Use of prospective and retrospective risk assessment methods that simplify chemical mixtures associated with treated domestic wastewater discharges

Jerome Diamond*, Rolf Altenburger, Anja Coors, Scott Dyer, Michael Focazio, Karen Kidd, Albert A. Koelmans, Kenneth M.Y. Leung, Mark Servos, Jason Snape, Johannes Tolls, Xiaowei Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A framework is presented that is intended to facilitate the evaluation of potential aquatic ecological risks resulting from discharges of down the drain chemicals. A scenario is presented using representatives of many of the types of chemicals that are treated domestically. Predicted treated effluent chemical concentrations (PECS) are based on reported loading rates and routine removal rates for three types of treatment: trickling filter (TF), activated sludge secondary treatment (AS), and AS plus advanced oxidation process (AOP). In Tier I, PECs were compared with the lowest predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) obtained from the literature using safety factors as needed. A cumulative risk characterization ratio (cumRCR) <1.0 indicates risk is unlikely and no further action is needed. Otherwise, a Tier 2 assessment is used, in which PNECs are based on trophic level. If Tier 2 indicates a possible risk, then a retrospective assessment is recommended. In Tier 1, the cumRCR was > 1.0 for all three treatment types in our scenario, even though no chemical exceeded a hazard quotient of 1.0 in AS or AOP. In Tier 2, AS yielded a lower cumRCR than TF due to higher removal rates and the cumRCR in AOP was <<1.0. Based on the maximum cumulative risk ratio (MCR), more than one third of the predicted risk was accounted for by one chemical and at least 90% was accounted for by three chemicals, indicating that few chemicals influenced the mixture risk in our scenario. We show how a retrospective assessment can test whether certain chemicals hypothesized as potential drivers in the prospective assessment could have, or are having, deleterious effects on aquatic life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-702
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume37
Issue number3
Early online date25 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Use of prospective and retrospective risk assessment methods that simplify chemical mixtures associated with treated domestic wastewater discharges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Diamond, J., Altenburger, R., Coors, A., Dyer, S., Focazio, M., Kidd, K., Koelmans, A. A., Leung, K. M. Y., Servos, M., Snape, J., Tolls, J., & Zhang, X. (2018). Use of prospective and retrospective risk assessment methods that simplify chemical mixtures associated with treated domestic wastewater discharges. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 37(3), 690-702. https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.4013