Learning outcomes of the course unit
To provide knowledge of the available methods to predict and monitor the impact of potentially harmful chemicals on natural ecosystems
Course contents summary
Part I: From toxicology to ecotoxicology
Analysis of toxic effects:
- acute, chronic and sublethal effects
- response: binary and continuous variables
- experimental design and analysis of concentration-response data
- limits of laboratory tests
Part II: Application in environmental toxicology
General criteria for selecting test types and methodology.
Toxicology of aquatic systems:
- tests with freshwater and marine organisms
- sediment toxicity tests.
Toxicology of terrestrial systems.
Biomarkers: principles and applications
Part III: Prediction of toxicity and environmental quality criteria
Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSARs): principles and applications
Environmental quality criteria: the different approaches to their quantification
Toxicity identification and evaluation (TIE)
Part IV: Biodegradability and environmental fate
Physical-chemical properties of toxicants in predictive ecotoxicology.
Bioaccumulation, bioconcentration and biomagnification.
Part V: Risk assessment
General principles and applications.
Acute toxicity tests with freshwater invertebrates
Vighi M., Bacci E. (1998). Ecotossicologia. UTET, Torino
Calow P. (1994). Handbook of Ecotoxicology. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. Vol. 1 and 2.