Environmental risk assessment of selected organic chemicals based on TOC test and QSAR estimation models

Environmental risks of organic chemicals have been greatly determined by their persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT) and physicochemical properties. Major regulations in different countries and regions identify chemicals according to their bioconcentration factor (BCF) and octanol-water partition coefficient (Kow), which frequently displays a substantial correlation with the sediment sorption coefficient (Koc). Half-life or degradability is crucial for the persistence evaluation of chemicals. Quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) estimation models are indispensable for predicting environmental fate and health effects in the absence of field- or laboratory-based data. In this study, 39 chemicals of high concern were chosen for half-life testing based on total organic carbon (TOC) degradation, and two widely accepted and highly used QSAR estimation models (i.e., EPI Suite and PBT Profiler) were adopted for environmental risk evaluation. The experimental results and estimated data, as well as the two model-based results were compared, based on the water solubility, Kow, Koc, BCF and half-life. Environmental risk assessment of the selected compounds was achieved by combining experimental data and estimation models. It was concluded that both EPI Suite and PBT Profiler were fairly accurate in measuring the physicochemical properties and degradation half-lives for water, soil, and sediment. However, the half-lives between the experimental and the estimated results were still not absolutely consistent. This suggests deficiencies of the prediction models in some ways, and the necessity to combine the experimental data and predicted results for the evaluation of environmental fate and risks of pollutants.

Authors: Chi Y, Zhang H, Huang Q, Lin Y, Ye G, Zhu H, Dong S. ; Full Source: Journal of Environmental Science (China). 2018 Feb; 64:23-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2016.11.018. Epub 2016 Dec 30.

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