Science.gov

Sample records for probalistic ecological risk

  1. Probalistic Assessment of Radiation Risk for Solar Particle Events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  3. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. [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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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…

  18. Toward an Ecological Risk Assessment Framework for Special Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trepanier, Nathalie Sonia

    2005-01-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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 ...

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. [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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  16. [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.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  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 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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,...

  20. 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,...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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,…

  8. 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,…

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

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

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.W. II

    1997-05-01

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

  3. 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

  4. [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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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?"

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.…

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

  20. [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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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,...

  3. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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…

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. [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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Marine Ecological Risk Assessment at Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Phase 1.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-05-01

    on Fertilization, Survival, and Development of the Sea Urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus ," in Biological Monitoring of Marine Pollutants (F... developed for each proposed study. Funding by NAVOCEANSYSCEN and EPA-ERL is subject to the U. S . Government appropriation process. No responsibility is...ecological risk assessment is developed . Exposure to and the effects of contamination are measured at both subtidal and intertidal s . %tions. A T-shaped

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2000-02-25

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

  2. 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. Trace metal levels, sources, and ecological risk assessment in a densely agricultural area from Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Al-Wabel, Mohammad I; Sallam, Abd El-Azeem S; Usman, Adel R A; Ahmad, Mahtab; El-Naggar, Ahmed Hamdy; El-Saeid, Mohammed Hamza; Al-Faraj, Abdulelah; El-Enazi, Khaled; Al-Romian, Fahad A

    2017-06-01

    The present study was conducted in one of the most densely cultivated area of Al-Qassim region in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to (i) monitor trace metal (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) contents in surface and subsurface soils, (ii) assess the pollution and potential ecological risk levels of trace metals, and (iii) identify trace metal sources using enrichment factor (EF), correlation matrix, and principal component analysis (PCA). The pollution levels of the analyzed trace metals calculated by the geoaccumulation index (I geo) and contamination factor (C f) suggested that the soils were highly contaminated with Cd and moderately contaminated with Pb. Based on the average values of EF, soil samples were found to present extremely high enrichment for Cd, significant enrichment for Pb, moderate enrichment for Zn, and deficient to minimal enrichment for other trace metals. Among the analyzed trace metals, a very high ecological risk was observed only in the case of Cd at some sampling sites. Meanwhile, other investigated trace metals had a low ecological risk. The results of PCA combined with correlation matrix suggested that Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr Ni, Cu, and Co represent natural abundance in soil, but Cd, Pb, and Cu are of anthropogenic inputs, mainly due to agrochemical and fertilizer applications. It could be generally concluded that the obtained results can be useful for assessing and conducting a future program for trace metal monitoring in agricultural areas of Saudi Arabia.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    Owing to the Industrial Revolution in the late 1970s, heavy metal pollution has been regarded as a serious threat to mangrove ecosystems in the region of the Pearl River Estuary, potentially affecting human health. The present study attempted to characterize the ecological risk of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) in Nansha mangrove, South China, by estimating their concentrations in the surface sediment. In addition, the pollution history of heavy metals was examined by determining the concentrations of heavy metals along the depth gradient. The phytoremediation potential of heavy metals by the dominant plants in Nansha mangrove, namely Sonneratia apetala and Cyperus malaccensis, was also studied. Results found that the surface sediment was severely contaminated with heavy metals, probably due to the discharge of industrial sewage into the Pearl River Estuary. Spatial variation of heavy metals was generally unobvious. The ecological risk of heavy metals was very high, largely due to Cd contamination. All heavy metals, except Mn, decreased with depth, indicating that heavy metal pollution has been deteriorating since 1979. Worse still, the dominant plants in Nansha mangrove had limited capability to remove the heavy metals from sediment. Therefore, we propose that immediate actions, such as regulation of discharge standards of industrial sewage, should be taken by the authorities concerned to mitigate the ecological risk posed by heavy metals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. The development of an ecological approach to manage the pollution risk from highway runoff.

    PubMed

    Crabtree, B; Dempsey, P; Johnson, I; Whitehead, M

    2009-01-01

    In the UK, the Highways Agency is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network in England. One focus of the Highways Agency's ongoing research into the nature and impact of highway runoff is aimed at ensuring that the Highways Agency will meet the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. A research programme, undertaken in partnership with the Environment Agency, is in progress to develop a better understanding of pollutants in highway runoff and their ecological impact. The paper presents the outcome of a study to: (1) monitor pollutants in highway runoff under different climate and traffic conditions; (2) develop standards to assess potential ecological risks from soluble pollutants in highway runoff; and (3) develop a model to predict pollutant concentrations in highway runoff. The model has been embedded in a design tool incorporating risk assessment procedures and receiving water standards for soluble and insoluble pollutants--the latter has been developed elsewhere in another project within the research programme. The design tool will be used to support improved guidance on where, and to what level, treatment of runoff is required for highway designers to manage the risk of ecological impact from highway runoff.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    The protection of aquatic plants has received less attention in ecological risk assessment of pollutants compared with animals. Some pollutants like herbicide, however, are more toxic to aquatic plants than to animals. Aquatic toxicity data of 126 priority pollutants were screened and analyzed in this study. Through data analysis, five priority pollutants namely 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA), 4-nitrophenol (4-NP), butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) were identified to have high phytotoxicity effect. The most sensitive aquatic plants to these five pollutants are all alage, including Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, Gymnodinium breve. The water quality criteria concentration of the five pollutants were derived by the species sensitivity distribution method. The acute criteria concentration for the five pollutants were derived to be 1474, 2180, 54.41, 98.52 and 520.4 μg L(-1), and the chronic criteria concentration for them were 147.4, 218.0, 5.441, 9.852 and 52.04 μg L(-1), respectively. For China's freshwater bodies, the results of ecological risk assessment based on the derived criteria showed that, for the selected pollutants except DBP, there were basically no significant risk in most of the studied water bodies. DBP showed apparent ecological risks in all of the studied water bodies, particularly in the middle Yellow River, the Xuanwu Lake, the Yuehu Lake, etc. Field monitoring data of the Liao River and the Taihu Lake showed that DBP had moderate risks in some of the sampling sites of both the watersheds, while BBP posed moderate risks only on a few sites of the Liao River. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Use of the ecosystem services concept in ecological risk assessment of chemicals.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Valery E; Calow, Peter

    2013-04-01

    The reason for expressing ecological protection goals in terms of ecosystem services is to make a connection between ecosystems and what people get out of them in terms of marketed goods and nonmarketed welfare. Here our focus will be on how the ecosystem services framework is and can be applied to the ecological risk assessment (ERA) of chemicals. We provide 2 contrasting examples of how the ecosystem services framework is currently being applied in regulatory risk assessment, and we discuss the challenges and knowledge gaps that need to be addressed if such a framework is to substantially improve ERAs and their ability to inform management decisions. We make the point that formulating protection goals in terms of ecosystem services only makes sense if they can be used in managing environmental impacts and if they are useful in informing the risk assessments behind these. Ecosystem services can make a contribution to management by connecting ecosystem structure and process to what is valued, and analyzing risk in this context is a way of making risk assessment more policy- and value-relevant. Using an ecosystem services framework to its fullest potential to support ERA will require the successful development of a suite of coupled Valuation Methods, Ecological Production Functions, and Mechanistic Effect Models that will require the establishment of strong multidisciplinary collaborations among ecologists, computer scientists, social scientists, and possibly others. In addition, buy-in from environmental decision makers and other stakeholders will be crucial. Some progress is being made on the research front, and the implementation of new legislation is providing incentives for developing risk assessment outputs that are much more directly related to environmental protection goals than those used currently. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-15

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  16. Heavy metal pollution and potential ecological risks in rivers: a case study from southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Protano, Carmela; Zinnà, Loredana; Giampaoli, Saverio; Romano Spica, Vincenzo; Chiavarini, Salvatore; Vitali, Matteo

    2014-01-01

    We monitored heavy metal (As, Cd, Hg, and Pb) concentrations in surface water, sediments, and oligochaetes in four major rivers in Calabria (southern Italy) over the course of 1 year. As, Cd, and Pb showed accumulation factors of 10(3)-10(5) for water to sediment and 1-10 for sediment to oligochaetes. Hg showed a water to sediment accumulation factor of 10-100. Finally, Hg concentrations exceeded the Italian quality standard for freshwater in all of the rivers, and As concentrations in sediments exceeded the respective Canadian standard. However, the application of an ecological risk assessment method indicated low risks for all monitored rivers.

  17. A dominance-based approach to map risks of ecological invasions in the presence of severe uncertainty

    Treesearch

    Denys Yemshanov; Frank H. Koch; D. Barry Lyons; Mark Ducey; Klaus Koehler

    2012-01-01

    Aim Uncertainty has been widely recognized as one of the most critical issues in predicting the expansion of ecological invasions. The uncertainty associated with the introduction and spread of invasive organisms influences how pest management decision makers respond to expanding incursions. We present a model-based approach to map risk of ecological invasions that...

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gimeno, S.; Bowmer, C.T.

    1999-07-01

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

  19. Recent ecological responses to climate change support predictions of high extinction risk.

    PubMed

    Maclean, Ilya M D; Wilson, Robert J

    2011-07-26

    Predicted effects of climate change include high extinction risk for many species, but confidence in these predictions is undermined by a perceived lack of empirical support. Many studies have now documented ecological responses to recent climate change, providing the opportunity to test whether the magnitude and nature of recent responses match predictions. Here, we perform a global and multitaxon metaanalysis to show that empirical evidence for the realized effects of climate change supports predictions of future extinction risk. We use International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List criteria as a common scale to estimate extinction risks from a wide range of climate impacts, ecological responses, and methods of analysis, and we compare predictions with observations. Mean extinction probability across studies making predictions of the future effects of climate change was 7% by 2100 compared with 15% based on observed responses. After taking account of possible bias in the type of climate change impact analyzed and the parts of the world and taxa studied, there was less discrepancy between the two approaches: predictions suggested a mean extinction probability of 10% across taxa and regions, whereas empirical evidence gave a mean probability of 14%. As well as mean overall extinction probability, observations also supported predictions in terms of variability in extinction risk and the relative risk associated with broad taxonomic groups and geographic regions. These results suggest that predictions are robust to methodological assumptions and provide strong empirical support for the assertion that anthropogenic climate change is now a major threat to global biodiversity.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Emlen, J.M.

    1989-01-01

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

  1. Where lies the risk? An ecological approach to understanding child mental health risk and vulnerabilities in sub-saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Atilola, Olayinka

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Atilola, Olayinka

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-12

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mauahan, J.; Raddatz, A.

    1995-12-31

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

    The distribution, seasonal variations and ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water from three estuaries in Hai River Basin of China, which has been suffering from different anthropogenic pressures, were investigated. In three estuaries, the average concentration of ΣPAHs was the lowest in Luan River estuary, followed by Hai River estuary, and the highest in Zhangweixin River estuary. There were significant seasonal variations in ΣPAHs, the concentrations of ΣPAHs were higher in November than in May and August. The composition profiles of PAHs in different sites were significantly different, and illustrated seasonal variations. Generally, 2-ring (Nap) and 3-ring PAHs (Acp, Fl and Phe) were the most abundant components at most sampling sites in three estuaries. The PAHs in three estuaries were mainly originated from pyrogenic sources. A method based on toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) and risk quotient (RQ) was proposed to assess the ecological risk of ΣPAHs, with the ecological risk of individual PAHs being considered separately. The results showed that the ecological risks caused by ΣPAHs were high in Hai River estuary and Zhangweixin River estuary, and moderate in Luan River estuary. The mean values of ecological risk in August were lower than those in November. The contributions of individual PAHs to ecological risk were different in May, August and November. 3-ring and 4-ring PAHs accounted for much more ecological risk than 2-ring, 5-ring and 6-ring, although the contributions of 5-ring and 6-ring to ecological risk were higher than these to PAHs concentrations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. A stress ecology framework for comprehensive risk assessment of diffuse pollution.

    PubMed

    van Straalen, Nico M; van Gestel, Cornelis A M

    2008-12-01

    Environmental pollution is traditionally classified as either localized or diffuse. Local pollution comes from a point source that emits a well-defined cocktail of chemicals, distributed in the environment in the form of a gradient around the source. Diffuse pollution comes from many sources, small and large, that cause an erratic distribution of chemicals, interacting with those from other sources into a complex mixture of low to moderate concentrations over a large area. There is no good method for ecological risk assessment of such types of pollution. We argue that effects of diffuse contamination in the field must be analysed in the wider framework of stress ecology. A multivariate approach can be applied to filter effects of contaminants from the many interacting factors at the ecosystem level. Four case studies are discussed (1) functional and structural properties of terrestrial model ecosystems, (2) physiological profiles of microbial communities, (3) detritivores in reedfield litter, and (4) benthic invertebrates in canal sediment. In each of these cases the data were analysed by multivariate statistics and associations between ecological variables and the levels of contamination were established. We argue that the stress ecology framework is an appropriate assessment instrument for discriminating effects of pollution from other anthropogenic disturbances and naturally varying factors.

  8. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-06-01

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

  10. Ecological risk assessment of pharmaceuticals in the receiving environment of pharmaceutical wastewater in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Ashfaq, Muhammad; Nawaz Khan, Khujasta; Saif Ur Rehman, Muhammad; Mustafa, Ghulam; Faizan Nazar, Muhammad; Sun, Qian; Iqbal, Javed; Mulla, Sikandar I; Yu, Chang-Ping

    2017-02-01

    The pharmaceutical industry of Pakistan is growing with an annual growth rate of 10%. Besides this growth, this industry is not complying with environmental standards, and discharging its effluent into domestic wastewater network. Only limited information is available about the occurrence of pharmaceutical compounds (PCs) in the environmental matrices of Pakistan that has motivated us to aim at the occurrence and ecological risk assessment of 11 PCs of different therapeutic classes in the wastewater of pharmaceutical industry and in its receiving environmental matrices such as sludge, solid waste and soil samples near the pharmaceutical formulation units along Shiekhupura road, Lahore, Pakistan. Target PCs (paracetamol, naproxen, diclofenac, ibuprofen, amlodipine, rosuvastatin, ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin and gemifloxacin) were quantified using in-house developed HPLC-UV. Ibuprofen (1673µg/L, 6046µg/kg, 1229µg/kg and 610µg/kg), diclofenac (836µg/L, 4968µg/kg, 6632µg/kg and 257µg/kg) and naproxen (464µg/L, 7273µg/kg, 4819µg/kg and 199µg/kg) showed the highest concentrations among 11 target PCs in wastewater, sludge, solid waste and soil samples, respectively. Ecological risk assessment, in terms of risk quotient (RQ), was also carried out based on the maximum measured concentration of PCs in wastewater. The maximum RQ values obtained were with paracetamol (64 against daphnia), naproxen (177 against fish), diclofenac (12,600 against Oncorhynchus mykiss), ibuprofen (167,300 against Oryzias latipes), ofloxacin (81,000 against Pseudomonas putida) and ciprofloxacin (440 against Microcystis aeruginosa). These results show a high level of ecological risk due to the discharge of untreated wastewater from pharmaceutical units. This risk may further lead to food web contamination and drug resistance in pathogens. Thus, further studies are needed to detect the PCs in crops as well as the government should strictly enforce environmental

  11. 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

  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 in the 21st Century: The Role of Ecotoxicogenomics and the Need for Multi-disciplinary Research

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    A baseline ecological risk assessment (BERA) was performed for residual ash in the Watts Bar Reservoir following a release of fly ash from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant. The site consists of parts of 3 rivers in eastern Tennessee comprising over 32 river kilometers. The purpose of the assessment was to determine if residual ash negatively impacts maintenance and reproduction of balanced communities or populations of potentially exposed ecological receptor groups in these rivers. This introductory article summarizes the site and environmental setting, assessment and measurement endpoints, risk characterization methods, and the study approach. Subsequent articles describe ecological risks to fish, benthic invertebrates, aquatic- and riparian-feeding wildlife, and aerial-feeding insectivores; and the role ecological risk characterization played in determining the most effective management of the residual ash, setting project remediation objectives and targets, and designing long-term monitoring to measure the effectiveness of the selected removal action. © 2014 SETAC.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Fishing in dangerous waters: Ecology, gender and economy in HIV risk.

    PubMed

    Mojola, Sanyu A

    2011-01-01

    This paper focuses on a neglected factor in literature on the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa: the role of the eco-social environment in shaping HIV risk. I argue that the changing ecological environment of Lake Victoria, Africa's largest freshwater lake, mapping onto a gendered economy, shaped fisherfolk's sexual relationships and sexual mixing patterns in ways that were consequential for their HIV risk. Specifically, I show how disrupted lake and fish ecology had an impact on fishermen's sexual, domestic and economic partnerships, as well as how it contributed to the "sex for fish" economy in Nyanza Province, Kenya. I also show the consequences of fishermen's relative wealth on transactional relationships with school girls and women in lakeside communities. The paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork over a seven month period among the Luo ethnic group, which has the highest HIV rates in Kenya. The study included 74 individual and focus group interviews in communities around Lake Victoria, as well as 20 key informant interviews. Additionally, literature reviews on fishing and sexual economies as well as on ecological research in Lake Victoria are employed. Exploring linkages between these literatures and fieldwork findings forms the basis of this paper. I argue that solely focusing on individual level HIV prevention strategies is limited without taking into account the eco-social context of individual sexual decision making. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  2. Toward a cumulative ecological risk model for the etiology of child maltreatment.

    PubMed

    Mackenzie, Michael J; Kotch, Jonathan B; Lee, Li-Ching

    2011-09-01

    The purpose of the current study was to further the integration of cumulative risk models with empirical research on the etiology of child maltreatment. Despite the well-established literature supporting the importance of the accumulation of ecological risk, this perspective has had difficulty infiltrating empirical maltreatment research and its tendency to focus on more limited risk factors. Utilizing a sample of 842 mother-infant dyads, we compared the capacity of individual risk factors and a cumulative index to predict maltreatment reports in a prospective longitudinal investigation over the first sixteen years of life. The total load of risk in early infancy was found to be related to maternal cognitions surrounding her new role, measures of social support and well-being, and indicators of child cognitive functioning. After controlling for total level of cumulative risk, most single factors failed to predict later maltreatment reports and no single variable provided odd-ratios as powerful as the predictive power of a cumulative index. Continuing the shift away from simplistic causal models toward an appreciation for the cumulative nature of risk would be an important step forward in the way we conceptualize intervention and support programs, concentrating them squarely on alleviating the substantial risk facing so many of society's families.

  3. Potential Risks of Ecological Momentary Assessment Among Persons Who Inject Drugs.

    PubMed

    Roth, Alexis M; Rossi, John; Goldshear, Jesse L; Truong, Quan; Armenta, Richard F; Lankenau, Stephen E; Garfein, Richard S; Simmons, Janie

    2017-06-07

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA)-which often involves brief surveys delivered via mobile technology-has transformed our understanding of the individual and contextual micro-processes associated with legal and illicit drug use. However, little empirical research has focused on participant's perspective on the probability and magnitude of potential risks in EMA studies. To garner participant perspectives on potential risks common to EMA studies of illicit drug use. We interviewed 38 persons who inject drugs living in San Diego (CA) and Philadelphia (PA), United States. They completed simulations of an EMA tool and then underwent a semi-structured interview that systematically explored domains of risk considered within the proposed revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects or the "Common Rule." Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded systematically to explore psychological, physical, social, legal, and informational risks from participation. Participants perceived most risks to be minimal. Some indicated that repetitive questioning about mood or drug use could cause psychological (i.e., anxiety) or behavioral risks (i.e., drug use relapse). Ironically, the questions that were viewed as risky were considered motivational to engage in healthy behaviors. The most cited risks were legal and social risks stemming from participant concerns about data collection and security. Improving our understanding of these issues is an essential first step to protect human participants in future EMA research. We provide a brief set of recommendations that can aid in the design and ethics review of the future EMA protocol with substance using populations.

  4. An ecological risk assessment for the use of Irgarol 1051 as an algaecide for antifoulant paints.

    PubMed

    Hall, L W; Giddings, J M; Solomon, K R; Balcomb, R

    1999-07-01

    Irgarol 1051 is an algaecide used in copper-based antifoulant paints for controlling fouling organisms on the hulls of recreational and commercial watercraft. Paints containing this algaecide have been used in Europe since the mid-1980s. In 1998, the first antifouling paints containing Irgarol 1051 were registered for use in the U. S. To examine the risk that Irgarol may pose to aquatic ecosystems, a probabilistic ecological risk assessment was conducted using distributions of exposure and toxicity data. Exposure data for this assessment were derived from 11 monitoring studies (146 stations) conducted in marinas, estuaries, and coastal waters from 1992 to 1997 in six European countries. A comparison of 90th percentile concentrations pooled by station types across all regions showed that concentrations in marinas (316 ng/l) were higher than in estuaries and coastal waters (41 and 19 ng/l, respectively). A 90th percentile of 133 ng/l was reported for all pooled stations. Temporal trends showed that Irgarol concentrations typically peaked in early summer after launching of small boats with much lower concentrations occurring during the spring, fall, and winter. Toxicity data used for this risk assessment were derived primarily from unpublished studies submitted to regulatory agencies. Because Irgarol is a photosynthesis-inhibiting herbicide, it is much more toxic to plants than animals. Toxicity values for animals (fish and invertebrates) were much greater than concentrations of Irgarol reported in the environment. Therefore, a conservative approach using a distribution of only plant toxicity data (EC50s for plant growth) was used to derive a 10th percentile of 136 ng/l. This plant toxicity benchmark of 136 ng/l was used for risk characterization. Results from probabilistic analysis showed that ecological risk from Irgarol exposure was low in estuaries, coastal areas, and various open-type marinas. However, 10% or more of the plant species in enclosed marinas with low

  5. Association of ecological factors with Rift Valley fever occurrence and mapping of risk zones in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Mosomtai, Gladys; Evander, Magnus; Sandström, Per; Ahlm, Clas; Sang, Rosemary; Hassan, Osama Ahmed; Affognon, Hippolyte; Landmann, Tobias

    2016-05-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne infection with great impact on animal and human health. The objectives of this study were to identify ecological factors that explain the risk of RVF outbreaks in eastern and central Kenya and to produce a spatially explicit risk map. The sensitivity of seven selected ecological variables to RVF occurrence was assessed by generalized linear modelling (GLM). Vegetation seasonality variables (from normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data) and 'evapotranspiration' (ET) (metrics) were obtained from 0.25-1km MODIS satellite data observations; 'livestock density' (N/km(2)), 'elevation' (m), and 'soil ratio' (fraction of all significant soil types within a certain county as a function of the total area of that county) were used as covariates. 'Livestock density', 'small vegetation integral', and the second principal component of ET were the most significant determinants of RVF occurrence in Kenya (all p ≤ 0.01), with high RVF risk areas identified in the counties of Tana River, Garissa, Isiolo, and Lamu. Wet soil fluxes measured with ET and vegetation seasonality variables could be used to map RVF risk zones on a sub-regional scale. Future outbreaks could be better managed if relevant RVF variables are integrated into early warning systems. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Ecological risk assessment of Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) for the Great Lakes Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kolar, Cynthia S.; Cudmore, Becky

    2017-01-01

    Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) is an herbivorous, freshwater fish that was first introduced in the United States in the early 1960s for use in biological control of aquatic vegetation. It has since escaped and dispersed through the Mississippi River basin towards the Great Lakes. To characterize the risk of Grass Carp to the Great Lakes basin, a binational ecological risk assessment of Grass Carp was conducted.This risk assessment covered both triploid (sterile) and diploid (fertile) Grass Carp and assessed the likelihood of arrival, survival, establishment, and spread, and the magnitude of the ecological consequences within 5, 10, 20 and 50 years from 2014 (i.e., the baseline year) to the connected Great Lakes basin (defined as the Great Lakes basin and its tributaries to the first impassable barrier; risk was assessed based on current climate conditions and at the individual lake scale but does not address a finer geographical scale (e.g., bay or sub-region).For triploid Grass Carp, the probability of occurrence (likelihood of arrival, survival, and spread) was assessed, and for diploid Grass Carp the probability of introduction (likelihood of arrival, survival, establishment and spread) was assessed.

  7. 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.

  8. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of copper in Chinese offshore marine environments from 2005 to 2012.

    PubMed

    Jin, Xiaowei; Liu, Fang; Wang, Yeyao; Zhang, Lingsong; Li, Zhao; Wang, Zijian; Giesy, John P; Wang, Zhen

    2015-05-15

    The objective of the present study was to conduct a probabilistic assessment of risk posed by copper found in the coastal marine environment of China from 2005 to 2012. This was achieved by applying a tiered ecological risk assessment (ERA) approach for characterization of risks of concentrations of copper from nationwide marine water monitoring program. The results show that from 2005 to 2012 the overall trend of hazard quotients (HQs) in the coastal marine environment of China the proportion of locations that exceed a HQ of 1.0 decreased from 64% in 2005 to 31% in 2012. While this indicates an overall improvement of the environment, there still have potential ecological risks in the most of the area, especially for the major gulfs of Liaodong and Bohai Bays and Yellow River Estuary. In addition, probabilities of exceeding the toxicity threshold for 5% of species were 27.6%, 5.4%, 4.9%, 0.8%, 0.4%, 1.0%, 1.8% and 0.12% annually between 2005 and 2012, respectively.

  9. Dietary Toxicity Thresholds and Ecological Risks for Birds and Mammals Based on Species Sensitivity Distributions.

    PubMed

    Korsman, John C; Schipper, Aafke M; Hendriks, A Jan

    2016-10-04

    Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) are commonly used in regulatory procedures and ecological risk assessments. Yet, most toxicity threshold and risk assessment studies are based on invertebrates and fish. In the present study, no observed effect concentrations (NOECs) specific to birds and mammals were used to derive SSDs and corresponding hazardous concentrations for 5% of the species (HC5 values). This was done for 41 individual substances as well as for subsets of substances aggregated based on their toxic Mode of Action (MoA). In addition, potential differences in SSD parameters (mean and standard deviation) were investigated in relation to MoA and end point (growth, reproduction, and survival). The means of neurotoxic and respirotoxic compounds were significantly lower than those of narcotics, whereas no differences were found between end points. The standard deviations of the SSDs were similar across MoA's and end points. Finally, the SSDs obtained were used in a case study by calculating Ecological Risks (ER) and multisubstance Potentially Affected Fractions of species (msPAF) based on 19 chemicals in 10 Northwestern European estuaries and coastal areas. The assessment showed that the risks were all below 2.6 × 10(-2). However, the calculated risks underestimate the actual risks of chemicals in these areas because the potential impacts of substances that were not measured in the field or for which no SSD was available were not included in the risk assessment. The SSDs obtained can be used in regulatory procedures and for assessing the impacts of contaminants on birds and mammals from fish contaminants monitoring programs.

  10. 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.

  11. Inclusion of soil arsenic bioaccessibility in ecological risk assessment and comparison with biological effects.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Jared R; Knopper, Loren D; Koch, Iris; Reimer, Kenneth J

    2011-12-15

    The purpose of this study was to conduct an ecological risk assessment (ERA) for meadow voles (Microtus pennslvanicus) found at three arsenic contaminated sites in Nova Scotia, Canada (as well as two background locations) and to compare the numeric results to measured biomarkers of exposure and effect. The daily intake of arsenic by meadow voles was determined by three separate calculations: estimated daily intake (EDI), bioaccessible estimated daily intake (BEDI, with bioaccessibility of soil included), and actual daily intake (ADI, which is calculated with arsenic concentrations in the stomach contents). The median bioaccessibility of arsenic in soils from the contaminated locations was significantly greater than at background locations. The bioaccessible arsenic concentration in soil from all samples (both contaminated and background) was significantly less than the total concentration. Use of site-specific bioaccessibility (hazard quotients=38 at Upper Seal Harbour (USH); 60 at Lower Seal Harbour (LSH); and 120 at Montague tailings (MONT)) and stomach arsenic contents (hazard quotients=2.1 at USH; 7.9 at LSH; and 6.7 at MONT) in the ERA resulted in lower numeric risk than compared to risk calculated with 100% bioavailability (hazard quotient=180 at USH; 75 at LSH; and 680 at MONT). Further, the use of bioaccessibility on the calculation of risk was aligned with biomarker results (changes in glutathione and micronucleated erythrocytes) in voles captured at the sites. This study provides evidence that using site-specific bioaccessibility in ERAs may provide a more realistic level of conservatism, thereby enhancing the accuracy of predicting risk to wildlife receptors. Furthermore, when numeric risk assessments are combined with site-specific biological data (i.e., biomarkers of exposure and effect), both lines of evidence can be used to make informed decisions about ecological risk and site management. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. [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.

  13. Ecological covariates based predictive model of malaria risk in the state of Chhattisgarh, India.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rajesh; Dash, Chinmaya; Rani, Khushbu

    2017-09-01

    Malaria being an endemic disease in the state of Chhattisgarh and ecologically dependent mosquito-borne disease, the study is intended to identify the ecological covariates of malaria risk in districts of the state and to build a suitable predictive model based on those predictors which could assist developing a weather based early warning system. This secondary data based analysis used one month lagged district level malaria positive cases as response variable and ecological covariates as independent variables which were tested with fixed effect panelled negative binomial regression models. Interactions among the covariates were explored using two way factorial interaction in the model. Although malaria risk in the state possesses perennial characteristics, higher parasitic incidence was observed during the rainy and winter seasons. The univariate analysis indicated that the malaria incidence risk was statistically significant associated with rainfall, maximum humidity, minimum temperature, wind speed, and forest cover (p < 0.05). The efficient predictive model include the forest cover [IRR-1.033 (1.024-1.042)], maximum humidity [IRR-1.016 (1.013-1.018)], and two-way factorial interactions between district specific averaged monthly minimum temperature and monthly minimum temperature, monthly minimum temperature was statistically significant [IRR-1.44 (1.231-1.695)] whereas the interaction term has a protective effect [IRR-0.982 (0.974-0.990)] against malaria infections. Forest cover, maximum humidity, minimum temperature and wind speed emerged as potential covariates to be used in predictive models for modelling the malaria risk in the state which could be efficiently used for early warning systems in the state.

  14. [Disparity on the grade of exposure to ecological risks in the European region of WHO].

    PubMed

    Braubach, M; Héroux, M E; Korol, N; Kosbaeva, A; Paunovic, E; Zastenskaia, I

    2015-01-01

    Disparity in relation of ecological conditions and health concerns to the general differences in environmental conditions and in large extent is stipulated by socio-economic and demographic differences in the impact of its hazards. In addition to differences in the impact the inequality in relation of ecological conditions and health can also be caused by social or demographic differences in exposure to certain risks. This article offers an assessment of the evidence and data on differences in the impact of the environment in the European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) received during the recent work of the European Regional Office of WHO. The obtained results testify that socio-demographic disparity in the impact of the environment exists in all countries. Such inequality can be seen in respect of a variety offactors, such as age, gender income level, or on the contrary, poverty, education and employment, household type, location of the home.

  15. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. Towards quantitative ecological risk assessment of elevated carbon dioxide levels in the marine environment.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Pepijn; Tamis, Jacqueline E; Foekema, Edwin M; Klok, Chris; Murk, Albertinka J

    2013-08-30

    The environmental impact of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels has become of more interest in recent years. This, in relation to globally rising CO2 levels and related considerations of geological CO2 storage as a mitigating measure. In the present study effect data from literature were collected in order to conduct a marine ecological risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels, using a Species Sensitivity Distribution (SSD). It became evident that information currently available from the literature is mostly insufficient for such a quantitative approach. Most studies focus on effects of expected future CO2 levels, testing only one or two elevated concentrations. A full dose-response relationship, a uniform measure of exposure, and standardized test protocols are essential for conducting a proper quantitative risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels. Improvements are proposed to make future tests more valuable and usable for quantitative risk assessment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  19. An ecological risk model for early childhood anxiety: the importance of early child symptoms and temperament.

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

    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, violence exposure, and sociodemographic risk factors predict school-aged anxiety symptoms. This longitudinal, prospective study was conducted in a representative birth cohort (n = 1109). Structural equation modeling was used to examine hypothesized associations between risk factors measured in toddlerhood/preschool (age = 3.0 years) and anxiety symptoms measured in kindergarten (age = 6.0 years) and second grade (age = 8.0 years). Early child risk factors (anxiety symptoms and temperament) emerged as the most robust predictor for both parent-and child-reported anxiety outcomes and mediated the effects of maternal and family risk factors. Implications for early intervention and prevention studies are discussed.

  20. Subsea release of oil from a riser: an ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Nazir, Muddassir; Khan, Faisal; Amyotte, Paul; Sadiq, Rehan

    2008-10-01

    This study illustrates a newly developed methodology, as a part of the U.S. EPA ecological risk assessment (ERA) framework, to predict exposure concentrations in a marine environment due to underwater release of oil and gas. It combines the hydrodynamics of underwater blowout, weathering algorithms, and multimedia fate and transport to measure the exposure concentration. Naphthalene and methane are used as surrogate compounds for oil and gas, respectively. Uncertainties are accounted for in multimedia input parameters in the analysis. The 95th percentile of the exposure concentration (EC(95%)) is taken as the representative exposure concentration for the risk estimation. A bootstrapping method is utilized to characterize EC(95%) and associated uncertainty. The toxicity data of 19 species available in the literature are used to calculate the 5th percentile of the predicted no observed effect concentration (PNEC(5%)) by employing the bootstrapping method. The risk is characterized by transforming the risk quotient (RQ), which is the ratio of EC(95%) to PNEC(5%), into a cumulative risk distribution. This article describes a probabilistic basis for the ERA, which is essential from risk management and decision-making viewpoints. Two case studies of underwater oil and gas mixture release, and oil release with no gaseous mixture are used to show the systematic implementation of the methodology, elements of ERA, and the probabilistic method in assessing and characterizing the risk.

  1. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-04-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Soil Sample Report in Support of the Site 300 EWTF Ecological Risk Assessment and Permit Renewal-September 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Terusaki, Stanley; Gallegos, Gretchen; MacQueen, Donald

    2012-10-02

    LLNL Site 300 has applied to renew the permits for its Explosives Waste Treatment Facility (EWTF), Explosives Waste Storage Facility (EWSF) and Building 883 Storage Facility. As a part of the permit renewal process, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) requested LLNL to obtain soil samples in order to conduct a scoping-level ecological risk assessment pursuant to the Department of Toxic Substances Control, Guidance for Ecological Risk Assessment at Hazardous Waste Sites and Permitted Facilities, Part A: Overview, July 4, 1996. As stated in the guidance document, the scoping-level ecological risk assessment provides a framework to determine the potential interaction ecological receptors and chemicals of concern from hazardous waste treatment operations in the area of EWTF.

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

    PubMed

    Dobrowolski, Jan W

    2007-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

    Based on studies conducted in the past decade in the southern region of Brazil to determine residue levels of the pesticides normally used on irrigated rice crops, changes can be observed in relation to the presence of pesticides in the waters of the main river basins in Santa Catarina State. In previous harvests, the presence of residues of 7 pesticides was determined, with the herbicide bentazon and the insecticide carbofuran being the products showing highest frequency. Following toxicological tests conducted with 8 different test organisms, deterministic and probabilistic risk analysis was performed to assess the situation of the river basins in areas used for the production of irrigated rice. Of the species tested, the herbicide bentazon showed greatest toxicity toward plants, but did not present an ecological risk because in the worst-case scenario the highest concentration of this pesticide in the environment is 37 times lower than the lowest EC50/LC50 value obtained in the tests. The insecticide carbofuran, which had the highest toxicity toward the organisms used in the tests, presented an ecological risk in the deterministic analysis, but without any associated probability. The results highlight the need for increased efforts in training farmers in crop management practices and for the continual monitor of water bodies for the presence of pesticide residues. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Prioritizing human pharmaceuticals for ecological risks in the freshwater environment of Korea.

    PubMed

    Ji, Kyunghee; Han, Eun Jeong; Back, Sunhyoung; Park, Jeongim; Ryu, Jisung; Choi, Kyungho

    2016-04-01

    Pharmaceutical residues are potential threats to aquatic ecosystems. Because more than 3000 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are in use, identifying high-priority pharmaceuticals is important for developing appropriate management options. Priority pharmaceuticals may vary by geographical region, because their occurrence levels can be influenced by demographic, societal, and regional characteristics. In the present study, the authors prioritized human pharmaceuticals of potential ecological risk in the Korean water environment, based on amount of use, biological activity, and regional hydrologic characteristics. For this purpose, the authors estimated the amounts of annual production of 695 human APIs in Korea. Then derived predicted environmental concentrations, using 2 approaches, to develop an initial candidate list of target pharmaceuticals. Major antineoplastic drugs and hormones were added in the initial candidate list regardless of their production amount because of their high biological activity potential. The predicted no effect concentrations were derived for those pharmaceuticals based on ecotoxicity information available in the literature or by model prediction. Priority lists of human pharmaceuticals were developed based on ecological risks and availability of relevant information. Those priority APIs identified include acetaminophen, clarithromycin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, metformin, and norethisterone. Many of these pharmaceuticals have been neither adequately monitored nor assessed for risks in Korea. Further efforts are needed to improve these lists and to develop management decisions for these compounds in Korean water. © 2015 SETAC.

  12. Dangerous dads? Ecological and longitudinal analyses of paternity leave and risk for child injury.

    PubMed

    Laflamme, Lucie; Månsdotter, Anna; Lundberg, Michael; Magnusson, Cecilia

    2012-11-01

    In 1974, Sweden became the first country to permit fathers to take paid parental leave. Other countries are currently following suit issuing similar laws. While this reform supports the principles of the United Nations convention of the right for children to be with both parents and enshrines the ethos of gender equality, there has been little systematic examination of its potential impact on child health. Instead, there is uninformed debate that fathers may expose their children to greater risks of injury than mothers. In this Swedish national study, the authors therefore assess whether fathers' parental leave can be regarded as a more serious risk factor for child injuries than that of mothers. Nationwide register-based ecological and longitudinal studies of hospitalisation due to injury (and intoxication) in early childhood, involving the Swedish population in 1973-2009 (ecological design), and children born in 1988 and 1989 (n=118 278) (longitudinal design). An increase in fathers' share of parental leave over time was parallelled by a downward trend in child injury rates (age 0-4 years). At the individual level, the crude incidence of child injury (age 0-2 years) was lower during paternity as compared with maternity leave. This association was, however, explained by parental socio-demographic characteristics (multivariate HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.2). There is no support for the notion that paternity leave increases the risk of child injury.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-11-01

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

  14. Ecological risks of trace metals in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: An index analysis approach.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho Aguiar, Valquiria Maria; de Lima, Michelle Nunes; Abuchacra, Rodrigo Coutinho; Abuchacra, Paula Ferreira Falheiro; Neto, José Antônio Baptista; Borges, Heloísa Vargas; de Oliveira, Vitor Calôr

    2016-11-01

    Total concentrations of Ni, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn were determined in surface sediments from 30 stations in Guanabara Bay in 1999 and 2008. An approach using various environmental indices was used to assess contamination status of metals. This approach allowed the comparison with different coastal areas. Background Enrichment Index, Contamination index and Ecological Risk index (Pollution Load Index; Sediment Quality Guideline Quotient and Ecological Risk Index) were calculated for the metals. Results revealed a great load of organic matter and significant increases in Cu and Pb levels between 1999 and 2008. The concentrations of Cr and Zn were of great concern, surpassing the values of Probable Effect Level reference values. In spite of the differences of each index, results effectively revealed the striking contamination in Guanabara Bay concerning trace metals, and also suggested potential risk to local biota. The contamination of the northwest area was notably higher than the rest of the bay. In comparison with some other coastal bays around the world, Guanabara Bay stood out as a remarkably contaminated environment.

  15. 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.

  16. Ecological risk assessment of trace elements in sediment: A case study from Limpopo, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dahms, S; Baker, N J; Greenfield, R

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the ecological risk posed by metals, in sediments from the Nyl River system in Limpopo, South Africa. Metals were extracted from sediment samples by aqua regia microwave digestion and were analysed using standard ICP-OES techniques. The ecological risk indices applied to the data included Contamination Factor, Pollution Load Index, Geo-accumulation Index and Enrichment Factor. The results showed that the levels of Ni at STW and NYL in the HF period exceeded the Canadian Sediment Quality Guidelines by a factor of 1.36 and 1.83 respectively whereas NYL and MDD had 2.57 and 1.32 times the allowed limit of Ni in the LF period. During the HF period, the GC site exceeded the allowed limit of Zn by a factor of 1.04 and NYL had 1.21 times the allowed Zn in the LF period. The levels of metals are generally low near the origin of the river and increase moving downstream. The levels of metals in the Nyl River floodplain, a Ramsar accredited wetland, were high with CF scores ranging between 0.905 and 5.82, Igeo values with a range of -0.541 to 2.441 and EF scores ranging from 0.959 to 6.171. and posed a greater risk than the other sites. This indicated that the wetland is performing its ecological function by trapping and removing toxins from the water body. The Pollution Load Index determined that the Golf Course (PLI=4.586) and STW (PLI=2.617) sites were polluted only in the low flow period whereas the Nyl River floodplain (HF PLI=79.845; LF PLI=30378.768) and Moorddrift Dam (HF PLI=1.903; LF PLI=9.256) sites were polluted in high flow and low flow periods. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Whiting, Sara A; Lydy, Michael J

    2015-07-01

    A site-specific ecological risk assessment (ERA) was conducted to examine the simultaneous use of genetically modified corn (Bt corn) with a neonicotinoid seed coating, clothianidin, and use of a granular insecticide, tefluthrin, to protect crops from pest damage. A field study was conducted on site, and exposure data from the literature were summarized to determine the matrices and exposure concentrations that nontarget species could typically experience within an agricultural ecosystem. To determine ecological effects on nontarget species, acute toxicity bioassays were conducted on earthworms (Eisenia fetida), amphipods (Hyalella azteca), and Elmid riffle beetle larvae (Ancyronyx spp.) in which the test species were exposed to single insecticides as well as the mixture of the 3 insecticides. In the risk characterization section of the ERA, stressor-response profiles for each species tested were compared with field distributions of the insecticides, and a margin of safety at the 10th percentile (MOS10) was calculated to estimate risk. No acute toxicity was observed in any of the 3 nontarget species after exposure to senescent Bt corn leaf tissue. Large MOS10 values were calculated for clothianidin to the nontarget species. When bioassays were compared with tefluthrin field distributions, very low MOS10 values were calculated for earthworms (0.06) and H. azteca (0.08) because the environmental concentrations often exceeded the stressor-response profile. No increased toxicity was observed when nontarget species were exposed to a mixture of the 3 insecticides. In summary, the genetically modified corn insecticidal proteins and clothianidin were not found at environmental concentrations exceeding benchmark values for ecological effects, but tefluthrin was consistently detected in the environment at levels that could be causing toxicity to nontarget species, especially if this pyrethroid is able to travel off site. © 2015 SETAC.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-15

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

  19. The possibilities for the EU-wide use of similar ecological risk-based soil contamination assessment tools.

    PubMed

    Swartjes, Frank A; Carlon, Claudio; de Wit, Niek H S M

    2008-12-01

    Soil degradation, e.g. due to soil contamination, is a serious problem in Europe. Therefore, the European Commission believes that a comprehensive EU strategy for soil protection is required. With the purpose of supporting the European soil policy, the possibilities for a common approach in the EU-wide use of ecological risks assessment methodologies are explored. For over ten years now, ecological procedures used in different countries have been discussed in international fora. More recently, within the framework of the HERACLES network a review of ecological risk assessment tools was performed, among other things. From this study it can be concluded that the inclusion of ecological risk assessment in soil quality standards shows an increasing interest in many EU Member States. The study also shows that there are many procedures for ecological risk assessment readily available in several EU countries and will be readily available in even more Member States in the nearby future. Besides, this study clearly shows quite some variation in the ecological risk assessment tools and in the resulting soil quality standards in the different countries. Therefore, an effort was made to look for potential harmonisation of these tools within the European Union. Risk assessment tools used in soil quality assessment include both political and scientific elements, which are often interwoven. Insofar differences in the existing tools originate from geographical or cultural differences between Member States or from political choices, harmonisation is not at all regarded an option. Nevertheless, several differences between existing ecological risk assessment tools have been identified, that merely originate from scientific or technical aspects. These tools could be standardized, which means that there could be a uniform tool to be used everywhere throughout the EU. The development of these harmonised risk assessment tools will imply an intensive international cooperation, with the

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  1. Addressing arsenic bioaccessibility in ecological risk assessment: a novel approach to avoid overestimating risk.

    PubMed

    Ollson, Christopher A; Koch, Iris; Smith, Paula; Knopper, Loren D; Hough, Chris; Reimer, Ken J

    2009-03-01

    The risk of arsenic exposure to deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) living in areas of naturally and anthropogenically elevated arsenic levels was determined using three separate calculations of arsenic daily intake: Estimated daily intake (EDI), bioaccessible EDI (BEDI), and actual daily intake (ADI). The present work is of particular interest, because the risk assessments were determined for animals naturally exposed to arsenic. Gastric fluid extraction was used to obtain bioaccessibility data for soil and plant samples collected from three study sites (background, mine forest, and tailings) in Yellowknife (NT, Canada). Calculations using the EDI indicated that deer mice living in tailings habitat (average soil arsenic concentration, 1,740 +/- 2,240 microg/g) should have been experiencing serious health effects as a result of their exposure to arsenic. Using BEDI and ADI in the risk assessment calculation, however, resulted in an order-of-magnitude decrease in calculated risk. In addition, results calculated using the BEDI and ADI were not significantly different, suggesting that using bioaccessibility provides a more realistic estimate of potential risk. The present results provide evidence that the use of EDI in traditional risk assessments may seriously overestimate the actual risk, which in some instances may result in expensive and unnecessary clean-up measures.

  2. Ecological risk assessment for aquatic organisms from over-water uses of glyphosate.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Keith R; Thompson, Dean G

    2003-01-01

    Although the herbicide glyphosate is most widely used in agriculture, some is used for the control of emergent aquatic weeds in ditches, wetlands, and margins of water bodies, largely as the formulation Rodeo. This article presents an ecological risk assessment (ERA) of glyphosate and some of the recommended surfactants as used in or near aquatic systems. Glyphosate does not bioaccumulate, biomagnify, or persist in a biologically available form in the environment. Its mechanism of action is specific to plants and it is relatively nontoxic to animals. As a commercial product, glyphosate may be formulated with surfactants that increased efficacy but, in some cases, are more toxic to aquatic organisms than the parent material. For this risk assessment, three model exposure scenarios--static or low-flow systems such as ponds, flowing waters such as streams, and systems subjected to tidal flows such as estuaries--were chosen and application rates from 1 to 8 kg glyphosate/ha were modeled. Additional measured exposure data from several field studies were also used. As acute exposures are most likely to occur, acute toxicity data were used as effect measures for the purposes of risk assessment. Toxicity data were obtained from the literature and characterized using probabilistic techniques. Risk assessments based on estimated and measured concentrations of glyphosate that would result from its use for the control of undesirable plants in wetlands and over-water situations showed that the risk to aquatic organisms is negligible or small at application rates less than 4 kg/ha and only slightly greater at application rates of 8 kg/ha. Less is known about the environmental fate and toxicology of the surfactants commonly used in combination with the Rodeo formulation of glyphosate. The surfactants used for this purpose were judged not to be persistent nor bioaccumulative in the environment. Distributional analysis of measured deposition concentrations of LI 700, suggest that

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Powers, Joelle D

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  7. Evolutionary Ecology of Human Papillomavirus: Trade-offs, Coexistence, and Origins of High-Risk and Low-Risk Types

    PubMed Central

    Gatenby, Robert A.; Giuliano, Anna R.; Brown, Joel S.

    2012-01-01

    Background. We address the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of human papillomavirus (HPV) that lead to the dichotomy between high-risk (HR) and low-risk (LR) types. We hypothesize that HPV faces an evolutionary tradeoff between persistence and per-contact transmission probability. High virion production enhances transmissibility but also provokes an immune response leading to clearance and limited persistence. Alternatively, low virion production increases persistence at the cost of diminished transmission probability per sexual contact. We propose that LR HPV types use the former strategy and that HR types use the latter. Sexual behaviors in a host population determine the success of each strategy. Methods. We develop an evolutionary model of HPV epidemiology, which includes host sexual behavior, and we find evolutionarily stable strategies of HPV. Results. A slow turnover of sexual partners favors HR HPV, whereas high frequency of partner turnover selects for LR. When both sexual behaviors exist as subcultures in a population, disruptive selection can result in the coevolution and ecological coexistence of both HR and LR HPV types. Conclusions. Our results indicate that the elimination of HR HPV through vaccines may alter the evolutionary trajectory of the remaining types and promote evolution of new HR HPV types. PMID:22090448

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khairetdinov, Marat; Voskoboynikova, Gyulnara; Sedukhina, Galina

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene at a former industrial contaminated site.

    PubMed

    Zolezzi, Marcello; Cattaneo, Claudia; Tarazona, José V

    2005-05-01

    Measured concentrations of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (1,2,4-TCB) in soil and groundwater detected in an industrial contaminated site were used to test several probabilistic options for refining site-specific ecological risks assessment, ranging from comparison of single effects and exposure values through comparison of probabilistic distributions for exposure and effects to the use of distribution based quotients (DBQs) obtained through Monte Carlo simulations. The results of the deterministic approach, which suggest that risk exceeds a level of concern for soil organisms, were influenced mainly by the presence of hot spots reaching concentrations able to affect acutely a large proportion of species, while the large majority of the area presents 1,2,4-TCB concentrations below those reported as toxic. Ground-(pore)water concentrations were compared with aquatic ecotoxicity data in orderto obtain an estimation of the potential risk for aquifers and streams in the adjacent area as well as for soil-dwelling organisms exposed via pore water. In this case, the risk is distributed over a large proportion of the site, while the local risk of hot spots was low, showing that risk characterization based exclusively on soil concentrations might be insufficient.

  11. Risk factors for mobility limitation in community-dwelling older adults: a social ecological perspective.

    PubMed

    Yeom, Hye A; Fleury, Julie; Keller, Colleen

    2008-01-01

    Although a variety of risk factors for mobility limitation in older adults have been examined, a collective review of relevant literature has not been reported. The purposes of this review are to report the intrapersonal, interpersonal, environmental, and organizational risk factors related to mobility limitation using a social ecological perspective and to discuss the direction of future clinical practice consistent with current literature on mobility limitation of community-dwelling older adults. Intrapersonal risk factors related to mobility limitation include advanced age, female gender, low socioeconomic status, comorbidity, lack of motivation (i.e., dependent personality, decreased self-efficacy), lifestyle factors (i.e., sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity), and physiological factors (i.e., vitamin D deficiency, inflammation, poor nutritional status). Interpersonal risk factors related to mobility limitation include weak social networks and limited social activities. Geriatric clients may also experience a decline in mobility when they encounter environmental challenges such as an inconvenient home environment and lack of availability of services in their community, as well as lack of organizational resources stemming from social policy. Potential intervention strategies focused on modifiable risk factors may include lifestyle modifications, social networking programs, and enhancing awareness of environmental and organizational resources in the community for older adults at risk for mobility limitation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of OCPs, PCBs, and DLCs in the Haihe River, China.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-06

    The Haihe River is the most seriously polluted river among the seven largest rivers in China. Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethanes (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), and PCBs (noncoplanar polychlorinated biphenyls) in the Haihe River, Tianjin were determined using a gas chromatograph--electron capture detector (GC-ECD). Dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) were determined using Chemically Activated LUciferase gene eXpression (CALUX) bioassay. HCH and DDT levels were, respectively, 0.06-6.07 microg/L and ND (not detected) to 1.21 microg/L; PCB levels ranged from 0.12 to 5.29 microg/L; and the total DLCs in sediment were 4.78-343 pg TEQ (toxic equivalency)/g. Aquatic ecological risk assessment was performed using the joint probability curve method and the Monte Carlo-based HQ (hazard quotient) distribution method. The combined risks of similar chemicals and the total risk of dissimilar categories of chemicals were assessed based on the principles of joint toxicity. Due to the adjacent industrial activities, the risk levels of PCBs, DDTs, and HCHs were relatively high. The risk order was as follows: PCBs > DDTs approximately HCHs > DLCs. The risk of HCHs approximated that of DDTs, which is different from the fact that risk of HCHs is usually much lower in the other Chinese rivers. The total risk caused by these pollutants was very high. Due to their high persistence and potential source from land, the high risks of such pollutants are likely to last for a long period of time.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-15

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

  17. [Heavy metals in the surface sediment of the dumping ground outside Jiaozhou Bay and their potential ecological risk].

    PubMed

    Cao, Cong-hua; Zhang, Nai-xing; Wu, Feng-cong; Sun, Bin; Ren, Rong-zhu; Sun, Xu; Lin, Sen; Zhang, Shao-ping

    2011-05-01

    Based on the monitoring data of heavy metals (Cr, Hg, Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu) in the surface sediment of the dumping ground outside Jiaozhou Bay from 2003 to 2008, the distribution patterns, factors controlling the distribution, and the potential ecological risks of heavy metals were studied with the data in 2007-08, and the fluctuation trends of heavy metals in the surface sediment over the 6 years were also discussed. The average concentrations of heavy metals Cr, Hg, Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu in the surface sediment were 29.47, 0.065, 0.105, 1.145, 9.63, 3.355 microg/g, respectively. Except for Cr, the concentration of heavy metals was high in the central dumping area while low outside the dumping ground, suggesting that the dredged material dumped was the main source of heavy metals. Organic carbon content in the surface sediment had a significant positive correlation with heavy metals except for Cr. Based on the results of ecological risk assessment, Hg had a medium potential ecological risk, while the other heavy metals had low potential ecological risk. The overall risk index (RI) of the heavy metals was 100.50, which was considered as a level of low potential ecological risk. The average concentration of heavy metals showed a decreasing trend over the 6 years, except Hg. In conclusion, the quality of surface sediment in term of heavy metals in the dumping ground outside Jiaozhou Bay is relatively good.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Network environmental analysis based ecological risk assessment of a naphthalene-contaminated groundwater ecosystem under varying remedial schemes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zheng; He, Li; Lu, Hongwei; Ren, Lixia; Xu, Zongda

    2016-12-01

    Many of the existing ecological risk studies for groundwater ecosystems paid little attention to either small-scale regions (e.g., an industrial contamination site) or ignored anthropogenic activities (e.g., site remediation). This study presented a network environmental analysis based ecological risk assessment (ERA) framework to a naphthalene-contaminated groundwater remediation site. In the ERA, four components (vegetation, herbivore, soil micro-organism and carnivore) were selected, which are directly or indirectly exposed to the contaminated groundwater ecosystem. By incorporating both direct and indirect ecosystem interactions, the risk conditions of the whole ecosystem and its components were quantified and illustrated in the case study. Results indicate that despite there being no input risks for herbivores and carnivores, the respective integral risks increase to 0.0492 and 0.0410. For soil micro-organisms, 58.8% of the integral risk comes from the input risk, while the other 41.2% of the integral risk comes from the direct risk. Therefore, the risk flow within the components is a non-negligible risk origination for soil micro-organisms. However, the integral risk for vegetation was similar to the input risk, indicating no direct risk. The integral risk at the 5-year point after remediation was the highest for the four components. This risk then decreased at the 10-year point, and then again increased. Results from the sensitivity analysis also suggest that the proposed framework is robust enough to avoid disturbance by parameter uncertainty.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venkatesan, Arjun K.; Halden, Rolf U.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Venkatesan, Arjun K.; Halden, Rolf U.

    2014-01-01

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

  4. [Optimizing management on degraded grassland in Xilin River Basin based on ecological risk assessment].

    PubMed

    Gu, Xiao-he; He, Chun-yang; Pan, Yao-zhong; Li, Xiao-bing; Zhu, Wen-quan; Zhu, Xiu-fang

    2007-05-01

    By the methods of remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS), and based on the estimations of degradation degree, risk degree and easy-restoration degree of degraded grasslands, an ecological management index (EMI) model of grassland was established to approach the practical ways of optimizing management of degraded grassland. A case study in the Xilin River Basin of Inner Mongolia showed that this model could quantitatively analyze the degradation degree, risk degree and easy-restoration degree of the grasslands under different optimizing management levels, which was of significance for applying rational measures with pertinence, and beneficial to the optimal allocation of resources during the management of degraded grassland. The EMI model could integrate most concerned information, which made it applicable widely.

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

    PubMed

    Venkatesan, Arjun K; Halden, Rolf U

    2014-01-16

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

  6. 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.

  7. Reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome at the worksite: preliminary experience with an ecological approach.

    PubMed

    Lucini, Daniela; Zanuso, Silvano; Solaro, Nadia; Vigo, Chiara; Malacarne, Mara; Pagani, Massimo

    2016-02-01

    Given the time spent at work, the workplace represents an ideal setting to implement preventive programs for non-communicable diseases, the major cause of mortality and morbidity in Western and developing countries. We sought to verify if an ecological approach based on corporate culture, employees' education and concrete modifications of workplace environment, offering easy opportunity to assume healthy lifestyle, could be associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk. The study involved 1089 workers in two multinational companies following different workplace health promotion policies. Company A offered to all employees the opportunity to access a web platform dedicated to general information on health and diseases. Company B implemented an ecological model encompassing company culture, employees' education and concrete modifications of workplace environment, giving to all employees the opportunity to adopt healthy solutions throughout daily living at workplace. Participants volunteered self-reported clinical information using an IT tool. Numbers of Metabolic Syndrome components (MetS) were taken as proxy of cardiometabolic risk. MetS probability obtained via statistical modeling was lower in company B as compared to company A, and absenteeism was also lower in company B. Our study shows that a work environment favoring assumption of healthy lifestyle, as in company B, is associated with a lower percentage of employees with MetS components and lower absenteeism. Moreover, statistical modeling shows that individual probabilities of being without MetS elements, controlling for age and gender, is remarkably higher in company B. Our data suggest that ecological approaches might be useful in worksite prevention policies.

  8. Algorithm of Research of Influence of Professional and Ecological Risk Factors for Various Groups of the Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omelchenko, E. V.; Trushkova, E. A.; Sokolova, G. N.; Nikhayeva, A. V.; Hvostikov, A. G.

    2017-05-01

    The article is given algorithm of research of influence of professional and ecological risk factors for various groups of the population, considering professionally caused diseases as polietiology group of diseases, a natural environmental risk as probability of manifestation of many adverse natural phenomena by means of two components, and expediency of application in a security system of a method of stochastic management is proved.

  9. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dickerson, R.L.; Hooper, M.J.; Gard, N.W.

    1994-12-01

    Ecological risk assessments based on chemical residue analysis and species demographics tend to ignore the bioavailibility and bioaccumulation of the chemicals of concern. This study describes the incorporation of mechanistically based biomarkers into an ecological risk assessment of a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated site. A combination of soil residue analysis, tissue residue analysis, biomarkers in on-site trapped animals and biomarkers in animals confined to enclosures was used. In particular, the use of captured deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) for these studies is compared to the use of laboratory-raised deer mice placed in enclosures. This study indicates that the higher degree of variability in the responses of wild deer mice make the use of enclosure studies advantageous. Positive control studies performed by dosing laboratory-raised deer mice with the same PAHs as found on the site were used to validate this approach. These studies indicate that immune suppression occurred at PAH concentrations an order of magnitude below those required for the induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase activity. 19 refs., 5 tabs.

  11. Hazard prioritization in ecological risk assessment through spatial analysis of toxicant gradients.

    PubMed

    Preston, Benjamin L

    2002-01-01

    The analysis of spatial relationships among the distribution of environmental stressors and observed or predicted adverse effects may be a useful method of prioritizing hazards in regional ecological risk assessment (ERA). Geographic information systems were used to compare the spatial distribution of toxicant concentrations in sediments of Chesapeake Bay with the distribution of areas in the basin where ecological impacts have historically been observed. Toxicants were then prioritized based upon the strength of their spatial association with the high impact areas. This method of hazard identification/prioritization was validated against the Chesapeake Bay Program's lists of toxics of concern and toxics of potential concern (TOC and TOPC, respectively). Of the 18 toxicants on the TOC/TOPC lists that were considered in the current study, 15 (83%) were identified as priority contaminants in the current study, 11 (73%) of which were either of primary or secondary concern. The use of spatial analysis tools in ERA may lead to more rapid and rigorous methods for prioritizing environmental risks.

  12. Occurrence, profiles, and ecological risks of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in mangrove sediments of Shantou, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xu-Cheng; Wu, Wen-Cheng; Zhang, Yin-Bo; Wang, Tao; Zhao, Jian-Gang; Chen, Zhang-He

    2016-11-23

    Surface sediments were collected from three mangrove wetlands (Yifeng Xi, Shuanghan, and Su'ai Wan) in Shantou coastal zone of South China to investigate spatial distributions of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The results demonstrate that PBDEs were detected in all the samples, indicating their widespread occurrence in coastal sediments of the studied area. Σ9PBDEs (defined as the sum of nine targeted PBDE congeners except BDE-209) and BDE-209 are in the range of 2.3 to 11.5 and 16.7 to 58.2 ng/g, respectively. BDE-209 is the dominant PBDE congener in all sediment samples. The sediment concentrations of ∑9PBDEs and BDE-209 among the three wetlands decrease in the order of Su'ai Wan > Shuanghan > Yifeng Xi. The concentrations of ∑9PBDEs are higher in mangrove sediments than in mudflats, but no obvious regularity can be found on the correlation between mangrove species and PBDE levels in sediments. The contents of total organic carbon are moderately correlated with BDE-209 concentrations in sediments but not with ∑9PBDE concentrations. The samples collected from different locations show slightly different composition profiles except BDE-209, with BDE-100 and BDE-47 being the pre-dominated congeners. The mudflats exhibit higher abundances of tri- to hexa-substituted congeners than the mangrove sediments. Ecological risk assessment demonstrates that the surface sediments from Shantou may pose a potential ecological risk of exposure to sediment-dwelling organisms.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Hongbin; Gao, Yongnian; Fan, Chengxin

    2011-10-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-31

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Suter II, G.W.

    2003-06-18

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

  18. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments of six major chinese freshwater lakes.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zongwei; Chen, Kai; Yuan, Zengwei; Bi, Jun; Huang, Lei

    2013-01-01

    An overall and comparative ecological risk assessment of heavy metal pollution (including Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Hg, Cr, As, and Ni) in surface sediments was conducted for six major shallow freshwater lakes (Taihu Lake, Chaohu Lake, Nansihu Lake, Dongting Lake, Poyang Lake, and Hongze Lake) in China. A spatial database with 339 sediment samples was created through an extensive literature survey. Consensus-based sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) were used as the effect thresholds due to the lack of local eco-toxicological information about heavy metals in the six lakes. The results show that the ecological risk of heavy metal pollution in surface sediments is highest in Dongting Lake, followed by Taihu Lake. Lakes Chaohu, Nansihu, Poyang, and Hongze are at a similar risk level, which is a little lower than that of Lake Taihu. High-risk areas that should be given more attention were identified by spatial analysis. The estuaries of the inlets and outlets of Dongting Lake and the Meiliang Bay in Taihu Lake were found to be such areas. Ineffective environmental supervision and management during the recent years of rapid economic and industrial development in China have led to the pollution of lake sediments by heavy metals. Rigid control and effective management measures to prevent heavy metal pollution are urgently needed in China. In addition, it is necessary for China to develop basic research on the local eco-toxicity and SQGs of freshwater sediments to provide a scientific basis for the management of lake sediment pollution. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  19. 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

  20. [Ecological risk assessment of human activity of rapid economic development regions in southern Jiangsu, China: a case study of Dantu District of Zhenjiang City].

    PubMed

    Fang, Guang-Ling; Xiang, Bao; Wang, Bao-Liang; Jin, Xia; Hu, Yu; Zhang, Li-Kun

    2014-04-01

    This article investigated the spatiotemporal variation of landscape ecological risk in Dantu District of Zhenjiang City with statistical method based on the ETM remote sensing data in 2000 and 2005, and the TM remote sensing data in 2010, and quantitative index of regional ecological risk assessment was established with the employment of landscape index, so as to enhance the ecosystem management, prevent and reduce the regional ecological risk in southern Jiangsu with rapid economic development. The results showed that the fragmentations, divergence, and ecological losses of natural landscape types, such as forestland, wetland, waters, etc., were deteriorated with the expansion of built-up lands from 2000 to 2010. The higher ecological risk zone took up 5.7%, 9.0%, and 10.2% of the whole region in 2000, 2005, and 2010, respectively, which mainly distributed in the plain hilly region. During the study period, the area aggravating to the higher ecological risk zone was approximately 296.2 km2, 48% of the whole region. The ecological risk rose up in most of the region. The interference of rapid economic development to landscape patterns was even more intensive, with obvious spatial differences in ecological risk distribution. The measures of exploiting resources near the port, utilizing natural wetlands, constructing industrial parks, and rapid urbanization, etc., intensified the ecological risk and accelerated the conversion rate. Prompt strategies should be established to manage the ecological risk of this region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Impacts of road network expansion on landscape ecological risk in a megacity, China: A case study of Beijing.

    PubMed

    Mo, Wenbo; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Yingxue; Zhuang, Dafang

    2017-01-01

    Road networks affect the spatial structure of urban landscapes, and with continuous expansion, it will also exert more widespread influences on the regional ecological environment. With the support of geographic information system (GIS) technology, based on the application of various spatial analysis methods, this study analyzed the spatiotemporal changes of road networks and landscape ecological risk in the research area of Beijing to explore the impacts of road network expansion on ecological risk in the urban landscape. The results showed the following: 1) In the dynamic processes of change in the overall landscape pattern, the changing differences in landscape indices of various landscape types were obvious and were primarily related to land-use type. 2) For the changes in a time series, the expansion of the road kernel area was consistent with the extension of the sub-low-risk area in the urban center, but some differences were observed during different stages of development. 3) For the spatial position, the expanding changes in the road kernel area were consistent with the grade changes of the urban central ecological risk, primarily because both had a certain spatial correlation with the expressways. 4) The influence of road network expansion on the ecological risk in the study area had obvious spatial differences, which may be closely associated with the distribution of ecosystem types.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  5. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-07-01

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

  9. Ecological risk assessment: influence of texture on background concentration of microelements in soils of Russia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beketskaya, Olga

    2010-05-01

    In Russia quality standards of contaminated substances values in environment consist of ecological and sanitary rate-setting. The sanitary risk assessment base on potential risk that contaminants pose to protect human beings. The main purpose of the ecological risk assessment is to protect ecosystem. To determine negative influence on living organisms in the sanitary risk assessment in Russia we use MPC. This value of contaminants show how substances affected on different part of environment, biological activity and soil processes. The ecological risk assessment based on comparison compounds concentration with background concentration for definite territories. Taking into account high interval of microelements value in soils, we suggest using statistic method for determination of concentration levels of chemical elements concentration in soils of Russia. This method is based on determination middle levels of elements content in natural condition. The top limit of middle chemical elements concentration in soils is value, which exceed middle regional background level in three times standard deviation. The top limit of natural concentration excess we can explain as anthropogenic impact. At first we study changing in the middle content value of microelements in soils of geographic regions in European part of Russia on the basis of cartographical analysis. Cartographical analysis showed that the soil of mountainous and mountain surrounding regions is enriched with microelements. On the plain territory of European part of Russia for most of microelements was noticed general direction of increasing their concentration in soils from north to south, also in the same direction soil clay content rise for majority of soils. For all other territories a clear connection has been noticed between the distribution of sand sediment. By our own investigation and data from scientific literature data base was created. This data base consist of following soil properties: texture

  10. Mapping the potential risk of mycetoma infection in Sudan and South Sudan using ecological niche modeling.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. National Fire Fuels and Risks Assessment Using Remote Sensing and Ecological Modeling: Prototype Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Z.; Rollins, M.

    2003-12-01

    Hazardous fuel reduction, ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration, and firefighting safety, are land management priorities emphasized by recent national fire policies such as the National Fire Plan. Implementation of these policies requires geospatial data of vegetation conditions, fire fuels, risks, and ecosystem status developed consistently nationwide that can be used at multiple scales (i.e., local, regional, and national). A new research and development project called LANDFIRE has been conducted to develop an integrated methodology to produce geospatial fire data and predictive models for the land management community and a broad range of other applications. Main deliverables include mapped potential and existing vegetation types and structure variables, various biophysical data layers, fire fuels models, fire risk layers, as well as state-of-the-art computer models for assessing fire risk, behavior and effects. In this presentation, we will review research results and findings of the LANDFIRE project using results from a prototype study covering central Utah Uinta and Wasatch ecosystems. Particularly we will describe how a consistent and operational vegetation mapping component may be achieved by integrating machine-learning algorithms, field reference data, satellite imagery, and ecologically significant biophysical variables. We will discuss how remotely sensed vegetation cover types and structure can be successfully converted to fire fuel classes and risk layers which are necessary input into fire behavior and fire effect models. Finally we will discuss challenges and opportunities for national implementation of the methodology.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  15. Ecological risk assessment in legislation on contaminated soil in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Boekhold, Alexandra E

    2008-12-01

    Recently the Dutch soil policy was revised including new rules for the relocation of contaminated soil and dredged soil material. With these rules, new methods for ecotoxicological risk assessment were implemented. One of the new methods is the assessment of the local toxic pressure of mixtures, also known as the ms-PAF- method, based on the Species Sensitivity Distribution concept. The ms-PAF method is applied for risk assessment of spreading of dredged soil material on adjacent land. Its application will possibly be extended to the derivation of local soil quality standards relevant in the context of soil relocation. The application of the local toxic pressure will probably increase the reuse of contaminated soil and dredged soil material and hence will reduce the amounts considered to be unfit for use. With this method, local ecological risk limits are derived using pore water concentrations and effects on water organisms. Pore water concentrations are subsequently transferred to total soil concentrations using empirical relationships. The methodology does not impose upper limits for total soil concentrations. In soils with a high sorption capacity, total soil concentrations that are considered to be acceptable may be several times higher than the current Dutch intervention values. The possible introduction of the ms-PAF method will open the door to local soil relocation with soils containing large amounts of (semi-permanently soil bound) contaminants. Since the ms-PAF method is not yet properly validated, the lack of evidence of ecological effects using models like the ms-PAF method cannot be regarded as an indication for the absence of effects in reality. The Dutch soil quality decree would gain environmental ambition when the ms-PAF method was combined with a realistic upper limit on total soil concentrations. This would prevent contamination of land by means of soil relocation.

  16. Traits-based approaches in bioassessment and ecological risk assessment: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

    PubMed

    Van den Brink, Paul J; Alexander, Alexa C; Desrosiers, Mélanie; Goedkoop, Willem; Goethals, Peter L M; Liess, Matthias; Dyer, Scott D

    2011-04-01

    We discuss the application of traits-based bioassessment approaches in retrospective bioassessment as well as in prospective ecological risk assessments in regulatory frameworks. Both approaches address the interaction between species and stressors and their consequences at different levels of biological organization, but the fact that a specific species may be less abundant in a potentially impacted site compared with a reference site is, regrettably, insufficient to provide diagnostic information. Species traits may, however, overcome the problems associated with taxonomy-based bioassessment. Trait-based approaches could provide signals regarding what environmental factors may be responsible for the impairment and, thereby, provide causal insight into the interaction between species and stressors. For development of traits-based (TBA), traits should correspond to specific types of stressors or suites of stressors. In this paper, a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis of TBA in both applications was used to identify challenges and potentials. This paper is part of a series describing the output of the TERA (Traits-based ecological risk assessment: Realising the potential of ecoinformatics approaches in ecotoxicology) Workshop held between 7 and 11 September, 2009, in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. The recognized strengths were that traits are transferrable across geographies, add mechanistic and diagnostic knowledge, require no new sampling methodology, have an old tradition, and can supplement taxonomic analysis. Weaknesses include autocorrelation, redundancy, and inability to protect biodiversity directly. Automated image analysis, combined with genetic and biotechnology tools and improved data analysis to solve autocorrelation problems were identified as opportunities, whereas low availability of trait data, their transferability, their quantitative interpretation, the risk of developing nonrelevant traits, low quality of historic

  17. 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.'

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

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.

    2002-05-09

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  20. Derivation and interpretation of hazard quotients to assess ecological risks from the cultivation of insect-resistant transgenic crops.

    PubMed

    Raybould, Alan; Caron-Lormier, Geoffrey; Bohan, David A

    2011-06-08

    Cost-effective and rigorous risk assessments for chemicals may be based on hazard quotients (HQs): the ratio of a measure of exposure to a substance and a measure of the effect of that substance. HQs have been used for many years in ecological risk assessments for the use of synthetic pesticides in agriculture, and methods for calculating pesticide HQs have been adapted for use with transgenic crops. This paper describes how laboratory methods for assessing the ecotoxicological effects of synthetic pesticides have been modified for the measurement of effects of insecticidal proteins, and how these effect measures are combined with exposure estimates to derive HQs for assessing the ecological risks from the cultivation of insect-resistant transgenic crops. The potential for ecological modeling to inform the design of laboratory effects tests for insecticidal proteins is also discussed.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. [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.

  8. [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.

  9. 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.

  10. Modeling the Ecological Niche of Bacillus anthracis to Map Anthrax Risk in Kyrgyzstan.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Jason K; Matakarimov, Saitbek; Kozhokeeva, Sabira; Tagaeva, Zhyldyz; Bell, Lindsay K; Kracalik, Ian T; Zhunushov, Asankadyr

    2017-03-01

    AbstractAnthrax, caused by the environmental bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is an important zoonosis nearly worldwide. In Central Asia, anthrax represents a major veterinary and public health concern. In the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, ongoing anthrax outbreaks have been reported in humans associated with handling infected livestock and contaminated animal by-products such as meat or hides. The current anthrax situation has prompted calls for improved insights into the epidemiology, ecology, and spatial distribution of the disease in Kyrgyzstan to better inform control and surveillance. Disease control for both humans and livestock relies on annual livestock vaccination ahead of outbreaks. Toward this, we used a historic database of livestock anthrax reported from 1932 to 2006 mapped at high resolution to develop an ecological niche model-based prediction of B. anthracis across Kyrgyzstan and identified spatial clusters of livestock anthrax using a cluster morphology statistic. We also defined the seasonality of outbreaks in livestock. Cattle were the most frequently reported across the time period, with the greatest number of cases in late summer months. Our niche models defined four areas as suitable to support pathogen persistence, the plateaus near Talas and Bishkek, the valleys of western Kyrgyzstan along the Fergana Valley, and the low-lying areas along the shore of Lake Isyk-Kul. These areas should be considered "at risk" for livestock anthrax and subsequent human cases. Areas defined by the niche models can be used to prioritize anthrax surveillance and inform efforts to target livestock vaccination campaigns.

  11. Ecological approaches to informing public health policy and risk assessments on emerging vector-borne zoonoses

    PubMed Central

    Medlock, JM; Jameson, LJ

    2010-01-01

    Pathogens associated with vector-borne zoonoses occur in enzootic cycles within nature. They are driven by a combination of vertebrate host and invertebrate vector population dynamics, which in turn respond to changes in environmental stimuli. Human involvement in these cycles, and hence the occurrence of human disease, is often to act as incidental host. From a public health perspective our ability to better predict human outbreaks of these diseases and prepare intervention and mitigation strategies relies on understanding the natural cycle of pathogen transmission. This requires consideration of, for example, invertebrate and vertebrate ecology and biology, climatology, land use and habitat change. Collectively, these can be referred to as medical entomology and medical ecology. This article reviews the importance for inclusion of such disciplines when assessing the public health risk from vector-borne zoonoses and summarizes the possible future challenges and driving forces for changes in vector status and vector-borne zoonoses emergence, with a particular focus on a UK and European context. PMID:22460391

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. TESTING BALANCE AND FALL RISK IN PERSONS WITH PARKINSON DISEASE, AN ARGUMENT FOR ECOLOGICALLY VALID TESTING

    PubMed Central

    Foreman, K. Bo; Addison, Odessa; Kim, Han S.; Dibble, Leland E.

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Despite clear deficits in postural control, most clinical examination tools lack accuracy in identifying persons with Parkinson disease (PD) who have fallen or are at risk for falls. We assert that this is in part due to the lack of ecological validity of the testing. Methods To test this assertion, we examined the responsiveness and predictive validity of the Functional Gait Assessment (FGA), the Pull test, and the Timed up and Go (TUG) during clinically defined ON and OFF medication states. To address responsiveness, ON/OFF medication performance was compared. To address predictive validity, areas under the curve (AUC) of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were compared. Comparisons were made using separate non-parametric tests. Results Thirty-six persons (24 male, 12 female) with PD (22 fallers, 14 non-fallers) participated. Only the FGA was able to detect differences between fallers and non-fallers for both ON/OFF medication testing. The predictive validity of the FGA and the TUG for fall identification was higher during OFF medication compared to ON medication testing. The predictive validity of the FGA was higher than the TUG and the Pull test during ON and OFF medication testing. Discussion In order to most accurately identify fallers, clinicians should test persons with PD in ecologically relevant conditions and tasks. In this study, interpretation of the OFF medication performance and use of the FGA provided more accurate prediction of those who would fall. PMID:21215674

  14. Ecological risk assessment of the fish community of the Clinch River/Poplar Creek system

    SciTech Connect

    Suter, G.; Barnthouse, L.; Efroymson, R.; Jaeger, H.; Beauchamp, J.

    1995-12-31

    The CERCLA remedial investigation for the Clinch River/Poplar Creek included the fish community as an endpoint. The assessment endpoint was defined as a 20% reduction in the species richness or abundance of the fish community in the Poplar Creek embayment or in any of three reaches of the Clinch River. Screening of chemicals in water against benchmarks determined that Ag, Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, Zn, PCBs, and bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate were contaminants of potential ecological concern (COPECs). Comparison of the distributions of COPEC concentrations with the distributions of literature toxicity values indicated that none of the COPECs was routinely toxic but episodic concentrations (< 10% of the distribution) of some COPECs were in the toxic range. Aqueous toxicity tests gave unclear results except for regularly high lethality to fish embryos in Poplar Creek. Bioindicators analysis found elevated histopathologies and disrupted reproductive indicators in Centrarchids from Poplar Creek, but their implications for the community are unclear. Body burdens of PCBs in some channel catfish exceeded levels associated with sublethal effects on that species in the laboratory. Electrofishing and gill netting found that the fish community of Poplar Creek had low species number and abundance, but habitat quality was also low. These mixed results present a challenge to ecological risk characterization based on weight-of-evidence. The process of weighing the evidence will be presented.

  15. Relating plastic in the ocean to ecological harm, a review of recent progress in risk analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuyler, Q. A.; Hardesty, B. D.; Wilcox, C.; van Sebille, E.; Mallos, N. J.; Leonard, G. H.

    2016-02-01

    Plastic pollution in the ocean is emerging as a global environmental concern. Estimates suggest that we dump on the order of 8.4 million tons of plastic in the ocean each year. This plastic reaches substantial concentrations, with at sea sampling measuring densities over 580,000 items per square kilometer. However, it is difficult to relate this exposure to resulting ecological impacts. Animals dying due to plastic ingestion or entanglement may not was ahsore, and sampling at sea is expensive and infrequent. Thus demonstrating a direct relationship between plastic in the envioronment and harm to marine wildlife is challenging. Here we review current progress on risk assessment for impacts to marine wildlife from plastic pollution. The analyses we review range from expert elicitation to integrated statistical and physical models. They range widely in scope, from estimates at the individual level to who taxa analysis. Some of the analyses reach only to exposure to the pressure, whie others carry through to estimate demographic impacts and even mortality due to ingestion of or entanglement in plastic debris in the ocean. We summarize the results of these studies, and provide a roadmap for future contributions toward estimating the actual ecological impact of plastic pollution.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Daniels, J

    2007-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wilking, Hendrik; Höhle, Michael; Velasco, Edward; Suckau, Marlen; Eckmanns, Tim

    2012-08-28

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

  18. Dispersion and ecological risk assessment of di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in the surface waters of Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sirivithayapakorn, Sanya; Thuyviang, Kanchana

    2010-05-01

    Previous environmental monitoring indicated that di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) was released into the environment. This study collected both water and sediment samples from the source area, deltas of major rivers discharging into the Gulf of Thailand, and 2 tourist beaches from February 2007-August 2009. The analyses showed that the highest DEHP concentrations were 8.64 microg l(-1) and 14.51 microg g(-1) for water and suspended sediment samples, respectively. Nevertheless, the monitoring results indicated that the dispersion of DEHP was limited to the source area. The ecological risk assessment indicated that the ecological risk did not exceed the acceptable level for the current degree of contaminations.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hacker, C.; Watson, J.

    1995-12-31

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

  20. [Gene flow and its ecological risks of transgenic oilseed rape ( Brassica napus)].

    PubMed

    Tang, Guixiang; Song, Wenjian; Zhou, Weijun

    2005-12-01

    Transgenic oilseed rape Brassica napus, one of the first genetically modified crops, has now been released to commercial use in Canada and Australia. As a cross-pollinating crop, its natural crossing rate is 30%, and it is liable to cross with other Brassica species. The ecological risk of transgenic oilseed rape has been concerned by the scientists all over the world. There are two ways for the pollens flow of transgenic oilseed rape, one takes place between transgenic oilseed rape and other related wild species, and the other occurs between transgenic and nontransgenic oilseed rape. The gene may flow to other related wild species, but it is unlikely to get hybrids in field. Because the gene can really flow to the conventional oilseed rape, it is necessary to have a sufficient isolation distance in cultivating transgenic oilseed rape.

  1. Spatially Interpolated Disease Prevalence Estimation Using Collateral Indicators of Morbidity and Ecological Risk

    PubMed Central

    Congdon, Peter

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-15

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

  3. Use, fate and ecological risks of antibiotics applied in tilapia cage farming in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Rico, Andreu; Oliveira, Rhaul; McDonough, Sakchai; Matser, Arrienne; Khatikarn, Jidapa; Satapornvanit, Kriengkrai; Nogueira, António J A; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Domingues, Inês; Van den Brink, Paul J

    2014-08-01

    The use, environmental fate and ecological risks of antibiotics applied in tilapia cage farming were investigated in the Tha Chin and Mun rivers in Thailand. Information on antibiotic use was collected through interviewing 29 farmers, and the concentrations of the most commonly used antibiotics, oxytetracycline (OTC) and enrofloxacin (ENR), were monitored in river water and sediment samples. Moreover, we assessed the toxicity of OTC and ENR on tropical freshwater invertebrates and performed a risk assessment for aquatic ecosystems. All interviewed tilapia farmers reported to routinely use antibiotics. Peak water concentrations for OTC and ENR were 49 and 1.6 μg/L, respectively. Antibiotics were most frequently detected in sediments with concentrations up to 6908 μg/kg d.w. for OTC, and 2339 μg/kg d.w. for ENR. The results of this study indicate insignificant short-term risks for primary producers and invertebrates, but suggest that the studied aquaculture farms constitute an important source of antibiotic pollution. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The effect of outdoor air pollution on mortality risk: an ecological study from Santiago, Chile.

    PubMed

    Salinas, M; Vega, J

    1995-01-01

    The aim of this ecological study was to investigate the effect of outdoor air pollution on the mortality risk of metropolitan inhabitants in Santiago de Chile. Cause-specific deaths by the day for the years 1988-1991 in Santiago de Chile were extracted from mortality data tapes of the National Center for Statistics. Deaths from accidents were excluded. Total and some specific respiratory diseases deaths were compared calculating the risk of death by municipality and month of the year using age-adjusted standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) controlling for socioeconomic level. Daily counts of deaths were regressed using a Poisson model on the total and fine suspended particles, SO2, CO and ozone on the preceding day, controlling for temperature and humidity. A clear pattern in the geographical distribution of risk of death, both for general mortality and specific respiratory causes (pneumonia, COPD and asthma) was found using SMR, with higher values in the most polluted areas regardless of socioeconomic and living conditions. A highly significant positive association was found between total mortality and both fine suspended particles and CO level. The association remained significant for those days with fine suspended particles levels below 150 micrograms/dl suggesting a no-threshold effect for the total number of deaths. These results are in agreement with previously reported associations, and they add to the body of evidence showing that particulate pollution is associated with increases daily mortality.

  7. Initial ecological risk assessment of eight selected human pharmaceuticals in Japan.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Hiroshi; Nakamura, Yudai; Nakamura, Yuki; Kitani, Chise; Imari, Tetsuya; Sekizawa, Jun; Takao, Yuji; Yamashita, Naoyuki; Hirai, Narisato; Oda, Shigeto; Tatarazako, Norihisa

    2007-01-01

    Eight pharmaceuticals were selected on the basis of their domestic consumption in Japan, the excretion ratio of the parent compound and the frequency of detection in the aquatic environment or wastewater treatment plant effluent. Toxicity tests on these pharmaceuticals were conducted using Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes), daphnia (Daphnia magna), and green algae (Psuedokirchneriella subcapitata). Predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) was calculated using lethal or effect concentration 50 (LC50 or EC50) values and no effect concentration (NOEC) obtained in the toxicity tests for these compounds. Predicted environmental concentration (PEC) was also calculated from annual consumption, the excretion rate of the parent compound, and removal rate in the preliminary batch activated sludge treatment performed in this study. Maximum concentrations found in the aquatic environment or sewage effluent in Japan or foreign countries were also used for another calculation of PEC. Initial risk assessment on the selected pharmaceuticals was performed using the PEC/PNEC ratio. The results of initial risk assessment on the eight selected pharmaceuticals suggest neither urgent nor severe concern for the ecological risk of these compounds, but further study needs to be conducted using chronic toxicity tests, including reproduction inhibition and endocrine disruption assessments.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Murata, Mariko; Masunaga, Shigeki; Nakanishi, Junko

    2003-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.

    2001-01-12

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