Aquatic exposures of chemical mixtures in urban environments: approaches to impact assessment

de Zwart, Dick; Adams, William; Burgos, Malyka Galay; Hollender, Juliane; Junghans, Marion; Merrington, Graham; Muir, Derek; Parkerton, Thomas; De Schamphelaere, Karel A.C.; Whale, Graham; Williams, Richard. 2018 Aquatic exposures of chemical mixtures in urban environments: approaches to impact assessment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 37 (3). 703-714.

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Urban regions of the world are expanding rapidly, placing additional stress on water resources. Urban water bodies serve many purposes from washing and sources of drinking water to transport and conduits for storm drainage and effluent discharge. These water bodies receive chemical emissions arising from either single or multiple point sources, diffuse sources which can be continuous, intermittent or seasonal. Thus, aquatic organisms in these water bodies are exposed to temporally and compositionally variable mixtures. We have delineated source-specific signatures of these mixtures for diffuse urban runoff and urban point source exposure scenarios to support risk assessment and management of these mixtures. The first step in a tiered approach to assessing chemical exposure has been developed based on the Event Mean Concentration concept with chemical concentrations in runoff defined by volumes of water leaving each surface and the chemical exposure mixture profiles for different urban scenarios. Although generalizations can be made about the chemical composition of urban sources and event mean exposure predictions for initial prioritization, such modelling needs to be complemented with biological monitoring data. It is highly unlikely that the current paradigm of routine regulatory chemical monitoring alone will provide a realistic appraisal of urban aquatic chemical mixture exposures. Future consideration is also needed on the role of non-chemical stressors in such highly modified urban water bodies.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Rees (from October 2014)
ISSN: 0730-7268
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: mixtures, predictive toxicology, risk assessment, water quality
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 06 Oct 2017 11:17 +0 (UTC)

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