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The relationship of bioaccumulative chemicals in water and sediment to residues in fish: A visualization approach

Authors

  • Lawrence P. Burkhard,

    Corresponding author
    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, 6201 Congdon Boulevard, Duluth, Minnesota 55804
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, 6201 Congdon Boulevard, Duluth, Minnesota 55804
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  • Philip M. Cook,

    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, 6201 Congdon Boulevard, Duluth, Minnesota 55804
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  • David R. Mount

    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, 6201 Congdon Boulevard, Duluth, Minnesota 55804
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Abstract

A visualization approach is developed and presented for depicting and interpreting bioaccumulation relationships and data (i.e., bioaccumulation factors [BAFs], biota-sediment accumulation factors [BSAFs], and chemical residues in fish) using water–sediment chemical concentration XY plots. The approach is based on five basic parameters that affect bioaccumulation of nonionic organic chemicals: The distribution of chemical between sediment and water, the hydrophobicity of the compound (expressed as the n-octanol/water partition coefficient, Kow), the relationship of food chains to water and sediment, the length of the food chains, and the degree to which the chemical is metabolized. The visualization approach using water–sediment XY plots captures and visually presents the existing bioaccumulation knowledge in a form that is readily understandable from chemical, biological, and ecological aspects and, therefore, useful in the assessment, communication, and management of risk for persistent bioaccumulative toxicants.

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