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Open AccessArticle

Derivation of Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNECs) for Heavy Metals in Freshwater Organisms in Korea Using Species Sensitivity Distributions (SSDs)

School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61005, Korea
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Minerals 2020, 10(8), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080697
Received: 23 June 2020 / Revised: 22 July 2020 / Accepted: 3 August 2020 / Published: 6 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Climate Change and Environmental Issues in Asian Countries)
Natural and artificial heavy metal exposure to the environment requires finding thresholds to protect aquatic ecosystems from the toxicity of heavy metals. The threshold is commonly called a predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) and is thought to protect most organisms in an ecosystem from a chemical. PNEC is derived by applying a large assessment factor (AF) to the toxicity value of the most sensitive organism to a chemical or by developing a species sensitivity distribution (SSD), which is a cumulative distribution function with many toxicity data for a chemical of diverse organisms. This study developed SSDs and derived PNECs using toxicity data of organisms living in Korea for four heavy metals: copper (Cd), cadmium (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn). Five distribution models were considered with log-transformed toxicity data, and their fitness and uncertainty were investigated. As a result, the normal distribution and Gumbel distribution fit the data well. In contrast, the Weibull distribution poorly accounted for the data at the lower tails for all of the heavy metals. The hazardous concentration for 5% of species (HC5) derived from the most suitable model for each heavy metal was calculated to be the preferred PNEC by AF 2 or AF 3. PNECs, obtained through a suitable SSD model with resident species and reasonable AF, will help protect freshwater organisms in Korea from heavy metals. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy metals; toxicity; predicted no effect concentration; species sensitivity distribution heavy metals; toxicity; predicted no effect concentration; species sensitivity distribution
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MDPI and ACS Style

Park, J.; Kim, S.D. Derivation of Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNECs) for Heavy Metals in Freshwater Organisms in Korea Using Species Sensitivity Distributions (SSDs). Minerals 2020, 10, 697. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080697

AMA Style

Park J, Kim SD. Derivation of Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNECs) for Heavy Metals in Freshwater Organisms in Korea Using Species Sensitivity Distributions (SSDs). Minerals. 2020; 10(8):697. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080697

Chicago/Turabian Style

Park, Jinhee; Kim, Sang D. 2020. "Derivation of Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNECs) for Heavy Metals in Freshwater Organisms in Korea Using Species Sensitivity Distributions (SSDs)" Minerals 10, no. 8: 697. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080697

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