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9.1.5 Field Bioassessment

Use: Subjective interpretation made by a bioassessment expert as to the potential impact of a chemical or on the health of an ecosystem.
See 6.2.24 for use with VOCs, SVOCs, and pesticides, 7.1.10 for use with metals, and 8.2.6 for use with radionuclides.


Field bioassessments provide an indication of the potential for ecological risk (or lack thereof) that can be used to: (1) estimate the likelihood that ecological risk exists; (2) identify the need for site-specific data collection efforts; and (3) focus site-specific ecological risk assessments where warranted. Initial screening-level assessments are not designed or intended to provide definitive estimates of actual risk, generate cleanup goals, and are not based upon site-specific assumptions. Rather, their purpose is to assess the need to conduct a detailed ecological risk assessment for a particular site. To conduct an initial screening-level assessment for ecological risk, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Initial information needs should include general knowledge of the nature and extent of chemical contamination at the site, the areal extent of contamination, existing ecological habitat types, and identified pathways for migration of a contaminant off site.
  2. Comparison to existing screening values from the appropriate literature are made based on the media.
  3. Comparison to background or reference values (areas surrounding a site, but which are not influenced by the site).
  4. Literature search of studies that evaluate the toxicity and toxic mechanisms of chemicals may be used to evaluate potential risk.
  5. Develop hazard quotients which compare estimated exposure concentrations to measured or predicted concentrations of a contaminant shown to cause adverse ecological effects. The comparisons are expressed as ratios of potential intake values to documented effect values.


10. Explosives


Soil/Sediment Water Gas/Air
Selectivity: Technique measures a part of the compound.
Susceptibility to Interference: High.
Detection Limits : Not Applicable.
Turnaround Time per Sample: More than a day.
Applicable To:
Screen/Identify Characterize Concentration/Extent Cleanup Performance Long-Term Monitoring
Quantitative Data Capability: Does not produce quantitative data.
Technology Status: Commercially available technology with moderate field experience.
Certification/Verification: Technology has not participated in CalEPA certification and/or CSCT verification program.
Relative Cost per Analysis: Most expensive.


ASTM Standards/EPA Methods:

No applicable ASTM standards or EPA methods are cited for this technology.

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