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    Summary of Proposal Procedures for the Evaluation of Aquatic Hazard

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    The development of generalized programs for the evaluation of hazard to aquatic organisms associated with the use of both existing and new chemicals is a major concern of several organizations currently attempting to establish regulations for chemicals potentially reaching the aquatic environment. Two of these groups actively working toward acceptable hazard evaluation schemes are the Aquatic Organisms Section of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Subcommittee E35.21 on Safety to Man and Environment, and the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) Aquatic Hazards of Pesticides Task Group.

    An important ASTM goal is the development of a standard practice for a laboratory testing scheme to evaluate hazard to nontarget aquatic organisms. The current draft of the procedure identifies several key decision points and, depending on resultant data, can consist of as many as three distinct phases: (a) an outline of priority and scope, (b) acute hazard, and (c) overall hazard. The testing scheme has provisions for examination of the usage and disposal patterns of a substance and its biological, physical, and toxicological properties in a stepwise manner using sequential evaluation and feedback to select supplementary tests or implement decision alternatives. The program is intended for general application to any of the wide variety of chemical substances potentially reaching natural surface waters.

    The AIBS Task Group for the Aquatic Hazards of Pesticides was formulated at the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Pesticide Programs, to assist in the development of an organized and uniform aquatic safety testing program for use in pesticide registration and registration-oriented research. Specifically, the group has been concerned with the development of criteria and rationale for use with the currently required, basic aquatic test data to determine the need for additional testing. A strong emphasis is placed on the development of simple criteria for decision making relative to evaluation of the aquatic hazards of pesticides with the recognition that the criteria ultimately should aid in the exercise of flexible good judgment concerning the need for additional testing.

    Current drafts of the respective programs developed by these two groups are summarized here as a basis for an evaluation and discussion of decision criteria employed in aquatic environmental hazard assessments.


    water pollution, hazard, toxicity, pesticides, toxicology, chemistry, biodegradation, bioaccumulation, acute, chronic, water quality

    Author Information:

    Maki, AW
    Research biologist and section head, Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, Ohio

    Duthie, JR
    Research biologist and section head, Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, Ohio

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.95

    DOI: 10.1520/STP35698S