An Evaluation of Using Partition Coefficients and Water Solubility to Estimate Bioconcentration Factors for Organic Chemicals in Fish

    Published: Jan 1980

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    Bioconcentration factors (BCF), water solubilities, and n-octanol-water partition coefficients are presented for 28 organic chemicals. The chemicals studied were of low to moderate lipid solubility, with bioconcentration factors ranging from 2 to 3400. The equation log BCF = 0.76 log P − 0.23 is proposed for estimating the bioconcentration factor from the partition coefficient.

    The cost-effectiveness of measuring and estimating the partition coefficient and water solubility of organic chemicals is also discussed. The cost of measuring these two parameters was approximately $1000. Partition coefficients calculated from data in the literature at a cost of $2.00 per chemical differed from the measured values by only 7.2 percent. The water solubilities calculated from the partition coefficient differed from the measured solubilities by 17.2 percent for those chemicals with a partition coefficient greater than 100.


    aquatic toxicology, bioconcentration factor (BCF), water solubility, partition coefficient, log , P, structure-activity

    Author Information:

    Veith, GD
    Senior research chemist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory—Duluth, Duluth, Minn.

    Macek, KJ
    General manager and manager of Toxicology, EG&G, Bionomics, Wareham, Mass.

    Petrocelli, SR
    General manager and manager of Toxicology, EG&G, Bionomics, Wareham, Mass.

    Carroll, J
    Chemist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criteria Branch, Washington, D. C.

    Committee/Subcommittee: E35.30

    DOI: 10.1520/STP27411S

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