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The chemical exposure toxicity space (CETS) model: Displaying exposure time, aqueous and organic concentration, activity, and onset of toxicity

Mackay, Donald, Celsie, Alena K.D., Parnis, J. Mark, McCarty, Lynn S., Arnot, Jon A., Powell, David E.
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2017 v.36 no.5 pp. 1389-1396
bioaccumulation, bioassays, equations, exposure duration, fish, hydrophobicity, models, toxic substances, toxicity, toxicity testing
A 1‐compartment toxicokinetic model is used to characterize the chemical exposure toxicity space (CETS), providing a novel graphic tool that can aid in the design of aquatic toxicity tests for fish and for interpreting their results. The graph depicts the solution to the differential equation describing the uptake kinetics of a chemical by a modeled fish under conventional bioassay conditions. The model relates the exposure concentration in the water to a dimensionless time and the onset of toxicity as determined by an estimated or assumed critical body residue or incipient lethal aqueous concentration. These concentration graphs are specific to each chemical and exposure and organism parameters and clearly demonstrate differences in toxicity between chemicals and how factors such as hydrophobicity influence the toxic endpoint. The CETS plots can also be used to assess bioconcentration test conditions to ensure that concentrations are well below toxic levels. Illustrative applications are presented using a recent set of high‐quality toxicity data. Conversion of concentrations to chemical activities in the plots enables results for different baseline toxicants to be superimposed. For chemicals that have different modes of toxic action, the increased toxicity then becomes apparent. Implications for design and interpretation of aquatic toxicity tests are discussed. The model, and pictorial visualization of the time‐course of aquatic toxicity tests, may contribute to improvements in test design, implementation, and interpretation, and to reduced animal usage. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1389–1396. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.