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Keywords:

  • Sediment toxicity;
  • Sediment guidelines;
  • Logistic regression

Abstract

Individual chemical logistic regression models were developed for 37 chemicals of potential concern in contaminated sediments to predict the probability of toxicity, based on the standard 10-d survival test for the marine amphipods Ampelisca abdita and Rhepoxynius abronius. These models were derived from a large database of matching sediment chemistry and toxicity data, which includes contaminant gradients from a variety of habitats in coastal North America. Chemical concentrations corresponding to a 20, 50, and 80% probability of observing sediment toxicity (T20, T50, and T80 values) were calculated to illustrate the potential for deriving application-specific sediment effect concentrations and to provide probability ranges for evaluating the reliability of the models. The individual chemical regression models were combined into a single model, using either the maximum (PMax model) or average (PAvg model) probability predicted from the chemicals analyzed in a sample, to estimate the probability of toxicity for a sample. The average predicted probability of toxicity (from the PMax model) within probability quartiles closely matched the incidence of toxicity within the same ranges, demonstrating the overall reliability of the PMax model for the database that was used to derive the model. The magnitude of the toxic effect (decreased survival) in the amphipod test increased as the predicted probability of toxicity increased. Users have a number of options for applying the logistic models, including estimating the probability of observing acute toxicity to estuarine and marine amphipods in 10-d toxicity tests at any given chemical concentration or estimating the chemical concentrations that correspond to specific probabilities of observing sediment toxicity.