EPA Science Inventory

Development of aquatic toxicity benchmarks for oil products using species sensitivity distributions

Citation:

Barron, M., M. Hemmer, AND CrystalR Jackson. Development of aquatic toxicity benchmarks for oil products using species sensitivity distributions. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, KS, 9(4):610-615, (2013).

Description:

Determining the sensitivity of a diversity of species to spilled oil and chemically dispersed oil continues to be a significant challenge in spill response and impact assessment. We used standardized tests from the literature to develop species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) of acute aquatic toxicity values for several petroleum products and two Corexit oil dispersants. Fifth percentile hazard concentrations (HC5s) were computed from the SSDs and used to assess relative oil product toxicity and in evaluating the feasibility of establishing toxicity benchmarks for a community of species. The sensitivity of mysids (Americamysis bahia) and silversides (Menidia beryllina) were evaluated within the SSDs to determine if these common test species were appropriate surrogates for a broader range of species. In general, SSD development was limited by the availability of acute toxicity values that met standardization criteria for a diversity of species. Pooled SSDs were also developed for crude oil and Corexit dispersants because there was only small variability in the HC5s among the individual oil or dispersant products. The sensitivity of mysids and silversides varied across the oil and dispersant products, with the majority of toxicity values greater than the HC5. Application of SSDs appears to be a reasonable approach to developing oil product toxicity benchmarks, but additional toxicity data are needed for a larger range of species conducted under standardized test conditions.

Purpose/Objective:

Determine if oil toxicity benchmarks can be developed using species sensitivity distribution approaches. Proof of concept application to EPA dispersant monitoring.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 10/17/2013
Completion Date: 10/17/2013
Record Last Revised: 10/28/2013
Record Created: 10/17/2013
Record Released: 10/17/2013
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 261576

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION