Environmental Fate & Ecotoxicology of Pesticides
Cambridge Environmental critically reviews and interprets experimental data related to the environmental fate, transport, and ecotoxicological effects of pesticides and related chemicals of concern. We present a detailed review of the study methodology. We identify deficiencies in the conduct of the research and explain the impact of these deficiencies on the study results. We conduct a range of statistical analyses on the data and summarize the results in an accessible format. We then develop independent, unbiased conclusions about the chemical's behavior and its impact on the environment.
In addition, we prepare assessments that integrate information about the physical and chemical properties of the subject chemical, as well as its use patterns, with the results of laboratory and field research studies. We identify the rate and primary routes of dissipation in terrestrial and aquatic environments, and determine the potential for surface and groundwater contamination. We identify transformation products and the conditions under which they would form, and we discuss their potential magnitude and eventual fate. Using a variety of models, we estimate the probable upper concentrations of the parent compound and any degradates of concern in surface and groundwater, soil, and foodstuffs. We calculate toxicity values such as No-Observed-Adverse-Effect-Concentrations (NOAECs) and Lethal Concentration/Effective Concentrations (LC/ECx). We estimate terrestrial and aquatic exposure to birds, mammals, insects, and fish via dietary residues.
Cambridge Environmental's Fate and Ecotoxicology Review services are directed by Dr. Kathleen Ferguson, who has more than 30 years of experience interpreting data on the environmental behavior of pesticides and other contaminants, and the ecological and human health risks they present.
Evaluation of studies/data for the EPA Environmental Fate and Effects Division
Since 2005, Cambridge Environmental has been a prime contractor to EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs providing technical support for the fate, transport, and ecotoxicity of pesticides. Our scientists have critically evaluated thousands of environmental fate/transport and ecotoxicology studies on pesticides using relevant regulatory guidance. We have drawn independent conclusions and prepared Data Evaluation Records according to government-specified formats. During these reviews, we have performed numerous statistical analyses, including calculations of linear and nonlinear half-lives, soil and air transport, and NOAEC and LC/ECx values. We have compiled data from these reports into fate and hazard assessments, and we have supported the preparation of ecological exposure and risk assessments. Additional tasks have included reviewing incident data for plants and insects, evaluating monitoring data for benchmark comparisons, conducting literature searches, reviewing published literature to support endangered species litigation, and updating databases. Recently, we have supported the weight-of-evidence approach in Tier I of the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) by evaluating published literature to determine the toxicity of certain pesticides to the endocrine systems of ecologically-important species.