The understanding of bioaccumulation of chemicals is important as the accumulated contaminants may lead to toxic effects in the organism and alteration of the animal's normal physiology and ecology. A chemical's BAF (given empirically or estimated from Kow) is used by legislation and decision makers to evaluate regulation and use ofnew chemicals. The BAF is very useful to compare the difference in bioaccumulation potential among chemicals. Bioaccumulation aids in explaining how contaminants are distributed in the ecosystem and the importance of ecological processes in this respect. Understanding bioaccumulation is closely linked to both ecology and environmental chemistry.
See also: Assimilative Capacity; Bioavailability; Biodegradability; Biomagnification; Body Residues; Dioxin; Ecotoxicological Model of Populations, Ecosystems, and Landscapes; Ecotoxicology: The Focal Topics; Exposure and Exposure Assessment; Food-Web Bioaccumulation Models; Halogenated Hydrocarbons; Persistent Organic Pollutants; Polychlorinated Biphenyls.
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