Friday, September 1, 2006

U.S. Geological Survey’s Acute Toxicity Database


The following database summarizes the results from aquatic acute toxicity tests conducted by the USGS CERC located in Columbia, Missouri. The acute toxicity test provides a relative starting point for hazard assessment of contaminants and is required for federal chemical registration programs such as the Federal Insecticide Fungicide Rodenticide Act (PL 80-104) as amended by the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act of 1972 (7 U.S.C. 136-136y) and the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (PL 94-469).

The database was initially developed in 1986 by Foster L. Mayer (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and Mark R. Ellersieck (University of Missouri, Columbia, MO) for 4,901 acute toxicity tests toxicity tests conducted by CERC since 1965 with 410 chemicals and 66 species of aquatic animals.

A report by Mayer and Ellersieck (1986) provides an interpretation of the original 4,901 toxicity tests which utilizes various statistical approaches to make taxonomic comparisons, and to assess the degree to which various factors (static versus flow-through, age of test solutions, pH, temperature, water hardness, and diet) affect toxicity (Manual of Acute Toxicity: Interpretation and Data Base for 410 Chemicals and 66 Species of Freshwater Animals, F.L. Mayer and M.R. Ellersieck, United States Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Resource Publication 160, 1986).

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