SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  16 February 2012
Volume 13 Issue 2

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IEAM Spotlight: Special Series: Lab-Field Bioaccumulation Workshop

Lawrence Burkhard, USEPA and Robert Hoke, DuPont

To start the New Year, SETAC has published a special series of papers resulting from a workshop on comparing and contrasting laboratory and field bioaccumulation data in our journal, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. The incentive for this workshop came from the growing use of field bioaccumulation data in bioaccumulation assessments of existing chemicals across the globe, and the resulting need to better understand the level of agreement as well as causes of disagreement between laboratory and field bioaccumulation measurements.

The Lab–Field Bioaccumulation workshop, involving more than 35 scientists from government, academia, and industry from North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, was held in November 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. This workshop was the 4th in a series of workshops on bioaccumulation issues and science organized over the past 5 years by the ISLI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute in conjunction with other organizations including the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Society of Toxicology, European Commission Joint Research Centre, and US Environmental Protection Agency. The November 2009 workshop had three breakout groups, and their objectives were to: 1) examine how laboratory and field measurements of bioaccumulation endpoints compare, 2) discuss the reasons why laboratory measurements may not align with field data, and 3) explore the main sources of variation in field bioaccumulation measurements and TMFs. Along with a short introductory piece, five papers are in the special series. These papers summarize the discussions and analyses from the November 2009 workshop.

Comparing Laboratory and Field Measured Bioaccumulation Endpoints by Lawrence P Burkhard, Jon A Arnot, Michelle R Embry, Kevin J Farley, Robert A Hoke, Masaru Kitano, Heather A Leslie, Guilherme R Lotufo, Thomas F Parkerton, Keith G Sappington, Gregg T Tomy, and Kent B Woodburn.

This article presents an approach whereby all laboratory and field bioaccumulation metrics (BCF, BAF, BSAF, BMF, BSSAF, and TMF) are directly comparable. The approach involves converting all of the bioaccumulation metrics to fugacity ratios, and after conversion, a weight-of-evidence assessment of bioaccumulation potential for nonionic organic chemicals can be performed using all available bioaccumulation data. However, based on existing data and knowledge, the approach may not be applicable for all classes of chemicals.

Comparing Laboratory- and Field-Measured Biota–Sediment Accumulation Factors by Lawrence P Burkhard, Jon A Arnot, Michelle R Embry, Kevin J Farley, Robert A Hoke, Masaru Kitano, Heather A Leslie, Guilherme R Lotufo, Thomas F Parkerton, Keith G Sappington, Gregg T Tomy, and Kent B Woodburn.

BSAFs are one of the few bioaccumulation metrics with existing paired laboratory and field measurements. A detailed comparison found that 1) laboratory BSAFs for the oligochaete Lumbriculus variegatus are typically within a factor of 2 of the BSAFs for field-collected oligochaetes, and 2) laboratory BSAFs for bivalves can provide reasonable estimates of field BSAF values (within a factor of 2 to 3), if certain precautions are taken, such as ensuring that steady-state BSAF values are being compared.

Explaining Differences Between Bioaccumulation Measurements in Laboratory and Field Data Through Use of a Probabilistic Modeling Approach by Henriette Selck, Ken Drouillard, Karen Eisenreich, Albert A Koelmans, Annemette Palmqvist, Anders Ruus, Daniel Salvito, Irv Schultz, Robin Stewart, Annie Weisbrod, Nico W van den Brink, and Martine van den Heuvel-Greve. Probabilistic modeling simulations were used to quantify the sources of variability between laboratory and field bioaccumulation metrics, and to provide recommendations for improving the accuracy of bioaccumulation measurements in field samples.

Trophic Magnification Factors: Considerations of Ecology, Ecosystems, and Study Design by Katrine Borgå, Karen A Kidd, Derek CG Muir, Olof Berglund, Jason M Conder, Frank APC Gobas, John Kucklick, Olaf Malm, and David E Powell.

This article provides a state-of-the-art review of how trophic magnification factors (TMFs) have been used, its advantages over other metrics used to measure biomagnification, important statistical and analytical considerations in its measurement, and knowledge gaps associated with the TMF parameter. The knowledge gaps include 1) an understanding of what the intercept of the TMF relationship represents, 2) the usefulness of TMFs for terrestrial systems, and 3) the variability and uncertainty in TMFs across diverse ecosystems.

Use of Trophic Magnification Factors and Related Measures to Characterize Bioaccumulation Potential of Chemicals by Jason M Conder, Frank A P C Gobas, Katrine Borga, Derek C G Muir, and David E Powell.

This article examines the use of field-derived TMFs and other measures of bioaccumulation in conducting a holistic weight-of-evidence assessment of bioaccumulation potential in a regulatory context. The value added by use of TMFs as well as the caveats associated with the TMF parameter in bioaccumulationassessment are discussed.

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