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The current state of the field of aquatic toxicology is assessed in terms of its development as a science. The author suggests the recent growth in the field has been “quantitative” but not “qualitative,” that is, there has been an increase in data rather than an increase in knowledge. The reason for this development is the influence that regulatory restrictions have on the scope of activities and methods used in conducting aquatic toxicity studies. A definite need exists for development of a mechanism which would provide for significant research in the field to be conducted outside of the regulatory framework.
aquatic toxicology, regulatory influence, hazard assessment
Staff member, EG&G, Environmental Group, Wellesley, Mass.