Uncertainties in the environmental risk assessment of metals
Janssen, CR × De Schamphelaere, K Heijerick, D Muyssen, B Lock, K Bossuyt, Beatrijs Vangheluwe, M Van Sprang, P #
Crc press llc
Human and ecological risk assessment vol:6 issue:6 pages:1003-1018
As life has evolved in the presence of metals, the assessment of the potential adverse effects of metals on ecosystems requires a different approach than those presently used for man-made organic substances. This article provides a brief review of applications and limitations of current techniques and presents, based on recent research results, suggestions for improving the scientific relevance and accuracy of environmental risk assessments of metals. The importance of the following factors responsible for major uncertainties in current environmental risk assessments of metals are discussed: factors affecting metal bioavailability and toxicity, the potential importance of deficiency effects (for essential metals), and held extrapolation of laboratory toxicity data. Possible (regulatory) consequences of inaccurately assessing the natural background concentrations of metals and acclimatization/adaptation potential of laboratory organisms and resident communities are illustrated using examples of recent research, hypothesis development, and a probabilistic environmental risk assessment.