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Chronic toxicity tests of mixtures of 9 metals and 1 metalloid (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Tl, and Zn) at equitoxic concentrations over an increasing concentration range were conducted with the epibenthic, freshwater amphipod Hyalella azteca. The authors conducted 28-d, water-only tests. The bioaccumulation trends changed for 8 of the elements in exposures to mixtures of the metals compared with individual metal exposures. The bioaccumulation of Co and Tl were affected the most. These changes may be due to interactions between all the metals as well as interactions with waterborne ligands. A metal effects addition model (MEAM) is proposed as a more accurate method to assess the impact of mixtures of metals and to predict chronic mortality. The MEAM uses background-corrected body concentration to predict toxicity. This is important because the chemical characteristics of different waters can greatly alter the bioavailability and bioaccumulation of metals, and interactions among metals for binding at the site of action within the organism can affect body concentration. The MEAM accurately predicted toxicity in exposures to mixtures of metals, and predicted results were within a factor of 1.1 of the observed data, using 24-h depurated body concentrations. The traditional concentration addition model overestimated toxicity by a factor of 2.7. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.


Warren P Norwood, Uwe Borgmann, D George Dixon. An effects addition model based on bioaccumulation of metals from exposure to mixtures of metals can predict chronic mortality in the aquatic invertebrate Hyalella azteca. Environmental toxicology and chemistry / SETAC. 2013 Jul;32(7):1672-81

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PMID: 23564557

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