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A comparison of laboratory and field bioconcentration factors (BCFs) is made for a variety of hydrophobic pollutants, including dieldrin, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), chlordane, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), and heptachlor epoxide. The bioconcentration factors calculated from field data in Iowa rivers, the Coralville Reservoir in Iowa, Lake Ontario, and Lake Superior are within a factor of 1 to 4 of laboratory-derived bioconcentration factors in the fat of fish. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's water quality criteria are also within a factor of 1 to 4 of estimated field concentrations which would result in a maximum permissible tissue concentration (MPTC). Field bioconcentration factors normalized on a fat or oil basis correlate with the octanol-water partition coefficient of 13 hydrophobic pollutants.
Bioconcentration data were utilized in a mathematical model to calculate the fate and transport of dieldrin in the Coralville Reservoir. The author demonstrates that laboratory-derived BCFs can be used in fate and effects modeling with order-of-magnitude results or better.
bioconcentration, water quality criteria, mathematical models, aquatic toxicology, hazard assessment
Associate professor, Energy Engineering Division, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa