Metal toxicity characterization factors for marine ecosystems—considering the importance of the estuary for freshwater emissions
- 242 Downloads
The study develops site-dependent characterization factors (CFs) for marine ecotoxicity of metals emitted to freshwater, taking their passage of the estuary into account. To serve life cycle assessment (LCA) studies where emission location is often unknown, site-generic marine CFs were developed for metal emissions to freshwater and coastal seawater, respectively. The new CFs were applied to calculate endpoint impact scores for the same amount of metal emission to each compartment, to compare the relative ecotoxicity damages in freshwater and marine ecosystems in LCA.
Site-dependent marine CFs for emission to freshwater were calculated for 64 comparatively independent seas (large marine ecosystems, LMEs). The site-dependent CF was calculated as the product of fate factor (FF), bioavailability factor (BF), and effect factor (EF). USEtox modified with site-dependent parameters was extended with an estuary removal process to calculate FF. BF and EF were taken from Dong et al. Environ Sci Technol 50:269–278 (2016). Site-generic marine CFs were derived from site-dependent marine CFs. Different averaging principles were tested, and the approach representing estuary discharge rate was identified as the best one. Endpoint marine and freshwater metals CFs were developed to calculate endpoint ecotoxicity impact scores.
Results and discussion
Marine ecotoxicity CFs are 1.5 orders of magnitude lower for emission to freshwater than for emission to seawater for Cr, Cu, and Pb, due to notable removal fractions both in freshwater and estuary. For the other metals, the difference is less than half an order of magnitude, mainly due to removal in freshwater. The site-dependent CFs generally vary within two orders of magnitude around the site-generic CF. Compared to USES-LCA 2.0 CFs (egalitarian perspective), the new site-generic marine CFs for emission to seawater are 1–4 orders of magnitude lower except for Pb. The new site-generic marine CFs for emission to freshwater lie within two orders of magnitude difference from USES-LCA 2.0 CFs. The comparative contribution share analysis shows a poor agreement of metal toxicity ranking between both methods.
Accounting for estuary removal particularly influences marine ecotoxicity CFs for emission to freshwater of metals that have a strong tendency to complex-bind to particles. It indicates the importance of including estuary in the characterization modelling when dealing with those metals. The resulting endpoint ecotoxicity impact scores are 1–3 orders of magnitude lower in seawater than in freshwater for most metals except Pb, illustrating the higher sensitivity of freshwater ecosystems to metal emissions, largely due to the higher species density there.
KeywordsComparative toxicity potential (CTP) Estuary Fate model Marine ecotoxicity USEtox
This research is financially supported by the EU commission within FP7 Environment ENV. 2008.3.3.2.1: PROSUITE (Grant agreement No.: 227078). We thank Stylianos Georgiadis (DTU Compute) and Qijiang Ran (Accelink Denmark) for their contributions on the statistical analysis.
- Aboussouan L, Saft RJ, Schonnenbeck M et al (2004) Declaration of Apeldoorn on LCIA of non-ferro metals. Results of a workshop by a group of LCA specialists, held in Apeldoorn, NL. SETAC Globe 5:46–47Google Scholar
- Asmala E, Kaartokallio H, Carstensen J, Thomas DN (2016) Variation in riverine inputs affect dissolved organic matter characteristics throughout the estuarine gradient. Front Mar Sci. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2015.00125
- Barsanti L, Gualtieri P (2014) Algae: Anatomy, Biochemicstry, and Biotechnology, 2nd edition. CSC Press, PisaGoogle Scholar
- Campbell PGC (1995) Interactions between trace metals and aquatic organisms : a critique of the free-ion activity model. In: Tessier A, Turner DR (eds) Metal speciation and bioavailability in aquatic systems. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Chester R, Jickells T (2012) The transport of material to the oceans: the fluvial pathway. In: Marine Geochemistry, 3rd edition. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Chichester, pp 11–51Google Scholar
- Cosme N, Mayorga E, Hauschild MZ (2017) Spatially explicit fate factors of waterborne nitrogen emissions at the global scale. Int J Life Cycle Assess. doi: 10.1007/s11367-017-1349-0
- EPRTR (2012) European industrial annual pollutant release. European Environment Agency (EEA), CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
- Goedkoop M, Heijungs R, Huijbregts M et al (2012) ReCiPe 2008. A life cycle impact assessment method which comprises harmonised category indicators at the midpoint and the endpoint level. First edition (revised) report I: characterisation. Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, BilthovenGoogle Scholar
- Goedkoop M, Heijungs R, Huijbregts M et al (2013) ReCiPe 2008: A life cycle impact assessment method which comprises harmonised category indicators at the midpoint and the endoint levelGoogle Scholar
- KTH (2010) Visual MINTEQ ver 3.0. Retrived from: https://vminteq.lwr.kth.se/download/. Accessed 8 Apil 2014
- Martin JH (1992) Iron as a limiting factor in oceanic productivity. In: Falkowski PG, Woodhead AD (eds) Primary Productivity and Biogeochemical Cycles in the Sea. Springer US, pp 123–137Google Scholar
- Mason RP (2013) Trace Metals in Aquatic Systems. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., ChichesterGoogle Scholar
- Salminen R (2005) FOREGS Geochemical Atlas of Europe, Part 1: Background Information, Methodology and Maps. Geological Survey of Finland, EspooGoogle Scholar
- Stumm W, Morgan JJ (1996) Aquatic chemistry. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Sunda W (1989) Trace metal interactions with marine phytoplankton. Biol Oceanogr 6:411–442Google Scholar
- USEPA (2006) Volunteer estuary monitoring: a methods manual, 2nd edition. USEPA, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
- USEtox Team (2016) USEtox. Retrieved from http://www.usetox.org/. Acceessed April 2017