Much of the recent understanding of the effects that site-specific lead levels have on the aquatic environment has been developed by independent academic institutions who have conducted research sponsored by ILA.
Risks of Lead to the Aquatic Environment
Lead Biotic Ligand Model
Metals present many challenges to those responsible for assessing hazard and risk to aquatic organisms.
Accounting for the bioavailability of metals, using techniques such as the lead Biotic Ligand Model (BLM), resolves some of these difficulties. The BLM approach is currently considered as state-of-the-art for predicting metal bioavailability as it integrates existing knowledge about metal speciation in the solution surrounding the organism and the interactions between metal ions and competing ions at the binding sites on the organism-water interface (e.g. epithelial cells in fish gill tissue).
Download the full lead BLM toolDownload now
The ILA sponsored environmental research programme has resulted in the development of a lead Biotic Ligand Model that will be used for many years as the gold standard tool for setting site-specific lead in water quality standards for freshwater ecosystems.
BLM Online Tool
How to use the tool
A detailed technical user guide has been developed that provides background information on the lead biotic ligand model and step-by-step instructions for installing the tool. This can be downloaded here.
A user-friendly version of the BLM has been developed to facilitate compliance with the EU Water Framework Directive.
Bio-Met Bioavailability of metals and the Water Framework DirectiveView site
Risk Assessment Tool
Risks of Lead to the Terrestrial Environment
ILA sponsored research has recently led to the development of a tool for undertaking risk assessments in soil.
It can be used in various parts of the world to derive soil type-specific ecotoxicological thresholds for different protection goals.
The tool calculates ecotoxicological threshold concentrations for lead and a variety of other metals based on chronic toxicity data for their direct effects to soil organisms (plants, invertebrates and microbial processes), expressed as (pseudo-) total (i.e. aqua-regia extractable) metal concentrations in soil.