John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Development of a strontium chronic effects benchmark for aquatic life in freshwater


There are no national water quality guidelines (WQGS) for strontium for protection of freshwater aquatic life in north America or elsewhere. Available data on the acute and chronic toxicity of strontium to freshwater aquatic life were compiled and reviewed. Acute toxicity was reported to occur at concentrations ranging from 75 to 15,000 mg/l. The majority of chronic effects occurred at concentrations above 11 mg/l; however, calculation of a representative benchmark was confounded by results from four studies indicating that chronic effects occurred at lower concentrations than all other studies, in two cases below background concentrations reported for us and European streams. Two of these studies, including one reporting effects below background concentrations, were repeated and found not to be reproducible; chronic effects occurred at considerably higher strontium concentrations than in the original studies. Studies with narrow‐mouthed toad and goldfish were not repeated; both studies reported chronic effects below background concentrations, and both studies had been conducted by the authors of one of the two studies that were repeated and shown to be non‐reproducible. Studies by these authors (3 of the 4 confounding studies), conducted over 30 years ago, lacked detail in reporting of methods and results. It is thus likely that repeating the toad and goldfish studies would also have resulted in a higher strontium effects concentration. A strontium chronic effects benchmark of 10.7 mg/l that incorporates the results of additional testing summarized herein is proposed for freshwater environments. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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