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PresentationsHome and Personal Care Products, Human Pharmaceuticals2014

Recent Developments in Exposure Modeling of “Down-the-Drain“ Chemicals Across Multiple Product Groups

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To promote product stewardship and regulatory compliance for chemical suppliers and manufacturers of formulated home and personal care products, an environmental fate model, iSTREEM®, was created. Although iSTREEM® is owned by the American Cleaning Institute, its capabilities expand beyond cleaning products. Any chemical that will be disposed of “down-the-drain” can be modelled with this application, including those in personal care products, pharmaceuticals and home use pesticides and disinfectants.

iSTREEM® is a web-based publicly available computer model (www.istreem.org) that calculates the concentration of chemicals from consumer products disposed of “down-the-drain” in the influent and effluent of more than 10,000 municipal wastewater treatment plants in the United States. In addition, the concentrations can be calculated in receiving streams at the point of effluent discharge (mixing zone), downstream of effluent discharge, and at the point of drinking water intake for more than 25,000 river reaches in the U.S.

Recently, iSTREEM® was expanded to include densely populated portions of Southern Ontario in Canada. By adding the Lower St. Lawrence watershed to the model, examination of the complete Great Lakes watershed is now possible.

A description of the process for acquisition and management of the Canadian datasets for flow of effluent-impacted streams in Southern Ontario and the relevant facilities (wastewater treatment plants and drinking water plants) will be provided. Particular emphasis will be given to the development of the flow data, and corroboration of the concentration data generated by simulation with local monitoring data for relevant chemicals.

Katherine E. Kapo, Chris Holmes, Raghu Vamshi, Paul DeLeo, Darci Ferrer. Recent Developments in Exposure Modeling of “Down-the-Drain“ Chemicals Across Multiple Product Groups. SETAC NA, 2014 platform.

Papers & ReportsHome and Personal Care Products2014

Combining High-Resolution Gross Domestic Product Data With Home and Personal Care Product Market Research Data to Generate a Subnational Emission Inventory for Asia

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Environmental risk assessment of chemicals is reliant on good estimates of product usage information and robust exposure models. Over the past 20 to 30 years, much progress has been made with the development of exposure models that simulate the transport and distribution of chemicals in the environment. However, little progress has been made in our ability to estimate chemical emissions of home and personal care (HPC) products. In this project, we have developed an approach to estimate subnational emission inventory of chemical ingredients used in HPC products for 12 Asian countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam (Asia-12). To develop this inventory, we have coupled a 1 km grid of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) estimates with market research data of HPC product sales. We explore the necessity of accounting for a population’s ability to purchase HPC products in determining their subnational distribution in regions where wealth is not uniform. The implications of using high resolution data on inter- and intracountry subnational emission estimates for a range of hypothetical and actual HPC product types were explored. It was demonstrated that for low value products (<500 US$ per capita/annum required to purchase product) the maximum deviation from baseline (emission distributed via population) is less than a factor of 3 and it would not result in significant differences in chemical risk assessments. However, for other product types (>500 US$ per capita/annum required to purchase product) the implications on emissions being assigned to subnational regions can vary by several orders of magnitude. The implications of this on conducting national or regional level risk assessments may be significant. Further work is needed to explore the implications of this variability in HPC emissions to enable the HPC industry and/or governments to advance risk-based chemical management policies in emerging markets.

Hodges, J. E. N., Vamshi, R., Holmes, C., Rowson, M., Miah, T. and Price, O. R. 2014. “Combining High-Resolution Gross Domestic Product Data With Home and Personal Care Product Market Research Data to Generate a Subnational Emission Inventory for Asia”. Integr Environ Assess Manag, 10: 237–246. doi: 10.1002/ieam.1476.

Papers & ReportsWater/Wastewater Assessments2014

Hydraulic “Fracking”: Are Surface Water Impacts an Ecological Concern?

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Use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in unconventional reservoirs to recover previously inaccessible oil and natural gas is rapidly expanding in North America and elsewhere. Although hydraulic fracturing has been practiced for decades, the advent of more technologically advanced horizontal drilling coupled with improved slickwater chemical formulations has allowed extensive natural gas and oil deposits to be recovered from shale formations. Millions of liters of local groundwaters are utilized to generate extensive fracture networks within these low-permeability reservoirs, allowing extraction of the trapped hydrocarbons. Although the technology is relatively standardized, the geographies and related policies and regulations guiding these operations vary markedly. Some ecosystems are more at risk from these operations than others because of either their sensitivities or the manner in which the HVHF operations are conducted. Generally, the closer geographical proximity of the susceptible ecosystem to a drilling site or a location of related industrial processes, the higher the risk of that ecosystem being impacted by the operation. The associated construction of roads, power grids, pipelines, well pads, and water-extraction systems along with increased truck traffic are common to virtually all HVHF operations. These operations may result in increased erosion and sedimentation, increased risk to aquatic ecosystems from chemical spills or runoff, habitat fragmentation, loss of stream riparian zones, altered biogeochemical cycling, and reduction of available surface and hyporheic water volumes because of withdrawal-induced lowering of local groundwater levels. The potential risks to surface waters from HVHF operations are similar in many ways to those resulting from agriculture, silviculture, mining, and urban development. Indeed, groundwater extraction associated with agriculture is perhaps a larger concern in the long term in some regions. Understanding the ecological impacts of these anthropogenic activities provides useful information for evaluations of potential HVHF hazards. Geographic information system–based modeling combined with strategic site monitoring has provided insights into the relative importance of these and other ecoregion and land-use factors in discerning potential HVHF impacts. Recent findings suggest that proper siting and operational controls along with strategic monitoring can reduce the potential for risks to aquatic ecosystems. Nevertheless, inadequate data exist to predict ecological risk at this time. The authors suggest considering the plausibility of surface water hazards associated with the various HVHF operations in terms of the ecological context and in the context of relevant anthropogenic activities. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014;33:1679–1689. © 2014 SETAC

Burton, G. A., Basu, N., Ellis, B. R., Kapo, K. E., Entrekin, S. and Nadelhoffer, K. (2014), Hydraulic “Fracking”: Are surface water impacts an ecological concern?. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 33: 1679–1689. doi: 10.1002/etc.2619

PostersCrop Protection, Water/Wastewater Assessments2014

Implementing National-Scale Proximity Analyses with Efficiency & Reliability

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Performing a National Threatened and Endangered Species Risk assessment for each pesticide registration action is daunting. The scale, both geographically, temporally, and the sheer number of species, presents a challenge. Add to this the fact that data sets and approaches will be refined moving forward, but current registration efforts cannot be delayed. To effectively perform Proximity Analyses at Step 1, a process which is computationally efficient, technically accurate for the scale, and robust enough to handle changing data sets must be developed. This poster demonstrates an approach to address these challenges. Using authoritative geospatial data from government sources, a National Potential Pesticide Use Site Layer is generated which can be easily updated as new data are released annually. The potential pesticide use site layer is used in a framework that allows for Flexible Action Area Definition and subsequent National Proximity Analysis of 100’s of Species at a Time. Furthermore, Downstream Transport must be accounted for when calculating proximity to Aquatic Species. By using existing Automation and Scripting methods within ArcGIS and SQL Server, the framework can be reapplied as needed (such as availability of newer data), and also provides a source of documentation at each step of the process. This poster illustrates an approach to Implementing National-Scale Proximity Analyses with Efficiency & Reliability and Results.

Joshua J. Amos, Vivienne L. Sclater, and Christopher M. Holmes. Implementing National-Scale Proximity Analyses with Efficiency & Reliability. SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancover, B.C. November 14, 2014.

PostersAgriculture and Food2014

Data Mining Strategies For Species Life History Characteristics to Support Population Modeling in Endangered Species Risk Assessment

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Population modeling has been identified as a valuable tool to support risk assessment of listed threatened and endangered species. While a variety of population (and more generally, ecological) modeling approaches and platforms exist, their application is frequently limited to a small number of specific species having an abundance of toxicity and life history data available in the literature and/or generated in parallel to the development of a particular model. Conversely, national-scale endangered species assessment may initially identify a large number of species that may be potentially impacted based on an initial proximity assessment of species locations and chemical exposure. This disparity points to the need for evaluating similarities in available life history characteristics across multiple species to identify relevant groupings of species as well as the data-rich species (endangered or non-endangered) which are the most appropriate surrogates for one or more endangered species of interest for a given risk scenario in population modeling. Starting with high-level taxonomic classifications and using a combination of data synthesis and quantitative clustering techniques, we demonstrate an approach for organizing available basic life history information to “drill down” to species characteristics and groupings most relevant to a given risk scenario, and/or a given species of interest. This process can yield useful information to optimize the design and implementation of population modeling (and the risk assessment process in general) by providing a systematic means to focus technical resources on species of greatest relevance to the goals of a particular assessment. While further evaluation and data collection from literature and other sources is often a necessary component in the development of population models, this process can be made more efficient through the application of effective filtering tools.

Katherine E. Kapo, Matthew E. Kern, Joshua Amos, Chris M. Holmes, Nathan Snyder. Data Mining Strategies For Species Life History Characteristics to Support Population Modeling in Endangered Species Risk Assessment. SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancover, B.C. November 14, 2014.

PostersAgriculture and Food2014

Advancing Effective Screening and Probabilistic Approaches in Endangered Species Risk Assessments

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The confluence of the protection goals of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) presents many challenges for environmental risk assessment for pesticide registrations. A deterministic approach has traditionally been used for FIFRA national scale assessments, where point estimates of exposure and effects are used to produce risk quotients which are compared against arbitrary levels of concern (LOQ). This approach allows for relative toxicity, exposure and risk comparisons across chemicals, and may include both screening level and refined approaches allowing the assessor to focus on taxonomic groups of concern. Under ESA, the assessment methods employed are undergoing rapid development with a focus on the protection of individual organisms and populations. These developments have been influenced largely by the National Research Council (NRC) committee recommendations (2013) which were incorporated into an interim approach outlined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The NRC recommendations included a preference for probabilistic over deterministic approaches for risk assessment for endangered species to enable the evaluation of likelihood and magnitude of risk across species. However, given the practical challenge of national-scale assessments and high numbers of species to consider, effective screening techniques are still needed to direct risk assessment and risk management resources to the species at greatest potential risk relative to a stressor of interest. We explore various applications of screening and probabilistic approaches throughout the risk assessment process to effectively target taxonomic groups and species of potential concern and evaluate and characterize risk. These methods employ data evaluation and filtering techniques (including proximity analysis), weight of evidence approaches for qualitative and quantitative data and methods for including uncertainty in the assessment. The objective is to advance the risk assessment process for listed threatened and endangered species by providing a more comprehensive and practical perspective on species risk compared to traditional approaches.

Matthew E. Kern, Katherine E. Kapo,  Joshua Amos, Megan Sebasky, Christopher M. Holmes, Gregg A. Hancock, Nathan Snyder. Advancing Effective Screening and Probabilistic Approaches in Endangered Species Risk Assessments. SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancover, B.C. November 14, 2014.

PostersWater/Wastewater Assessments2014

Tiered Testing Approach for Whole-Sediment Toxicity Tests

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A majority of recent data call-ins (DCIs) issued by the USEPA for pesticide registrants have included requirements for chronic sediment toxicity testing with midge as well as freshwater and marine amphipod species. Sediment toxicity testing triggers for either acute or chronic studies are currently based predominately on environmental fate data focused on compound-specific degradation and partitioning behavior. Biological data are only used to evaluate risk while determining if chronic sediment data are needed; however, acute sediment toxicity data are seldom available for such comparisons. While ecotoxicity data from water-only studies may be leveraged to estimate thresholds for benthic organisms based on sediment equilibrium partitioning theory; this approach may introduce substantial uncertainty into ecological risk assessment and is likely most effectively used as a lower level screening tool.

Jennifer K. Collins, Mark A. Cafarella. Tiered Testing Approach for Whole-Sediment Toxicity Tests. SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancover, B.C. November 14, 2014.

PostersHome and Personal Care Products, Human Pharmaceuticals, Industrial and Specialty Chemicals2014

Tools for Probabilistic Environmental Exposure Assessment of “Down-The-Drain” Chemicals in The U.S.

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Environmental exposure assessment of down-the-drain chemicals (home and personal care products, pharmaceuticals, etc.) is strongly dependent upon the in-stream dilution of receiving waters, which varies by geography and flow conditions. In this study, the iSTREEM® model (www.istreem.org, American Cleaning Institute) was utilized to delineate probabilistic distributions of practical dilution factors (flow-based as well as incorporating varying chemical biodegradation rates) in mean and low flow conditions, as well as the national distribution of per capita domestic wastewater production. The distributions yielded by this work can serve as a reference for probabilistic exposure assessments for down-the-drain chemicals in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) mixing zones and at drinking water intakes in the conterminous U.S. In addition, an assessment of treatment processes based on the WWTP facilities within the iSTREEM model provided an assessment of the proportion of wastewater flow volume treated by various processes (activated sludge, lagoon, etc.). The ability to quantitatively evaluate waste water production, treatment, and dilution in a spatial context provides a practical and powerful tool for assessing exposure and risk of down-the-drain chemicals of various types.

Katherine E. Kapo, Kathleen McDonough, Tom Federle, Scott D. Dyer, Raghu Vamshi, Chris M. Holmes. Tools for Probabilistic Environmental Exposure Assessment of “Down-The-Drain” Chemicals in The U.S. SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancover, B.C. November 14, 2014.

PostersCrop Protection2014

A Framework for Modeling Pyrethroid Transport to Surface Water Via Runoff/Erosion and Drift Using Local Scale Data at the NHD+ Catchment Scale

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The Pyrethroid Working Group (PWG) has conducted a national probabilistic refinement of aquatic exposure estimates for agricultural pyrethroid uses. A spatial modeling framework was developed to perform probabilistic drift and runoff/erosion transport modeling for over 2.5 million NHD+ catchments covering the entire conterminous US , in order to capture the natural variability in weather, soils, cropping and other agronomic/environmental factors.  Drift transport was modeled using information on crop proximity to individual stream reaches and deposition fractions based on AgDRIFT/RegDisp models. Crop location data used for proximity analysis and soil/crop associations were based on the USDA Cropland Data Layer (CDL) from 2008-2012. Chemical mass transported via runoff/erosion was estimated over 30 years for more than 375,000 unique soil/weather combinations and ten crops using PRZM modeling for a hypothetical representative pyrethroid. Other relevant landscape metrics (e.g., length of streams or number of ponds) or agronomic metrics (e.g., tillage practices) were also characterized at the NHD+ catchment level. The resulting spatio-temporal databases underpinned several different approaches for novel probabilistic exposure analyses of the pyrethroids. This framework takes advantage of automation opportunities within both ArcGIS and SQL Server in order to process massive amounts of spatial and temporal data in an efficient and robust manner.  This poster will present the overall framework developed for the PWG, along with specifics on data sources, processing steps, and results.

Joshua Amos, Vivienne Sclater, Christopher Holmes, Paul Hendley, Russell Jones, Scott Jackson , Russell Underwood. A Framework for Modeling Pyrethroid Transport to Surface Water Via Runoff/Erosion and Drift Using Local Scale Data at the NHD+ Catchment Scale. SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancover, B.C. November 14, 2014.

PostersHome and Personal Care Products2014

Accounting for Regional Differences in Socioeconomic and Environmental Variables to Enable a Global Exposure Assessment for Chemicals Used in HPC Products

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The global use of a range of home and personal care (HPC) products increased between 232% and 750% from 1998 and 2013. This global trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, as growth in emerging markets in South America, Africa and Asia continues. Industry has a responsibility to assess the environmental safety of chemicals used in consumer goods in all markets, not only in regions where Regulations exist. We present an initiative to collect spatially explicit data sets in order to develop a global model to enable in-river concentrations of chemicals used in home and personal care products to be predicted. The model incorporates sub-national variability in HPC product use, geographically-linked socioeconomic data to account for a population’s ability to purchase certain products, water use and disposal data, information on sanitation practices and in river dilution factors from official census and other data sources. A novel exposure model, the Scenario Assembly Tool (ScenAT), was developed to predict environmental concentrations (PECs) of chemicals used in HPC products at multiple spatial scales across a country. In this study, we compare regional and country profiles of important variables that influence the exposure of home and personal care products (e.g. water use and sanitation practice, receiving water). We share socioeconomic and environmental databases that have been compiled to enable risk assessors to conduct robust assessment in developed and emerging markets. We explore the impact of these variables on emission estimates and PEC distributions in major regions across the globe and discuss regional differences. We use a case study to demonstrate how the model can be used to support screening level risk assessment decision-making.

Raghu Vamshi, Juliet Hodges, Christopher Holmes, Vivienne Sclater, Oliver Price, John Kilgallon, Todd Gouin. Accounting for Regional Differences in Socioeconomic and Environmental Variables to Enable a Global Exposure Assessment for Chemicals Used in HPC Products. SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancover, B.C. November 14, 2014.