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Acute and chronic toxicity of industrial and municipal effluents in Maryland, U.S.

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Since 1987, an effluent biomonitoring program of major and selected minor industrial and municipal point source dischargers has been conducted for Maryland's Department of the Environment. Acute and chronic toxicity test procedures were developed and implemented for testing freshwater (Pimephales promelas, Daphnia magna, and Ceriodaphnia dubia) and estuarine (Cyprinodon variegatus and Mysidopsis bahia) invertebrates and fish. Results from the laboratory bioassays were used by Maryland to identify toxic discharges to state waters. Beginning in 1987, totals of 488 and 89 effluent samples were tested for acute and chronic toxicity, respectively. Both the frequency of acute and chronic toxicity and the severity of the toxicity of the remaining toxic effluents have decreased dramatically since the inception of the program. Examples are presented concerning the use of these data by Maryland to regulate toxic discharges. These results indicate the important role whole-effluent toxicity testing plays in controlling the point source discharge of toxic substances to surface waters.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-01-01

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    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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