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Environmental Scientists Wanted to Develop Water Toxicity Assessment Guide

A task group of ASTM Subcommittee E47.03 on Sediment Assessment and Toxicology seeks environmental scientists active in surface water, storm water, and sediment quality assessment to join the development of a Standard Guide for Assessing Toxicity and Bioaccumulation Using Caged Fish or Invertebrates.

The guide will describe proven, real-world assessment methods that reduce uncertainty in the risk/hazard assessment process, says task-group chairman Allen Burton, Ph.D., Brage Golding distinguished professor of research and director, Institute for Environmental Quality and Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. “The methods can be used to assess whether there is toxicity or chemicals that bioaccumulate in fish or aquatic invertebrates from surface water, stormwater runoff or sediments,” he says.

Government, industry, business, and environmental consulting firms can apply quality assessments in the guide to assess if waterway pollution is at significant levels, Burton says. The assessments may be useful in meeting government environmental regulations, in environmental litigation, or environmental risk assessments.

The task group invites stakeholders to review the current draft of the standard and reply with comments. The group expects the guide to include general information on in-situ testing and an annex describing specific test methods. The subcommittee, which will maintain the guide when completed, intends to update the guide with additional approaches on an ongoing basis.

Subcommittee E47.03 is part of ASTM Committee E47 on Biological Effects and Environmental Fate. The committee welcomes participation from interested parties as it develops standard test methods and other standards used to acquire and use data on:

• The effects of physical and chemical stress on aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals (including humans); and
• The properties of materials that affect and determine their fate, distribution and persistence when introduced into the environment.

To participate or obtain further technical information, contact Allen Burton, Ph.D., Institute for Environmental Quality and Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. Committee E47 meets April 6-10 in Kansas City, Mo. For meeting or membership details, contact Scott Orthey, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9730). //

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