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Modelling the bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in agricultural food chains for regulatory exposure assessment

Takaki, K., Wade, A. J. ORCID: and Collins, C. D. (2017) Modelling the bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in agricultural food chains for regulatory exposure assessment. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24 (5). pp. 4252-4260. ISSN 1614-7499

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11356-015-5176-1


New models for estimating bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the agricultural food chain were developed using recent improvements to plant uptake and cattle transfer models. One model named AgriSim was based on K OW regressions of bioaccumulation in plants and cattle, while the other was a steady-state mechanistic model, AgriCom. The two developed models and European Union System for the Evaluation of Substances (EUSES), as a benchmark, were applied to four reported food chain (soil/air-grass-cow-milk) scenarios to evaluate the performance of each model simulation against the observed data. The four scenarios considered were as follows: (1) polluted soil and air, (2) polluted soil, (3) highly polluted soil surface and polluted subsurface and (4) polluted soil and air at different mountain elevations. AgriCom reproduced observed milk bioaccumulation well for all four scenarios, as did AgriSim for scenarios 1 and 2, but EUSES only did this for scenario 1. The main causes of the deviation for EUSES and AgriSim were the lack of the soil-air-plant pathway and the ambient air-plant pathway, respectively. Based on the results, it is recommended that soil-air-plant and ambient air-plant pathway should be calculated separately and the K OW regression of transfer factor to milk used in EUSES be avoided. AgriCom satisfied the recommendations that led to the low residual errors between the simulated and the observed bioaccumulation in agricultural food chain for the four scenarios considered. It is therefore recommended that this model should be incorporated into regulatory exposure assessment tools. The model uncertainty of the three models should be noted since the simulated concentration in milk from 5th to 95th percentile of the uncertainty analysis often varied over two orders of magnitude. Using a measured value of soil organic carbon content was effective to reduce this uncertainty by one order of magnitude.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:56574


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