Ecotoxicology is the science of toxic substances in the environment and their impact on living organisms. Today we use many more chemicals in everyday life than we did 30-40 years ago. Our knowledge of the fate and effect of such chemicals in the environment has not yet followed the rate of chemical innovation in spite of our expanding knowledge of ecotoxicology. About 50,000 different chemicals are produced on an industrial scale, but we have only sufficient data to evaluate the environmental consequences of a few per cent of these. The need for ecotoxicological knowledge has never been more pronounced than it is today. Even more resources must be allocated in this field in the near future, if we are to be able to cope with the threat of more toxic chemical compounds in our environment. This book outlines the state of the art of modelling the fate and effects of toxic substances in the environment. Modelling in ecotoxicology differs from modelling in other fields by the great lack of data. The quality of the models is very dependent on the parameters used, and as we do not have a wide knowledge of parameters in ecotoxicological processes, good parameter estimation methods are crucial for ecotoxicolocal models. A comprehensive review of available parameter estimation methods is therefore included in this volume. Model examples and case studies have also been included to illustrate the difficulties and short comings in practical modelling.

Table of Contents

Part A. Ecotoxicological Models: General Considerations. 1. Introduction. Needs of models in ecotoxicology. 2. Modelling Concepts. Modelling and ecotoxicology. Definitions of modelling elements. The modelling procedure. Types of models. Characteristic features of ecotoxicological models. 3. Use of Ecotoxicological Models in Management. Complexity of ecotoxicological models. Characteristic features of ecotoxicological models. An overview: The application of models in ecotoxicology. 4. Estimation of Physical-Chemical Parameters in Ecotoxicology. Use of benchmark chemicals. Estimation of critical temperature and boiling point. Estimation of Henry's constant and the vapour pressure. Estimation of solubility and partition coefficient. Estimation of adsorption isotherms. Estimation of air/soil exchange coefficients. Estimation of the air/water exchange coefficient. Estimation of evaporation rate. Estimation of the hydrolysis rate coefficient. Estimation of photochemical reaction rate coefficients. Summary. 5. Estimation of Biological Parameters in Ecotoxicology. Estimation of bioconcentration and bioaccumulation. Estimation of the biodegradation rate. Estimation of toxicity. Summary. 6. Types of Models of Particular Interest in Ecotoxicology. Application of models in ecotoxicology. Models with risk assessment component. Fugacity models. Part B. Case Studies of Ecotoxicological Models. 7. Modelling the Distribution of Chromium in a Danish Firth. Case study description. Model description. Application of the model for environmental management. 8. Contamination of Agricultural Products by Cadmium and Lead. Introduction. Sources of cadmium and lead contamination in agriculture. The model. Model results. Discussion and conclusions. 9. Modelling the Release of Copper from Lake-Sediment.


© 1990
Elsevier Science
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About the editor

S.E. Jorgensen

Affiliations and Expertise

DFH, Environmental Chemistry, University Park 2, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark