Improving plant bioaccumulation science through consistent reporting of experimental data

Peter Fantke, Jon A. Arnot, William J. Doucette

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    Experimental data and models for plant bioaccumulation of organic contaminants play a crucial role for assessing the potential human and ecological risks associated with chemical use. Plants are receptor organisms and direct or indirect vectors for chemical exposures to all other organisms. As new experimental data are generated they are used to improve our understanding of plant-chemical interactions that in turn allows for the development of better scientific knowledge and conceptual and predictive models. The interrelationship between experimental data and model development is an ongoing, never-ending process needed to advance our ability to provide reliable quality information that can be used in various contexts including regulatory risk assessment. However, relatively few standard experimental protocols for generating plant bioaccumulation data are currently available and because of inconsistent data collection and reporting requirements, the information generated is often less useful than it could be for direct applications in chemical assessments and for model development and refinement. We review existing testing guidelines, common data reporting practices, and provide recommendations for revising testing guidelines and reporting requirements to improve bioaccumulation knowledge and models. This analysis provides a list of experimental parameters that will help to develop high quality datasets and support modeling tools for assessing bioaccumulation of organic chemicals in plants and ultimately addressing uncertainty in ecological and human health risk assessments.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Environmental Management
    Pages (from-to)374-384
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Environmental Engineering
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
    • Bioaccumulation modeling
    • Biotransformation
    • Organic contaminants
    • Plant uptake
    • Reporting requirements
    • Testing guidelines


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