rise as a whole, though it alternatively rose and dropped from 2012 to 2016. Among them, the ecological security of the study mining area is at the general security level from 2012 to 2015, and at a relatively safe level in 2016. It shows that the ecological environment of the study mining area can basically meet the requirement of the survival and development of the enterprises.

  19. LSST Painting Risk Evaluation Memo

    SciTech Connect

    Wolfe, Justin E.

    2016-11-10

    The optics subsystem is required to paint the edges of optics black where possible. Due to the risks in applying the paint LSST requests a review of the impact of removing this requirement for the filters and L3.

  20. Ecological risk assessment of nonylphenol in coastal waters of China based on species sensitivity distribution model.

    PubMed

    Gao, Pei; Li, Zhengyan; Gibson, Mark; Gao, Huiwang

    2014-06-01

    Nonylphenol (NP) is an endocrine disruptor and causes feminization and carcinogenesis in various organisms. Consequently, the environmental distribution and ecological risks of NP have received wide concern. China accounts for approximately 10% of the total NP usage in the world, but the water quality criteria of NP have not been established in China and the ecological risks of this pollutant cannot be properly assessed. This study thus aims to determine the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) of NP and to assess the ecological risks of NP in coastal waters of China with the PNEC as water quality criteria. To obtain the HC5 (hazardous concentration for 5% of biological species) and PNEC estimates, the species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) models were built with chronic toxicity data of NP on aquatic organisms screened from the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) ECOTOX database. The results showed that the PNEC for NP in freshwater and seawater was 0.48 μg L(-1) and 0.28 μg L(-1), respectively. The RQ (risk quotient) values of NP in coastal waters of China ranged from 0.01 to 69.7. About 60% of the reported areas showed a high ecological risk with an RQ value ≥ 1.00. NP therefore exists ubiquitously in coastal waters of China and it poses various risks to aquatic ecosystems in the country. This study demonstrates that the SSD methodology can provide a feasible tool for the establishment of water quality criteria for emergent new pollutants when sufficient toxicity data is available.

  1. The social ecology of addiction: race, risk, and resilience.

    PubMed

    Wallace, J M

    1999-05-01

    The purposes of this article are to inform pediatricians and other health professionals of key contextual risk factors that elevate black and Hispanic Americans' likelihood to use substances and to discuss selected protective mechanisms that may shield members of these populations against substance use. The article selectively reviews the literature on the epidemiology, etiology, and consequences of alcohol and other drug use among white, black, and Hispanic adults and youth. The extant research suggests that historical and contemporary racialized practices and ideologies influence racial/ethnic differences in substance use outcomes, both directly and indirectly, through their influence on the communities in which people of different racial/ethnic groups are placed, through their influence on the structure and process of people's interpersonal relationships, and through the impact that they have on individuals' psychology and behavior. Although the emphasis of pediatricians' and many other helping professionals' work focuses on individuals and individual-level behaviors, these behaviors can only be properly examined, diagnosed, and treated when they are understood in light of the community and societal contexts in which they occur.

  2. Ecological risk assessment of contaminated soils through direct toxicity assessment.

    PubMed

    Fernández, María Dolores; Cagigal, Ekain; Vega, María Milagrosa; Urzelai, Arantzazu; Babín, Mar; Pro, Javier; Tarazona, José Vicente

    2005-10-01

    A microcosm (MS-3) with a multispecies soil system is introduced as an experimental tool for direct toxicity assessment of contaminated soils. The capacity of MS-3 to determine soil ecotoxicity potential was evaluated using samples from three sites contaminated with organic and/or inorganic compounds. Soils were toxic to soil-dwelling organisms (earthworm, plants, and microorganisms) and to aquatic organisms (algae and RTG-2 cell fish). As expected, responses varied substantially among different soils and organisms. The application of this evaluation system provided complementary information to the chemical characterization. For soils containing metals the toxic response was lower than predicted from total metal concentrations. For hydrocarbons, the toxicity response agreed with estimated values. The induction of EROD activity suggested the presence of dioxin-like compounds, which had not been addressed in the chemical characterization. The proposed multispecies system affords the measurement of 11 endpoints covering three soil and three aquatic taxonomic groups, reproduces soil conditions and gradients, and appears as an excellent complementary tool to chemical analysis for characterization of contaminated sites.

  3. Sedimentology, geochemistry, pollution status and ecological risk assessment of some heavy metals in surficial sediments of an Egyptian lagoon connecting to the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    El-Said, Ghada F; Draz, Suzanne E O; El-Sadaawy, Manal M; Moneer, Abeer A

    2014-01-01

    Spatial distribution of heavy metals (Co, Cu, Ni, Cr, Mn, Zn and Fe) was studied on Lake Edku's surface sediments in relation to sedimentology and geochemistry characteristics and their contamination status on the ecological system. Lake Edku's sediments were dominated by sandy silt and silty sand textures and were enriched with carbonate content (9.83-58.46%). Iron and manganese were the most abundant heavy metals with ranges of 1.69 to 8.06 mg g(-1) and 0.88 to 3.27 mg g(-1), respectively. Cobalt and nickel showed a harmonic distribution along the studied sediments. The results were interpreted by the statistical means. The heavy metal pollution status and their ecological risk in Lake Edku was evaluated using the sediment quality guidelines and the contamination assessment methods (geoaccumulation, pollution load and potential ecological risk indices, enrichment factor, contamination degree as well as effect range median (ERM) and probable effect level (PEL) quotients). Amongst the determined heavy metals, zinc had the most ecological risk. Overall, the heavy metals in surface sediments showed ecological effect range from moderate to considerable risk, specially, in the stations in front of the seawater and in drain sources that had the highest toxic priority.

  4. [Pollution Evaluation and Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals from Atmospheric Deposition in the Parks of Nanjing].

    PubMed

    Wang, Cheng; Qian, Xin; Li, Hui-ming; Sun, Yi-xuan; Wang, Jin-hua

    2016-05-15

    Contents of heavy metals involving As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn from atmospheric deposition in 10 parks of Nanjing were analyzed. The pollution level, ecological risk and health risk were evaluated using Geoaccumulation Index, Potential Ecological Risk Index and the US EPA Health Risk Assessment Model, respectively. The results showed that the pollution levels of heavy metals in Swallow Rock Park, Swallow Rock Park and Mochou Lake Park were higher than the others. Compared to other cities such as Changchun, Wuhan and Beijing, the contents of heavy metals in atmospheric deposition of parks in Nanjing were higher. The evaluation results of Geoaccumulation Index showed that Pb was at moderate pollution level, Zn and Cu were between moderate and serious levels, while Cd was between serious and extreme levels. The ecological risk level of Cd was high. The assessment results of Health Risk Assessment Model indicated that there was no non-carcinogenic risk for all the seven heavy metals. For carcinogenic risk, the risks of Cd, Cr and Ni were all negligible (Risk < 1 x 10⁻⁶), whereas As had carcinogenic risk possibility but was considered to be acceptable (10⁻⁶ < Risk < 10⁻⁴).

  5. [Socio-psychological and ecological aspects within the system of nuclear radiation risk mitigation].

    PubMed

    Davydov, B I; Ushakov, I B; Zuev, V G

    2004-01-01

    The authors bring into light several aspects of nuclear radiation risks, i.e. physical safety of nuclear technologies and ecology, place of operator within the nuclear radiation safety system (proficiency, protective culture, safety guides) and consider approaches to the human factor quantification within the system of mitigation of risks from nuclear technologies, and IAEA recommendations on probable risk estimation. Future investigations should be aimed at extension of the radiation sensitivity threshold, personnel selection as by psychological so genetic testing for immunity to ionizing radiation, development of pharmachemical and physical protectors and methods of enhancing nonspecific resistance to extreme, including radiation, environments, and building of radiation event simulators for training.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Iron ore industry emissions as a potential ecological risk factor for tropical coastal vegetation.

    PubMed

    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 SO(2) 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. [Ecological security evaluation of Heilongjiang Province with pressure-state-response model].

    PubMed

    Qiu, Wei; Zhao, Qing-liang; Li, Song; Chang, Chein-chi

    2008-04-01

    The ecological security index (ESI) system including 27 indices for Heilongjiang Province was built up with the pressure-state-response (P-S-R) model. The weights of the indices were determined by analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and the ecological security status classification was evaluated by the ESI model for the years of 2000-2005. Then the development trend of ecological security from 2006 to 2010 was forecasted with the grey dynamic model. The results showed that the ecological security ranked the V grade in 2000 and the III grade in 2005, indicating the increase of ecological security. The forecasting results show that the ecological security will be the III grade for 2006, the II grade for 2007-2009, and the I grade for 2010 (ideal security). Thus it can be seen that the ecological security is ascending year by year, and the ecological environment quality is obviously improved with the implementation of eco-province construction since 2000. Through the effective facilitation of eco-province construction etc., the sustainable and healthy development of ecological security will be finally realized in Heilongjiang Province.

  12. Site-specific probabilistic ecological risk assessment of a volatile chlorinated hydrocarbon-contaminated tidal estuary.

    PubMed

    Hunt, James; Birch, Gavin; Warne, Michael St J

    2010-05-01

    Groundwater contaminated with volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons (VCHs) was identified as discharging to Penrhyn Estuary, an intertidal embayment of Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia. A screening-level hazard assessment of surface water in Penrhyn Estuary identified an unacceptable hazard to marine organisms posed by VCHs. Given the limitations of hazard assessments, the present study conducted a higher-tier, quantitative probabilistic risk assessment using the joint probability curve (JPC) method that accounted for variability in exposure and toxicity profiles to quantify risk (delta). Risk was assessed for 24 scenarios, including four areas of the estuary based on three exposure scenarios (low tide, high tide, and both low and high tides) and two toxicity scenarios (chronic no-observed-effect concentrations [NOEC] and 50% effect concentrations [EC50]). Risk (delta) was greater at low tide than at high tide and varied throughout the tidal cycle. Spatial distributions of risk in the estuary were similar using both NOEC and EC50 data. The exposure scenario including data combined from both tides was considered the most accurate representation of the ecological risk in the estuary. When assessing risk using data across both tides, the greatest risk was identified in the Springvale tributary (delta=25%)-closest to the source area-followed by the inner estuary (delta=4%) and the Floodvale tributary (delta=2%), with the lowest risk in the outer estuary (delta=0.1%), farthest from the source area. Going from the screening level ecological risk assessment (ERA) to the probabilistic ERA changed the risk from unacceptable to acceptable in 50% of exposure scenarios in two of the four areas within the estuary. The probabilistic ERA provided a more realistic assessment of risk than the screening-level hazard assessment.

  13. 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

  14. Optical indication for evaluation ecological state of water areas

    SciTech Connect

    Surin, V.G.; Goloudin, R.I.

    1996-11-01

    The results of spectral measurements of reed, leaves by using a two kinds or the spectrometers at the Neva Bay and in the east part of the Gulf of Finland are discussed. It is shown that the optical properties of the coastal-aqueous vegetation depend on the presence of heavy metals in them. Key words: ecology, spectral reflectance, pollution, aqueous vegetation, remote sensing, spectrometer. 7 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  15. 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.

  16. Occurrence, spatiotemporal distribution, and ecological risks of steroids in a large shallow Chinese lake, Lake Taihu.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Li-Jun; Zhang, Bei-Bei; Zhao, Yong-Gang; Wu, Qinglong L

    2016-07-01

    Steroids have been frequently detected in surface waters, and might pose adverse effects on aquatic organisms. However, little information is available regarding the occurrence and spatiotemporal distribution of steroids in lake environments. In addition to pollution sources, the occurrence and spatiotemporal distribution of steroids in lake environments might be related to lake types (shallow or deep), lake hydrodynamics, and sorption-desorption processes in the water-sediment systems. In this study, the occurrence, spatiotemporal distribution, and ecological risks of 36 steroids in a large shallow lake were evaluated by investigating surface water and sediment samples at 32 sites in Lake Taihu over two seasons. Twelve and 15 analytes were detected in aqueous and sedimentary phases, respectively, with total concentrations ranging from 0.86 to 116ng/L (water) and from 0.82 to 16.2ng/g (sediment, dry weight). Temporal variations of steroid concentrations in the water and sediments were statistically significant, with higher concentrations in winter. High concentrations of steroids were found in the seriously polluted bays rather than in the pelagic zone of the lake. Strong lake currents might mix pelagic waters, resulting in similar concentrations of steroids in the pelagic zone. Mass balance analysis showed that sediments in shallow lakes are in general an important sink for steroids. Steroids in the surface water and sediments of Lake Taihu might pose potential risks to aquatic organisms. Overall, our study indicated that the concentrations and spatiotemporal distribution of steroids in the large shallow lake are influenced simultaneously by pollution sources and lake hydrodynamics. Steroids in the large shallow Lake Taihu showed clear temporal and spatial variations and lake sediments may be a potential sink of steroids. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Evaluation of protective action risks

    SciTech Connect

    Witzig, W.F.; Shillenn, J.K.

    1987-06-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine how the risks of the protective action of evacuation compare with the radiological risks from a radiation release if no protective actions are taken. Evacuation risks of death and injury have been determined by identifying from newspapers and other sources 902 possible evacuation events which occurred in the US during the period January 1, 1973 through April 30, 1986. A survey form was developed to determine evacuation risks and other information relating to the evacuation events and sent to local emergency management personnel located in the vicinity of 783 events. There were 310 completed surveys received and the data summarized. This study found that the key factors for a successful evacuation included an emergency plan, good communications and coordination, practice drills, and defined authority. Few successful evacuations used the emergency broadcasting system or warning sirens to communicate the need to evacuate. Reports of panic and traffic jams during an evacuation were very few. Traffic jams occurring during reentry were more likely than during the evacuation exodus. A summary of potential societal consequences of evacuation is included in this study. 5 refs., 9 figs., 20 tabs.

  18. Use of risk assessment to evaluate effects and plan remediation of abandoned mines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, T.P.

    2000-01-01

    A framework of risk assessment is elaborated for the evaluation of the effects of abandoned mines and mills. Steps in this process include environmental description, identification and characterization of sources, assessment of exposure, assessment of effects, risk characterization, and risk management of remediation. The development and use of ecological end-points for remediation is discussed in terms of the chemical constituents, toxicity tests and the biological community.

  19. 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

  20. Possible ecological risks of transgenic organism release when transgenes affect mating success: Sexual selection and the Trojan gene hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Muir, William M.; Howard, Richard D.

    1999-01-01

    Widespread interest in producing transgenic organisms is balanced by concern over ecological hazards, such as species extinction if such organisms were to be released into nature. An ecological risk associated with the introduction of a transgenic organism is that the transgene, though rare, can spread in a natural population. An increase in transgene frequency is often assumed to be unlikely because transgenic organisms typically have some viability disadvantage. Reduced viability is assumed to be common because transgenic individuals are best viewed as macromutants that lack any history of selection that could reduce negative fitness effects. However, these arguments ignore the potential advantageous effects of transgenes on some aspect of fitness such as mating success. Here, we examine the risk to a natural population after release of a few transgenic individuals when the transgene trait simultaneously increases transgenic male mating success and lowers the viability of transgenic offspring. We obtained relevant life history data by using the small cyprinodont fish, Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) as a model. Our deterministic equations predict that a transgene introduced into a natural population by a small number of transgenic fish will spread as a result of enhanced mating advantage, but the reduced viability of offspring will cause eventual local extinction of both populations. Such risks should be evaluated with each new transgenic animal before release. PMID:10570162

  1. Potential ecological risk of heavy metals and metalloid in the sediments of Wuyuer River basin, Heilongjiang Province, China.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jia; Zang, Shuying; Zhai, Danlei; Wu, Bin

    2014-05-01

    The spatial distribution, sources, and potential ecological risk of heavy metals and metalloid were evaluated in sediments of the Wuyuer River and its tributaries. Metal and metalloid concentrations and chemical speciation (Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Cd, As, Zn and Hg) in 187 surface sediment samples were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Metals and metalloid in the sediments of the Wuyuer River were greater than the background values of the Songnen Plain, and mean heavy metal concentrations were greater in downstream segments of the river than in upstream segments. Speciation results indicated that Cd was chemically mobile and Cu, Pb, Zn, Cr, and Ni were potentially bioavailable. Mercury and As existed mainly in the residual fraction. Hakanson's potential risk index indicated that the total potential ecological risk of these elements was moderate in the Wuyuer River. Among the selected metals and metalloid, Hg and Cd were the most potentially toxic and mainly distributed near the cities of Keshan, Yi'an and Fuyü. Because the speciation of Cd in the river sediments is highly bioavailable, the concentrations of Cd should be closely monitored. This research provides managers with information needed to better regulate the environment of the Wuyuer River.

  2. Ecological risk assessment of trace metal accumulation in sediments of Veraval Harbor, Gujarat, Arabian Sea.

    PubMed

    Sundararajan, S; Khadanga, Mukunda Kesari; Kumar, J Prince Prakash Jeba; Raghumaran, S; Vijaya, R; Jena, Basanta Kumar

    2017-01-15

    In this study, different types of indices were used to assess the ecological risk of trace metal contamination in sediments on the basis of sediment quality guidelines at Veraval Fishery Harbor. Sediment samples were collected from three sectors in pre-, post-, and monsoon seasons in 2006. Trace metal concentrations were higher in the inner sector during post-monsoon, and it showed the highest statistical significance (p<0.01) among the stations. Pollution load index was higher than unity, indicating alternation by effluent discharge from industries. Enrichment factor and geo-accumulation index showed that Cd, Pb, and Zn were enriched in the northern part of the harbor and Pb had accumulated in the harbor sediment. The ecological risk assessment index revealed that Ni, Zn, and Pb were higher than the effect range median values, indicating their potential toxicity to the aquatic environment in the Veraval Harbor. Hence, the harbor is dominated by anthropogenic activities rather than natural process.

  3. 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.

  4. Cd pollution and ecological risk assessment for mining activity zone in Karst Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, B.; He, J. L.; Wen, X. M.; Tan, H.

    2017-08-01

    The monitored soil samples were collected from farmland in the area with mining activity in Karst area in Liupanshui. In this article, moss bag technology and TSP were used simultaneously for Cd transportation and deposition in the study area. Geostatistics and GIS were then used for the spatial distribution of Cd in the soil. Afterwards, Cd pollution to the soil environment and human health was studied by using the geo-accumulation index and potential ecological risk index methods. The results indicated that atmospheric deposition is the major route of Cd pollution. A moderate to strong pollution of Cd in the area and the degree of potential ecological risk was in a high level in the study area. Furthermore, Cd pollution in Liupanshui may originate from mining activity and atmospheric deposition.

  5. 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; Bistoni, María de los Angeles

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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. © 2012 Society for Risk Analysis.

  7. 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.