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    ASTM E1023 - 84(2014)

    Standard Guide for Assessing the Hazard of a Material to Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses

    Active Standard ASTM E1023 | Developed by Subcommittee: E50.47

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.06

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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Adverse effects on natural populations of aquatic organisms and their uses have demonstrated the need to assess the hazards of many new, and some presently used, materials. The process described herein will help producers, users, regulatory agencies, and others to efficiently and adequately compare alternative materials, completely assess a final candidate material, or reassess the hazard of a material already in use.

    5.2 Sequential assessment and feedback allow appropriate judgments concerning efficient use of resources, thereby minimizing unnecessary testing and focusing effort on the information most pertinent to each material. For different materials and situations, assessment of hazard will appropriately be based on substantially different amounts and kinds of biological, chemical, physical, and toxicological data.

    5.3 Assessment of the hazard of a material to aquatic organisms and their uses should never be considered complete for all time. Reassessment should be considered if the amount of production, use, or disposal increases, new uses are discovered, or new information on biological, chemical, physical, or toxicological properties becomes available. Periodic review will help assure that new circumstances and information receive prompt appropriate attention.

    5.4 If there is substantial transformation to another material, the hazard of both materials may need to be assessed.

    5.5 In many cases, consideration of adverse effects should not end with completion of the hazard assessment. Additional steps should often include risk assessment, decisions concerning acceptability of identified hazards and risks, and mitigative actions.

    5.6 Because this practice deals mostly with adverse effects on aquatic organisms and their uses, it is important that mitigative actions, such as improved treatment of aqueous effluents, not result in unacceptable effects on non-aquatic organisms. Thus, this standard should be used with other information in order to assess hazard to both aquatic and non-aquatic organisms.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide describes a stepwise process for using information concerning the biological, chemical, physical, and toxicological properties of a material to identify adverse effects likely to occur to aquatic organisms and their uses as a result of release of the material to the environment. The material will usually be a specific chemical, although it might be a group of chemicals that have very similar biological, chemical, physical, and toxicological properties and are usually produced, used, and discarded together.

    1.2 The hazard assessment process is complex and requires decisions at a number of points; thus, the validity of a hazard assessment depends on the soundness of those decisions, as well as the accuracy of the information used. All decisions should be based on reasonable worst-case analyses so that an appropriate assessment can be completed for the least cost that is consistent with scientific validity.

    1.3 This guide assumes that the reader is knowledgeable in aquatic toxicology and related pertinent areas. A list of general references is provided (1).2

    1.4 This guide does not describe or reference detailed procedures for estimating or measuring environmental concentrations, or procedures for determining the maximum concentration of test material that is acceptable in the food of predators of aquatic life. However, this guide does describe how such information should be used when assessing the hazard of a material to aquatic organisms and their uses.

    1.5 Because assessment of hazard to aquatic organisms and their uses is a relatively new activity within aquatic toxicology, most of the guidance provided herein is qualitative rather than quantitative. When possible, confidence limits should be calculated and taken into account.

    1.6 This guide provides guidance for assessing hazard but does not provide guidance on how to take into account social considerations in order to judge the acceptability of the hazard. Judgments concerning acceptability are social as well as scientific, and are outside the scope of this guide.

    1.7 This guide is arranged as follows:



    Referenced Documents


    Descriptions of Terms Specific to This Standard


    Summary of Guide


    Significance and Use


    Four Basic Concepts


     The Iteration


     The Two Elements


     The Possible Decisions


     The Phased Approach


    Phase I—Use of Low-Cost (Existing) Information


     Collection of Available Data


     Initial Estimates of Environmental Concentrations


     Initial Estimate of Toxicity to Aquatic Organisms


     Initial Estimate of Bioaccumulation by Aquatic Organ-


     Phase I Hazard Assessment


    Phase II—Use of Medium-Cost Information


     Improved Estimates of Environmental Concentrations


     Acute Toxicity to Aquatic Animals


     Toxicity to Algae


     Expansion of Short-Term Testing




     Phase II Hazard Assessment


    Phase III—Use of High-Cost Information


     Refined Estimates of Environmental Concentrations


     Chronic Toxicity to Aquatic Animals


     Use of Acute-Chronic Ratios


     Toxicity to Aquatic Plants




     Bioaccumulation from Food


     Phase III Hazard Assessment



    Appendix X1 Production, Use, Disposal, and Other Release

    Appendix X2 Biological Considerations

    Appendix X3 Chemical Considerations

    Appendix X4 Physical Considerations

    Appendix X5 Toxicological Considerations

    Appendix X6 Estimating Environmental Concentrations

    Appendix X7 Selection of Test Species

    Appendix X8 Long-Term Toxicity Tests

    1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D1129 Terminology Relating to Water

    E724 Guide for Conducting Static Acute Toxicity Tests Starting with Embryos of Four Species of Saltwater Bivalve Molluscs

    E729 Guide for Conducting Acute Toxicity Tests on Test Materials with Fishes, Macroinvertebrates, and Amphibians

    E943 Terminology Relating to Biological Effects and Environmental Fate

    E1022 Guide for Conducting Bioconcentration Tests with Fishes and Saltwater Bivalve Mollusks

    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 07.100.20 (Microbiology of water)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 77101500(Environmental impact assessment)

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/E1023-84R14

    Citation Format

    ASTM E1023-84(2014), Standard Guide for Assessing the Hazard of a Material to Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2014, www.astm.org

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