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The recent growth of interest in water pollution control programs has fostered the development of applied fish toxicology. One of the functions of applied fish toxicologists is to make the best possible decisions concerning the effects of pollution on fish based on existing data. A second function is to help make available the additional data most needed for the protection of important species of fish. A third function is to evaluate the usefulness of specific toxicity tests and ways of using them to fulfill needs that have been identified and to suggest improvements in existing tests or new tests that should be developed. The acute mortality test provides data that are useful in some situations, but the chronic test which studies effects of a toxic agent on survival, growth, and reproduction is probably the most useful toxicity test for estimating long-term safe concentrations. Other important adverse effects that should be studied include avoidance, flavor impairment, and the accumulation of toxic residues.
fishes, toxicity, toxicology, water pollution, tests
Research chemist, Newtown Fish Toxicology Laboratory, Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio
Director, National Water Quality Laboratory, Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minn.