John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Modeling and interpreting biological effects of mixtures in the environment: Introduction to the metal mixture modeling evaluation project

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The fate and biological effects of chemical mixtures in the environment are receiving increased attention from the scientific and regulatory communities. Understanding the behavior and toxicity of metal mixtures poses unique challenges for incorporating metal‐specific concepts and approaches, such as bioavailability and metal speciation, in multiple‐metal exposures. To avoid the use of oversimplified approaches to assess the toxicity of metal mixtures, a collaborative 2‐yr research project and multistakeholder group workshop were conducted to examine and evaluate available higher‐tiered chemical speciation‐based metal mixtures modeling approaches. The Metal Mixture Modeling Evaluation project and workshop achieved 3 important objectives related to modeling and interpretation of biological effects of metal mixtures: 1) bioavailability models calibrated for single‐metal exposures can be integrated to assess mixture scenarios; 2) the available modeling approaches perform consistently well for various metal combinations, organisms, and endpoints; and 3) several technical advancements have been identified that should be incorporated into speciation models and environmental risk assessments for metals. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;34:721–725. © 2015 SETAC

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