Congener-specific model for polychlorinated biphenyl effect on otter (Lutra lutra) and associated sediment quality criteria

T.P. Traas, R. Luttik, O. Klepper, J.E.M. Beurskens, M.D. Smit, P.E.G. Leonards, A.G.M. van Hattum, T. Aldenberg

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    7 Citations (Scopus)


    A model for risk assessment was built for simultaneous, congener-specific PCB bioaccumulation from sediment to fish to otters (Lutra lutra). Toxic equivalence factors (TEFs) were used to sum individual congeners in otters to a toxic equivalent concentration (TEQ) relative to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Microbial dechlorination and burial in sediments and bioaccumulation are modeled to predict time trends of PCB concentrations in otters. Effects of accumulated PCBs on otters were assessed for vitamin A metabolism and reproduction, taking model uncertainty into account. Three locations in The Netherlands were modeled with PCB levels in sediment of 1 to 171 pg TEQ/g organic carbon (OC). Almost 100 eduction in litter size was predicted for the most polluted area in 1996. Due to large associated uncertainty, a period of 25 to 80 years may be needed for recovery of otter vitamin A levels and litter size at this site. Calculated median sediment quality criteria (SQC) range between 1 and 12 pg TEQ/g OC, depending on the chosen effect criterion. Uncertainty in calculated effects and SQCs is substantial and is mainly caused by uncertainty in PCB congener 126 accumulation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)205-212
    JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • toxicology
    • polychlorinated biphenyls
    • toxic substances
    • sediment
    • otters
    • lutra
    • netherlands
    • bioaccumulation
    • ecotoxicology

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