bioaccumulation | Energy Glossary

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1. n. []

The concentration of a particular substance in a living organism, possibly with harmful effects. The likelihood of this occurring is expressed as the bioaccumulation potential and can be estimated by the octanol/water partition coefficient, expressed as logPOW. This test is commonly required on drilling fluid additives in the North Sea area and other countries following the Oslo and Paris Commission (OSPAR) regulations. Values of logPOW below 3 indicate no bioaccumulation tendency; values between 3 and 6 indicate that bioaccumulation is possible, providing the substance is small enough to pass through the cell wall (mol. wt. < 600). This may be confirmed by a bioconcentration test in which a population of animals is exposed to the product.

Synonyms: bioconcentration