Furthering the derivation of predictive wildlife toxicity reference values for use in soil cleanup decisions

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  • Editor's Note: This paper represents 1 of 5 articles generated from a workshop entitled “Ecological soil levels: next steps in the development of metal clean-up values” (September 2012, Sundance, Utah, USA). The purpose of the workshop was to provide managers and decision makers of contaminated sites in North America with appropriate methods for developing soil clean-up values that are protective of ecological resources. The workshop focused on metals and other inorganic contaminants because of their ubiquity at contaminated sites and because their natural occurrence makes it difficult to determine adverse levels.

ABSTRACT

The development of media-specific ecological values for risk assessment includes the derivation of acceptable levels of exposure for terrestrial wildlife (e.g., birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians). Although the derivation and subsequent application of these values can be used for screening purposes, there is a need to identify toxicological effects thresholds specifically for making remedial decisions at individual contaminated sites. A workshop was held in the fall of 2012 to evaluate existing methods and recent scientific developments for refining ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) and improving the derivation of site-specific ecological soil clean-up values for metals (Eco-SCVs). This included a focused session on the development and derivation of toxicity reference values (TRVs) for terrestrial wildlife. Topics that were examined included: methods for toxicological endpoint selection, techniques for dose–response assessment, approaches for cross-species extrapolation, and tools to incorporate environmental factors (e.g., metal bioavailability and chemistry) into a reference value. The workgroup also made recommendations to risk assessors and regulators on how to incorporate site-specific wildlife life history and toxicity information into the derivation of TRVs to be used in the further development of soil cleanup levels. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2014;10:358–371. © 2013 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management Published by SETAC

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