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It is proposed that “A major goal of applied aquatic toxicology is to be able to make a useful prediction concerning whether or not a specific addition of a toxic agent to a particular aquatic ecosystem will cause any unacceptable effect on that ecosystem.” If this is a valid goal, it is important to the future of applied aquatic toxicology that biologists, ecologists, toxicologists, and others concerned with environmental protection reach some agreement concerning practical ways of distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable effects on aquatic ecosystems. It should then be possible to identify levels of specific effects in laboratory tests that either result in or are good predictors of unacceptable effects on ecosystems.
aquatic toxicology, field applicability, hazard assessment, prediction, unacceptable effects, water quality criteria
Environmental scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory-Duluth, Duluth, MN