BOX 5-1
Common Toxicological Terms Related to Dispersant Toxicity Testing

Exposure—Contact with a chemical by swallowing, breathing, or direct contact (such as through the skin or eyes). Exposure may be either acute or chronic.


Acute—An intense event occurring over a short time, usually a few minutes or hours. An acute exposure can result in short-term or long-term health effects. An acute effect happens within a short time after exposure. Acute toxicity to aquatic organisms can be estimated from relatively short exposures (i.e., 24, 48, or 96 hr) with death as the typical endpoint.


Chronic—Occurring over a long period of time, generally several weeks, months or years. Chronic exposures occur over an extended period of time or over a significant fraction of a lifetime. Chronic toxicity to aquatic organisms can be estimated from partial life-cycle tests of relatively short duration (i.e., 7 days).


Sublethal—Below the concentration that directly causes death. Exposure to sublethal concentrations of a material may produce less obvious effects on behavior, biochemical and/or physiological function (i.e., growth and reproduction), and histology of organisms.


Delayed Effects—Effects or responses that occur some extended time after exposure.


Static Exposures—Exposures for aquatic toxicity tests in which the test organisms are exposed to the same test solution for the duration of the test (static non-renewal) or to a fresh solution of the same concentration or sample at prescribed intervals such as every 24 hr (static renewal). The concentration of the test material may change during the test due to bio-

the trade-offs become even more complex. For example, the protection of sensitive habitats, such as tropical coral reefs and mangroves, is a priority in oil spill response decisions. Many studies have shown that oil, floating above subtidal reefs, has no adverse effects on the coral; however, if allowed to reach the shoreline, the oil may have long-term impacts to a nearby mangrove system. In addition, oil may persist in the mangrove system creating a chronic source of oil pollution in the adjacent coral reefs. The trade-off would be to consider the use of dispersants. Application of



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