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The qualification process for a new chemical should include not only appropriate toxicity testing but supportive evaluations which allow an assessment of potential risk to aquatic life. Since materials differ not only in toxicological effect but also in other properties that can affect their ecological impact, each material should be considered individually, and any tendency to apply a rigid standard test program to all should be resisted. Guidelines are provided to develop testing programs which will provide a sound basis for hazard assessment without squandering limited scientific resources.
Review and assessment of data on a sequential basis are necessary to focus effort on the most appropriate kinds of tests. Based on expected usage and disposal patterns, it is important to estimate the maximum concentrations that are likely to occur in the environment and their critical locations. When chemical or biological tests have indicated that a material will not be persistent, the use of shorter term toxicity tests on sensitive life stages may be substituted for total life-cycle tests. Similarly, consideration of chemical and physical properties may provide guidance on the need or priority for bioconcentration testing.
Review points are identified where a decision to either abandon or utilize a test material should be considered rather than continuing a fixed pattern of testing that merely postpones a difficult judgment.
water analysis, toxicology, hazards, aquatic biology, environmental, surveys
Section head, Procter & Gamble Company, Ivorydale Technical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio