Inquiry on Ecotoxicity of Styrene on Wetland Ecosystem
(posted to the Ramsar Forum, 9-10 February 2000)
9 February 2000
To: All Ramsar Members
From: Conservation Department, World Wide Fund For Nature Hong Kong
Ecotoxicity of Styrene on Wetland Ecosystem?
Greetings. A significant chemical pollution took place a few days ago within the catchment of the Inner Deep Bay of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HK SAR), which is also the location of the 7th Ramsar Site of the Peoples' Republic of China.
The pollution was caused when a truck loaded with the chemical - vinyl benzene or styrene got overturned on a road and the chemical flew through the drainage system and finally to the mouth of a river directing to the Mai Po Ramsar Site. The total amount of the chemical leakage (possibly in tons) is yet unknown but it has already been confirmed by the Environmental Protection Department of the HK SAR that the water of the Inner Deep Bay has been polluted by the chemical. Dead fish were observed in the river immediately following the accident.
Advice of Ramsar Forum members on the following would be appreciated:
1) the ecotoxicity of styrene (e.g., lethal dosage, acute and chronic effects, chemical half-life, etc.), especially on wetland ecosystems and associated wildlife;
2) the potential bioaccumulation effect of styrene in living organisms like plants, invertebrates and animals;
3) possible ways to counteract the adverse impacts of the chemical to our environment;
4) ways of monitoring the residual impacts of styrene on wetland ecosystems.
Your kind assistance on the above would be much appreciated and I look forward to receiving your favourable response, direct to email@example.com .
Karen Woo, Assistant Conservation Officer, WWF Hong Kong, No. 1 Tramway Path, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2526 1011 Fax: (852) 2845 2734, Website: www.wwf.org.hk
10 February 2000
Here is a useful US EPA web site containing info sources on styrene: http://www.epa.gov/enviro/html/emci/chemref/100425.html
Also, for summary aquatic toxicity data on styrene, use the US EPA ECOTOX/AQUIRE database at http://www.epa.gov/cgi-bin/ecotox_quick_search . Type in the CAS number for styrene (100425) for best results. It also lists the References from which the data were extracted.
Finally, you are possibly already familiar with the ecotoxicological research group at the City University of Hong Kong, but if not, it is probably a useful contact in HK for aquatic contamination issues. I would suggest you contact either:
Dr Rudolf Wu, Tel: 852-2788-7402, Fax: 852-2788-7406, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Paul Lam, Tel: 852-2788-7681, Fax: 852-2788-7406, Email: email@example.com
I hope this is of use. I am interested to hear more on this issue.
Best Regards, Rick
Dr Rick van Dam, Wetland Ecology & Conservation. Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss), Locked Bag 2, Jabiru NT 086 AUSTRALIA Tel: +61 (0)8 8979 9791, Fax: +61 (0)8 8979 2076, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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