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Is it time to revise standard aquatic bioassay protocols? Despite the widespread use of standardized toxicity and bioconcentration bioassays, efforts to integrate and exploit the information obtained from both bioassays have not been particularly successful. Much of the problem is due to the fact that body toxicant residues are used in bioconcentration bioassays, while exposure toxicant concentrations are employed in toxicity bioassays. Also contributing to the problem is the fact that the kinetics of accumulation are routinely measured in bioconcentration bioassays, while data on the kinetics of toxicant accumulation and the time course of the toxic effect are not commonly estimated in toxicity bioassays.
Some aspects of the use of a single general test methodology, incorporating critical body residues and simple accumulation kinetics, for bioconcentration and toxicity investigations is discussed for the case of hydrophobic narcotic organic chemicals. Some implications for the water quality criteria development process for some organic chemicals are discussed.
bioassay, toxicity, bioconcentration, body residue, organic chemicals, narcosis
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario