Bioaccumulation of hydrophobic organic chemicals by aquatic organisms: a workshop summary
Traditionally, regulatory approaches to the bioaccumulation of hydrophobic organic chemicals (HOCs) have emphasized the direct accumulation of these chemicals from solution across biological membranes, leading to the development of the bioconcentration factor as a measure of direct uptake of freely dissolved HOCs. However, an often larger fraction of the total amount of many HOCs in the water column is not freely dissolved, but is partitioned among suspended sediments and particulate matter in the water column. Partitioned HOCs are available for accumulation by organisms ingesting the contaminated particulate matter. The net accumulation of HOCs from water through consumption and direct uptake of dissolved HOC is termed bioaccumulation, quantified using a bioaccumulation factor. In order to develop recommendations designed to close the gap between current knowledge concerning bioaccumulation and regulations, the Institute of Evaluating Health Risks organized a working conference, 'The Bioaccumulation of Hydrophobic Organic Chemicals by Aquatic Organisms'. This paper reflects the view of workshop participants that the bioaccumulation paradigm can be used in a number of practical applications.
Keywords: BAF, bioaccumulation, bioconcentration, BSAF, hydrophobic organic chemicals, HOCs, aquatic organisms, contaminated particulate matter, environmental pollution