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Bioaccumulation of Organic Contaminants in Humans: A Multimedia Perspective and the Importance of Biotransformation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
2011 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 45, no 1, 197-202 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bioaccumulation is an important component of the exposure hazard assessment and risk assessment of organic chemicals. Screening criteria for chemical hazard used in national and international regulations are based on the paradigm that partitioning properties are the primary chemical determinants of bioaccumulation. We use a holistic multimedia perspective to evaluate the partitioning property paradigm with respect to assessing human bioaccumulation. Multimedia bioaccumulation factors (mmBAFs) for humans were modeled for hypothetical chemicals with a wide range of physical-chemical properties. Varying partitioning properties over 12 orders of magnitude (a plausible range for nonionizing organics) resulted in only modest changes in mmBAFs (a factor of similar to 10) for all but very volatile or hydrophilic chemicals. In contrast, varying biotransformation rate constants over 6 orders of magnitude resulted in substantial differences in mmBAFs (greater than a factor of 10(9)). Our model results are supported by empirical observations of well characterized pollutants, which demonstrate that chemicals with similar partitioning properties can have very different bioaccumulation behavior. Susceptibility to biotransformation clearly determines bioaccumulation in humans for many chemicals. We conclude that a holistic multimedia perspective for bioaccumulation assessment is necessary to develop regulations, criteria, and policies that are protective of human health and the environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 45, no 1, 197-202 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68381DOI: 10.1021/es101000wISI: 000285679300030OAI: diva2:472765
authorCount :4Available from: 2012-01-04 Created: 2012-01-03 Last updated: 2012-01-04Bibliographically approved

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