Water: Water Quality Standards Academy
Basic Course: Supplemental Topics - Health (z)
Bioaccumulation: BAF vs. BCF
- Listing Impaired Waters and Developing TMDLs
- Monitoring & Assessment
- NPDES Permit Program
- Human Health Ambient Water Quality Criteria
- Historical Approach to Human Health Criteria Development
- Updated Approach
- Quantitative Risk Assessment
- Toxicological Parameter for Noncancer Effects
- Risk Assessment for Noncancer Effects
- Toxicological Parameter for Cancer Effects (Linear)
- Risk Assessment for Cancer Effects (Linear)
- Toxicological Parameter for Cancer Effects (Nonlinear)
- Risk Assessment for Cancer Effects (Nonlinear)
- Exposure Assessment
- Aquatic Life Criteria
U.S. EPA defines the term bioaccumulation as the uptake and retention of a chemical by an aquatic organism from all surrounding media (e.g., water, food, sediment) and the term bioconcentration as the uptake and retention of a chemical by an aquatic organism from water only.
For some chemicals (particularly those that are highly persistent and hydrophobic—i.e., practically insoluble in water), the magnitude of bioaccumulation by aquatic organisms can be substantially greater than the magnitude of bioconcentration. Thus, an assessment of bioconcentration alone would underestimate the extent of accumulation in aquatic biota for these chemicals.
Accordingly, EPA’s methodology emphasizes the measurement of chemical bioaccumulation by aquatic organisms rather than bioconcentration, as was done for the earlier version of the Human Health Methodology.