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The susceptibility of human populations to environmental exposure to organic contaminants
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada.
Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
2010 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 1086-931X, E-ISSN 1520-6912, Vol. 44, no 16, 6249-6255 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Environmental exposure to organic contaminants is a complex function of environmental conditions, food chain characteristics, and chemical properties. In this study the susceptibility of various human populations to environmental exposure to neutral organic contaminants was compared. An environmental fate model and a linked bioaccumulation model were parameterized to describe ecosystems in different climatic regions (temperate, arctic, tropical and steppe). The human body burden resulting from constant emissions of hypothetical chemicals was estimated for each region. An exposure susceptibility index was defined as the body burden in the region of interest normalized to the burden of the same chemical in a reference human from the temperate region eating an average diet. For most persistent chemicals emitted to air, the Arctic had the highest susceptibility index (max 520). Susceptibility to exposure was largely determined by the food web properties. The properties of the physical environment only had a marked effect when air or water, not food, was the dominant source of human exposure. Shifting the mode of emission markedly changed the relative susceptibility of the ecosystems in some cases. The exposure arising from chemical use clearly varies between ecosystems, which makes an understanding of ecosystem susceptibility to exposure important for chemicals management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society , 2010. Vol. 44, no 16, 6249-6255 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42339DOI: 10.1021/es1009339ISI: 000280727400041OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-42339DiVA: diva2:345456
Available from: 2010-08-25 Created: 2010-08-25 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Simplifying complex models: Application of modeling tools in exposure assessment of organic pollutants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simplifying complex models: Application of modeling tools in exposure assessment of organic pollutants
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Thousands of chemicals are used in society, but the exposure to humans and other organisms has been measured only for a small number of compounds. Modeling tools constitute low-cost and effective alternatives to measurements for the assessment of exposure. In this thesis, the prerequisites for the application of modeling tools in environmental exposure assessment of organic pollutants were explored. The first aspect discussed was emission estimates, which are crucial for any quantitative modeling study. In Paper I, the only currently existing high throughput tool for ranking emissions was evaluated and found to have limited predictive power, suggesting that further research is necessary to enable exposure based screening. The second aspect was the model’s treatment of dynamic processes. A strategy for deciding on the temporal resolution required for the description of dynamic processes was proposed in Paper II, which involved identification of major transport routes and time to approach steady state. The third aspect was prediction of partition coefficients for use in bioaccumulation models. The traditional single parameter regressions (spLFER) employed for this purpose were compared to the more mechanistically sound ppLFER equations in Paper III. The two methods had a similar accuracy when compared to measured data, implying that the choice of approach should be based on other factors than methodology (e.g. availability of accurate input data). The fourth aspect was the influence of system characteristics on human exposure. The susceptibilities of several ecosystems with diverging characteristics to exposure to organic chemicals were compared in Paper IV. The strong variation in exposure susceptibilities found suggests that the choice of model system can be relevant for exposure assessment and that models may have to be tailored to the ecosystem of interest. In the broader context, this work provides methodologies for handling model complexity in exposure modeling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, 2010. 42 p.
Keyword
mass balance model, environmental modeling, exposure modeling, bioaccumulation, organic contaminants, emission estimate, plant model, steady state, poly parameter linear free energy relationship, PPLFER, ecosystem susceptibility
National Category
Environmental Sciences Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42331 (URN)978-91-7447-131-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-10-01, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Submitted. Paper 3: Submitted.Available from: 2010-09-09 Created: 2010-08-24 Last updated: 2010-08-26Bibliographically approved

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