An international comparison of models and approaches for the estimation of the radiological exposure of non-human biota.
ABSTRACT Over the last decade a number of models and approaches have been developed for the estimation of the exposure of non-human biota to ionising radiations. In some countries these are now being used in regulatory assessments. However, to date there has been no attempt to compare the outputs of the different models used. This paper presents the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency's EMRAS Biota Working Group which compares the predictions of a number of such models in model-model and model-data inter-comparisons.
- 11/2012: pages 231-280;
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ABSTRACT: Environmental assessments to evaluate potentials risks to humans and wildlife often involve modelling to predict contaminant exposure through key pathways. Such models require input of parameter values, including concentration ratios, to estimate contaminant concentrations in biota based on measurements or estimates of concentrations in environmental media, such as water. Due to the diversity of species and the range in physicochemical conditions in natural ecosystems, concentration ratios can vary by orders of magnitude, even within similar species. Therefore, to improve model input parameter values for application in aquatic systems, freshwater concentration ratios were collated or calculated from national grey literature, Russian language publications, and refereed papers. Collated data were then input into an international database that is being established by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The freshwater database enables entry of information for all radionuclides listed in ICRP (1983), in addition to the corresponding stable elements, and comprises a total of more than 16,500 concentration ratio (CR(wo-water)) values. Although data were available for all broad wildlife groups (with the exception of birds), data were sparse for many organism types. For example, zooplankton, crustaceans, insects and insect larvae, amphibians, and mammals, for which there were CR(wo-water) values for less than eight elements. Coverage was most comprehensive for fish, vascular plants, and molluscs. To our knowledge, the freshwater database that has now been established represents the most comprehensive set of CR(wo-water) values for freshwater species currently available for use in radiological environmental assessments.Journal of environmental radioactivity 10/2012; · 1.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A required parameter for the ERICA Tool is the concentration ratio (CR), which is used to describe the transfer from environmental media to a range of organisms. For the original parameterisation of the ERICA Tool, 60% of these values were derived using a variety of extrapolation approaches, including the application of allometric models, the use of values for a similar organism or element with similar biogeochemical behaviour and the use of values from a different ecosystem. Although similar approaches are applied in other assessment systems, there has been little attempt to see how well these approaches perform. In this paper, CR values in the ERICA Tool derived using extrapolation approaches are compared to more recently available empirical data from the IAEA wildlife transfer database. The primary purpose of the default CR database in the ERICA Tool, and other models, is to enable the user to conduct conservative screening assessments. Conservatism was therefore introduced to the analyses by selecting the 95th percentile CR values for subsequent calculations. The extrapolation methodologies are not guaranteed to provide conservative estimates of empirical 95th percentile CRs. For the terrestrial ecosystem, the extrapolation methods provide underpredictions of empirical 95th percentiles as often as they produce overpredictions. In a few cases the underestimation of CR values, when considering all ecosystems, is substantial - by orders of magnitude - which is clearly unacceptable for a screening assessment. Thus, although extrapolation approaches will remain an essential component of screening assessments in the future, because data gaps will always be present, diligence is important in their application. Finally, by synthesizing the results from the current analyses and through other considerations, some recommendations are provided with regards to modifying the original guidance on use of extrapolation approaches in the ERICA Tool.Journal of environmental radioactivity 06/2012; · 1.47 Impact Factor