# Bioconcentration Calculations

In Chapter 2 and 3, we discussed bioconcentration and looked at DDT data from a food chain on Long Island, NY (Table 2.3). The data from Table 2.3 are reproduced in Table 10.10, where we used it to calculate bioconcentration factors (BCFs) for each animal species. Each BCF is calculated by dividing the DDT concentration in each animal by the water concentration. As you can clearly see, DDT is increasingly bioconcentrated as we move up the food chain, from 800 in the first tropic level to 528,000 in birds that eat fish.

Bioconcentration factors, given in Table 10.11, can be used to estimate cancer risk for a person eating contaminated fish, as is illustrated in the following problem.

Example Problem. EPA estimates that an average person might eat 54 g of fish per day. Calculate the cancer risk of a 70.0-kg person who eats 54g of fish per day, 350

TABLE 10.10. Bioconcentration Factor for DDT in a Long Island Food Web (United States)

Organism DDT Residues (ppm) BFC (L/kg)

TABLE 10.10. Bioconcentration Factor for DDT in a Long Island Food Web (United States)

Organism DDT Residues (ppm) BFC (L/kg)

 Water 5e-05 — Plankton 0.04 800 Silverside minnows 0.23 4,600 Sheephead minnows 0.94 19,200 Pickerel (predatory) 1.33 26,600 Needlefish (predatory) 2.07 41,400 Heron (feeds on small aquatic animals) 3.57 71,400 Herring gull (scavenger) 6 120,000 Osprey egg 13.8 276,000 Merganser (fish-eating duck) 22.8 456,000 Cormorant (feeds on large fish) 26.4 528,000
 BCF for BCF for Compound Fish (L/kg) Compound Fish (L/kg) Acenaphthene 242 Fluorine 1,300 Acrylonitirle 48 Heptachlor 15,700 Aldrin 28 Heptachlor epoxide 14,400 Antimony 1 Hexachlorobenzene 8,690 Arsenic 44 Hexachlorobutadiene 2.8 Benzene 5.2 Hexachlorocyclopentadiene 4.3 Benzidine 87.5 a-Hexachlorocyclohexane 130 Beryllium 19 (HCCH) Bis(2-chloroethyl)ether 6.9 ß-HCCH 130 Bis(chloroethyl)ether 0.63 g-HCCH (Lindane) 130 Cadmium 81 Hexachloroethane 87 Carbon tetrachloride 19 Kepone 8,400 Chlordane 14,000 Lead 49 Chlorobenzene 10 Mercury (alkyl) 3,750 Chloroform 3.75 Mercury (inorganic) 5,500 Chromium III 16 Methyl parathion 45 Chromium VI 16 Nickel 47 Copper 200 Pentachlorobenzene 2,125 DDE 51,000 Pentachlorophenol 770 DDT 54,000 Phenanthrene 2,630 1,2-Dichlorobenzene 56 Phenol 1.4 1,3-Dichlorobenzene 56 Polychlorinated biphenyls 100,000 1,4-Dichlorobenzene 56 (PCBs) 3,3'-Dichlorobenzidine 312 Selenium 16 1,2-Dichloroethane 1.2 Silver 3,080 1,1-Dichloroethylene 5.6 1,2,4,5-Tetrachlorobenzene 1,125 1,2-Dichloroethylene 1.6 2,3,7,8-TCDD (Dioxin) 5,000 1,2-Dichloroethylene (cis) 1.6 1,1,2,2-Tetrachlorothethane 42 1,2-Dichloroethylene (trans) 1.6 Tetrachloroethylene 31 Dichloromethane 5 2,3,5,6-Tetrachlorophenol 240 2,4-Dichlorophenol 41 Toluene 10.7 1,3-Dichloropropene 1.9 Toxaphene 13,100 Dieldrin 4,760 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene 2,800 Diethyl phalate 117 1,1,1-Trichloroethane 5.6 2,3-Dinitrotoluene 3.8 1,1,2-Trichloroethane 5 2,4-Dinitrotoluene 3.8 Trichloroethylene 10.6 2,5-Dinitrotoluene 3.8 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol 110 2,6-Dinitrotoluene 3.8 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol 150 3,4-Dinitrotoluene 3.8 tris(2,3-Dibromopropyl) 2.7 A^N-Diphenylamine 30 phosphate 1,2-Diphenylhydrazine 25 Vinyl chloride 1.17 Ethylbenzene 37.5 Zinc 47 Fluoranthene 1,150

Exhibit A-1 in Superfund Public Health Evaluation Manual, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, Washington, DC).

Exhibit A-1 in Superfund Public Health Evaluation Manual, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, Washington, DC).

days each year for 30 years. Assume that the water the fish was taken from has a Chlordane concentration of 0.0100ppb (|mg/L). The oral slope factor for Chlordane is 3.5 x 10-1.

First we must calculate the concentration in the fish. Chlordane concentration in fish = pollutant concentration in fish x BCF

= 0.0000100 mg/L x 14,000 L/kg = 0.14 mg Chlordane/kg fish

Using Eq. (10.7), we can then calculate the CDI:

BW x AT

= 0.14 mg/kg x 0.054 kg/day x 1.00 x 350 days/year x 30 years

70 kg x 30 years x 365 days/year = 1.04 x 10-4 mg/kg • day (10.7)

Risk = CDI x Slope factor = 1.04 x 10-4 mg/kg • day x 3.5 x 10-1 (mg/kg • day)-1 = 3.62 x 10-5 or 36 cancer cases per million people eating the fish

Thus, 36 cancer cases should develop among one million people consuming the contaminated fish.

Continue reading here: Putting It All Together Margin Of Error Uncertainty Of The Entire Estimation Process

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### Responses

• kalimac
How to monitor bioconcentration factor?
3 months ago
• pekka
How to determine bioconcentration?
2 years ago
• andrea
How to calculate bioconcentration factor?
2 years ago
• jens
How to calculate ingestestion from bioconcentration factors?
3 years ago
• Ralf Nagel
Does ddt has a fish concertration of 54000 l/kg?
5 years ago