A Chemical Activity Approach to Exposure and Risk Assessment of Chemicals

Frank A. P. C. Gobas*, Philipp Mayer, Thomas F. Parkerton, Robert M Burgess, Dik Van de Meent, Dik van de Meent, Todd Gouin

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    539 Downloads (Pure)


    To support the goals articulated in the vision for exposure and risk assessment in the twenty-first century, we highlight the application of a thermodynamic chemical activity approach for the exposure and risk assessment of chemicals in the environment. The present article describes the chemical activity approach, its strengths and limitations, and provides examples of how this concept may be applied to the management of single chemicals and chemical mixtures. The examples demonstrate that the chemical activity approach provides a useful framework for 1) compiling and evaluating exposure and toxicity information obtained from many different sources, 2) expressing the toxicity of single and multiple chemicals, 3) conducting hazard and risk assessments of single and multiple chemicals, 4) identifying environmental exposure pathways, and 5) reducing error and characterizing uncertainty in risk assessment. The article further illustrates that the chemical activity approach can support an adaptive management strategy for environmental stewardship of chemicals where “safe” chemical activities are established based on toxicological studies and presented as guidelines for environmental quality in various environmental media that can be monitored by passive sampling and other techniques
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)1235-1251
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Risk assessment
    • Environmental fate
    • Hazard/ risk assessment
    • Mixture
    • Bioaccumulation
    • Exposure


    Dive into the research topics of 'A Chemical Activity Approach to Exposure and Risk Assessment of Chemicals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this