Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$49.00



View/Hide Left Panel

EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT

B. Leaderer and D. Porcella

The exposure assessment group agreed that, for applicability to ecological problems, the definition of exposure assessment should be generalized to accommodate both nonchemical and chemical stressors. The following definition was proposed: assessment of the extent and nature of the stressor and its co-occurrence with the target. Stressors can be physical, chemical, or biological. Examples of physical stresses are habitat loss, thermal loadings, and UV radiation. Chemical stressors include toxicants and nutrients. Biological stressors include species introductions and pest organisms.

Targets for exposure assessment can be at any level of biological organization, from individual organisms to ecosystems and the biosphere. Exposure assessment can involve direct measurement, indicators of exposure, and modeling. Extent refers to the magnitude and spatiotemporal distribution of the stressor. Nature refers to the characteristics peculiar to the stressor (e.g., physical and chemical properties of a chemical contaminant).

Methods of Measuring Stressors for Ecological Exposure Assessment

The group identified a wide range of methods applicable to measuring ecological exposures. The most obvious methods are the same kinds of direct and indirect methods used in human exposure assessment, including measurements of environmental contaminant concentrations in media to which organisms are exposed, measurements of uptake or body burden, and measurements of biochemical markers correlated with contaminant exposure.

Larger-scale tools for exposure assessment include remote sensing (habitat, productivity, and albedo) and aerial and ground-based mapping. Those methods are especially appropriate for such assessments as in the spotted owl study, in which habitat change, rather than a contaminant, is the stressor. Some participants suggested that ecosystem characteristics (measures of structure and function) can be used to quantify exposure.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 317
APPENDIX F 317 original typesetting files. Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution. EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT B. Leaderer and D. Porcella The exposure assessment group agreed that, for applicability to ecological problems, the definition of exposure assessment should be generalized to accommodate both nonchemical and chemical stressors. The following definition was proposed: assessment of the extent and nature of the stressor and its co-occurrence with the target. Stressors can be physical, chemical, or biological. Examples of physical stresses are habitat loss, thermal loadings, and UV radiation. Chemical stressors include toxicants and nutrients. Biological stressors include species introductions and pest organisms. Targets for exposure assessment can be at any level of biological organization, from individual organisms to ecosystems and the biosphere. Exposure assessment can involve direct measurement, indicators of exposure, and modeling. Extent refers to the magnitude and spatiotemporal distribution of the stressor. Nature refers to the characteristics peculiar to the stressor (e.g., physical and chemical properties of a chemical contaminant). Methods of Measuring Stressors for Ecological Exposure Assessment The group identified a wide range of methods applicable to measuring ecological exposures. The most obvious methods are the same kinds of direct and indirect methods used in human exposure assessment, including measurements of environmental contaminant concentrations in media to which organisms are exposed, measurements of uptake or body burden, and measurements of biochemical markers correlated with contaminant exposure. Larger-scale tools for exposure assessment include remote sensing (habitat, productivity, and albedo) and aerial and ground-based mapping. Those methods are especially appropriate for such assessments as in the spotted owl study, in which habitat change, rather than a contaminant, is the stressor. Some participants suggested that ecosystem characteristics (measures of structure and function) can be used to quantify exposure.