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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Modeling organic chemical fate in aquatic systems: significance of bioaccumulation and relevant time-space scales.

The importance of aquatic food chain bioaccumulation of organic chemicals in contributing to human dose is derived. It is shown that for chemicals with log octanol water partition coefficients greater than about 3, the role of food chain transfer to fish consumed by humans becomes the more dominant route over drinking water. Modeling of aquatic food chain bioaccumulation then becomes necessary to accurately estimate dose of such chemicals to humans. The relevant time and space scales for groundwater and surface water also indicate a division of organic chemicals at a log octanol water partition coefficient of about 3. For chemicals greater than that level, groundwater transport is minimal, while for chemicals with log octanol water coefficients of less than about 3, detention times are long relative to surface water and biodegradation processes become more significant. An illustration is given of modeling the groundwater transport of two organic chemicals (BCEE and benzene) and a metal (chromium) at a Superfund site. The model indicates that after 10 years only a relatively small fraction of the chemicals had traveled in the groundwater about 300 m to the point of release from the site to surface water. On the other hand, steady state in the adjacent stream and lake is reached rapidly over a distance of 2000 m, illustrating the difference in spatial and temporal scales for the groundwater and surface water.[1]


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