Toxic Compounds

Measures of Toxic Organic Compounds

Availability of Organic Compounds

The focus of water quality attention in terms of toxic organic compounds is primarily given to manufactured organic chemicals applied to the surrounding land use as pesticides and herbicides (examples include DDT and PCBs). The availability of organic compounds to aquatic organisms in a water system is determined mainly by the rate of adsorption-desorption processes. These reactions can be affected by water quality factors including temperature, pH, and the presence/absence of other compounds. Concern should be given to the potential accumulation in the surrounding environment in terms of biomagnification of pesticides and PCBs - polychlorinated biphenyls.

Testing Information

Different testing procedures are required to identify trace amounts of toxic organics such as chlorinated hydrocarbons which originate from agricultural runoff and industrial effluents. Special techniques for proper identification of oil residues in water is also necessary for a comprehensive analysis.