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    Screening-Level Versus Refined Modeling Approaches to Estimating PCB Concentrations in Aquatic Food Webs: A Case Study of Lake Ontario

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    The comparison of a screening-level and a refined food web bioaccumulation model in predicting tissue residues of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the salmonid food web of Lake Ontario with measured levels is performed. A screening-level model provided health protective (i.e., conservative) estimates of bioaccumulation for invertebrate and fish species in the Lake Ontario salmonid food web with limited organism and ecosystem specific data. The refined model provided health protective estimates of PCB bioaccumulation for invertebrate and prey fish species. The modeled estimate of PCB bioaccumulation in the highest trophic level species (the salmonids) using the refined model was less conservative and underestimated the measured value. Both approaches provided estimates of PCB bioaccumulation within an order of magnitude and often within 50% of the tissue residue measured in Lake Ontario species. The screening-level model provides excellent bioaccumulation estimates with limited data quality and quantity. The refined model requires a more complete data set for use, however, provides more information regarding key factors in the bioaccumulation process for a particular food web.


    bioaccumulation, Lake Ontario, PCBs, salmonids, fate and transport modeling, food web

    Author Information:

    Scott, PK
    ChemRisk®, Cleveland, OH

    Trowbridge, KR
    ChemRisk®, Cleveland, OH

    Committee/Subcommittee: E47.10

    DOI: 10.1520/STP12687S