Physico-chemical limitations in experimental investigations

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
J D Burton


An element or compound in a natural water system is usually distributed between a variety of physico-chemical forms, both dissolved and particulate. The distribution is determined by the properties of the ion or molecule in question and by a number of major variables, including ionic strength, the nature and concentrations of major dissolved elements, particulate matter and organic complexing material, pH and the electron activity (pE); it may thus vary widely between different environments. The design of experiments to study sublethal effects of pollutants in sea water ideally requires that the test medium is closely matched to the environment for which information is needed, with respect to the ranges of concentration and activity, and the chemical speciation, of the pollutant and of any other constituents which may influence its effects. This in turn requires either that the pollutant can be added in the appropriate forms, implying a knowledge of the existing speciation, or that the added material rapidly exchanges with the forms already present. The implications of these requirements are most apparent for those pollutants that show complex chemical behaviour in sea water. This account concentrates on metals of toxicological...Continue Reading


Jan 1, 1985·Teratogenesis, Carcinogenesis, and Mutagenesis·G PaganoG G Giordano

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