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What is Aquatox?
Aquatox is a computer program initially funded by EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). Further development has been undertaken by OPPT and the Office of Science and Technology in the EPA Office of Water Programs. The program is an ecological risk assessment model that has been developed to project the combined environmental fate and effects of pollutants such as nutrients, sediments and organic chemicals in aquatic ecosystems such as streams, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. A Monte-Carlo simulator is incorporated into Aquatox to facilitate probabalistic risk estimates for aquatic resources.
What kind of data is included in Aquatox?
Aquatox integrates chemical, site, and ecological data to provide risk assessments of pollutants and organic chemicals on algae, submersed aquatic vegetation; invertebrates as well as forage, bottom-feeding, and game fish. In addition, a separate model for mercury contamination is available.
How can citizens use Aquatox?
Some people have used Aquatox to do risk screening with TRI emission data. For example, theTRI data or local test results can be used with Aquatox to assess exposure and risks from chemicals released into water by neighboring manufacturing facilities. Because of the complexity of the model structure and the flexibility in constructing risk assessment scenarios, the general public is advised to seek assistance from aquatic ecologists, environmental chemists or other environmental professionals before using this tool.
What computer equipment is required?
The model is designed for IBM-compatible personal computers running Microsoft Windows 95®or Windows NT® operating systems. A minimum of 16 megabytes of memory are required along with approximately 10 megabytes of hard disk space. The software is accompanied by a comprehensive user manual in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).