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Aquatic Life Protection Mode of Action Methodology for Deriving Water Quality Criteria

EPA Designated Federal Officer (DFO):Thomas Armitage
202-564-2155
armitage.thomas@epa.gov

Responsible Committee/Panel:Ecological Processes and Effects Committee Augmented for the Advisory on EPA's Aquatic Life Water Quality Criteria
A list of members can be found in the final report included in the Advisory Activity linked to this panel or committee.

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the items mentioned in this page are in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). To view or print them you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader program installed on your computer. The Reader can be downloaded and used with no charge. Click here for more information from EPA on PDF files.
 

BACKGROUND.

EPA’s Office of Water has asked the Science Advisory Board (SAB) for advice on the scientific merit of a white paper that identifies and addresses technical issues in deriving aquatic life criteria for emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products exhibiting endocrine disrupting activity or other toxic mechanisms.

These chemicals have features that require additional consideration when applying existing ambient water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life, using EPA’s 1985 Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Life and Their Uses. The emerging contaminants may demonstrate low acute toxicity but cause significant reproductive effects at very low levels of exposure. In addition, the effects of exposure to aquatic organisms during the early stages of life may not be observed until adulthood. Therefore, traditional toxicity test endpoints may not be sufficiently comprehensive for criteria derivation for these chemicals and the chemicals may also have very specific modes of action that may affect only certain types of aquatic animals (e.g., vertebrates such as fish).


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