The thinking is that individual constituent testing doesn't
>account for synergistic effects or for inerts and carriers. With acute
>toxicity testing they take water samples and controls and introduce a
>particular organism, an aquatic or micro organism, that is extremely
>sensitive to contaminants.
I think this whole question is very significant. To be able to measure the
effects of a contaminant on the environment is halfway to being able to
regulate our behaviour. Do we need to look for an organism which mirrors
Human sensitivity? I'm thinking of the Ames test which seeks evidence of
carcigenicity through the ability of a substance to induce back mutation.
But it does not ALWAYS come up with the right answers in relation to humans.
The advantages seem to be 1) accounts for inerts,
>metabolites and synergism, 2) it would be cheap enough to legitimize
>requiring monthly or more sampling.
The advantages would seem to merit a lot of effort to overcome the problems
mentioned later in this posting. i hope someone comes up with something
useful on this.
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