GLOBOX – A Spatially Differentiated Multimedia Fate and Exposure Model

Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, Einsteinweg 2, P.O. Box 9518, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research (Impact Factor: 2.83). 04/2006; 13(2):143. DOI: 10.1065/lca2006.02.006
Source: PubMed


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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND, AIMS, AND SCOPE: Since toxaphene (polychlorocamphene, polychloropinene, or strobane) mixtures were applied for massive insecticide use in the 1960s to replace the use of DDT, some of their congeners have been found at high latitudes far away from the usage areas. Especially polychlorinated bornanes have demonstrated dominating congeners transported by air up to the Arctic areas. Environmental fate modeling has been applied to monitor this phenomenon using parallel zones of atmosphere around the globe as interconnected environments. These zones, shown in many meteorological maps, however, may not be the best way to configure atmospheric transport in air trajectories. The latter could also be covered by connecting a chain of simple model boxes. We aim to study this alternative approach by modeling the trajectory chain using catchment boxes of our FATEMOD model. Polychlorobornanes analyzed in biota of the Barents Sea offered one case to study this modeling alternative, while toxaphene has been and partly still is used massively at southern East Europe and around rivers flowing to the Aral Sea. Pure model substances of three polychlorobornanes (toxaphene congeners P26, P50, and P62) were synthesized, their environmentally important thermal properties measured by differential scanning calorimetry, as evaluated from literature data, and their temperature dependences estimated by the QSPR programs VPLEST, WATSOLU, and TDLKOW. The evaluated property parameters were used to model their atmospheric long-range transport from toxaphene heavy usage areas in Ukraine and Aral/SyrDarja/AmuDarja region areas, through East Europe and Northern Norway (Finnmarken) to the Barents Sea. The time period used for the emission model was June 1997. Usual weather conditions in June were applied in the model, which was constructed by chaining FATEMOD model boxes of the catchment's areas along assumed maximal air flow trajectories. Analysis of the three chlorobornanes in toxaphene mixtures function as a basis for the estimates of emission levels caused by its usage. High estimate (A) was taken from contents in a Western product chlorocamphene and low estimate (B) from mean contents in Russian polychloroterpene products to achieve modeled water concentrations. Bioaccumulation to analyzed lipid of aquatic biota at the target region was estimated by using statistical calculation for persistent organic pollutants in literature. The results from model runs A and B (high and low emission estimate) for levels in sea biota were compared to analysis results of samples taken in August 1997 at Barents Sea. The model results (ng g(-1) lw): 4-95 in lipid of planktovores and 7-150 in lipid of piscivores, were in fair agreement with the analysis results from August 1997: 21-31 in Themisto libellula (chatka), 26-42 in Boreocadus saida (Polar cod), and 5-27 in Gadus morhua (cod) liver. The modeling results indicate that the application of chained simple multimedia catchment boxes on predicted trajectory is a useful method for estimation of volatile airborne persistent chemical exposures to biota in remote areas. For hazard assessment of these pollutants, their properties, especially temperature dependences, must be estimated by a reasonable accuracy. That can be achieved by using measurements in laboratory with pure model compounds and estimation of properties by thermodynamic QSPR methods. The property parameters can be validated by comparing their values at an environmental temperature range with measured or QSPR-estimated values derived by independent methods. The chained box method used for long-range air transport modeling can be more suitable than global parallel zones modeling used earlier, provided that the main airflow trajectories and properties of transported pollutants are predictable enough. Long-range air transport modeling of persistent, especially photo-resistant organic compounds using a chain of joint simple boxes of catchment's environments is a feasible method to predict concentrations of pollutants at the target area. This is justified from model results compared with analytical measurements in Barents Sea biota in August 1997: three of six modeled values were high and the other three low compared to the analysis results. The order of magnitude level was similar in both modeled (planktovore and piscivore) and observed (chatka and polar cod) values of lipid samples. The obtained results were too limited to firm validation but are sufficient to justify feasibility of the method, which prompts one to perform more studies on this modeling system. For assessment of the risk of environmental damages, chemical fate determination is an essential tool for chemical control, e.g., for EU following the REACH rules. The present conclusion of applicability of the chained single-box multimedia modeling can be validated by further studies using analyses of emissions and target biota in various other cases. To achieve useful results, fate models built with databases having automatic steps for most calculations and outputs accessible to all chemical control professionals are essential. Our FATEMOD program catchments at environments and compound properties listed in the database represent a feasible tool for local, regional, and, according our present test results, for global exposure predictions. As an extended use of model, emission estimates can be achieved by reversed modeling from analysis results of samples corresponding to the target area.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 02/2009; 16(2):191-205. DOI:10.1007/s11356-008-0084-2 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper develops the IMPACT North America model, a spatially resolved multimedia, multi-pathway, fate, exposure and effect model that includes indoor and urban compartments. IMPACT North America allows geographic differentiation of population exposure of toxic emissions for comparative risk assessment and life cycle impact assessment within U.S. and Canada. It looks at air, water, soil, sediment and vegetation media, and divides North America into several hundred zones. It is nested within a single world box to account for emissions leaving North America. It is a multi-scale model, covering three different spatial scales — indoor, urban and regional — in all zones in North America. Model results are evaluated against monitored emissions and concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene, 2,3,7,8-TCDD and mercury. Most of the chemical concentrations predicted by the model fall within two orders of magnitude of the monitored data. The model shows that urban intake fractions are one order of magnitude higher than rural intake fractions. The model application and importance is demonstrated by a case study on spatially-distributed emissions over the life cycle of diesel fuel. Depending on population densities and agricultural intensities, intake fractions can vary by eight orders of magnitudes, and even limited indoor emissions can lead to intakes comparable to those from outdoor emissions. To accurately assess these variations in intake fraction, we require the essential three original features described in the present paper: i) inclusion of the continental model within a world box for persistent pollutants, ii) addition of an urban box for short- and medium-lived substances (for grid size larger than 100 km), and iii) assess indoor emissions. This model can therefore be used to screen chemicals and assess regionalized intake fractions within North America for population-based human exposure assessment, life cycle impact assessment, and comparative risk assessment. The model can be downloaded at
    Science of The Total Environment 08/2009; 407(17-407):4812-4820. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.05.024 · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spatially differentiated intake fractions (iFs) linked to Canadian emissions of toxic organic chemicals were developed using the multimedia and multipathways fate and exposure model IMPACT 2002. The fate and exposure of chemicals released to the Canadian environment were modeled with a single regional mass-balance model and three models that provided multiple mass-balance regions within Canada. These three models were based on the Canadian subwatersheds (172 zones), ecozones (15 zones), and provinces (13 zones). Releases of 32 organic chemicals into water and air were considered. This was done in order to (i) assess and compare the spatial variability of iFs within and across the three levels of regionalization and (ii) compare the spatial iFs to nonspatial ones. Results showed that iFs calculated using the subwatershed resolution presented a higher spatial variability (up to 10 orders of magnitude for emissions into water) than the ones based on the ecozones and provinces, implying that higher spatial resolution could potentially reduce uncertainty in iFs and, therefore, increase the discriminating power when assessing and comparing toxic releases for known emission locations. Results also indicated that, for an unknown emission location, a model with high spatial resolution such as the subwatershed model could significantly improve the accuracy of a generic iF. Population weighted iFs span up to 3 orders of magnitude compared to nonspatial iFs calculated by the one-box model. Less significant differences were observed when comparing spatial versus nonspatial iFs from the ecozones and provinces, respectively.
    Environmental Science and Technology 04/2010; 44(11):4217-24. DOI:10.1021/es902983b · 5.33 Impact Factor
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