Development and evaluation of an environmental multimedia fate model CHEMGL for the Great Lakes region

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This paper describes the development of a multimedia compartmental model - CHEMGL - which predicts the fate and transport of chemicals in the Great Lakes region and can be used for risk assessment. CHEMGL includes 10 compartments that describe a given region: air boundary layer, free troposphere, lower stratosphere, surface water, sediment, surface soil, vadose soil, groundwater zone, plant foliage and plant root. The model assumes that the compartments are completely mixed and chemical equilibrium between the phases within each compartment is assumed (e.g., suspended solids and biota in water). The attenuation mechanisms include advection, transformation reactions, and diffusive and nondiffusive intermedia transport between compartments. Input parameters include a description of each environmental media, emission rates, and chemical-specific properties and reaction rates. The numerical model results are in good agreement with the analytical solution for an example that examines the fate of benzene. Accordingly, the mathematical and computational components of the model were verified. CHEMGL predicted the concentration of four representative chemicals (atrazine, benzo[a]pyrene, benzene and hexachlorobenzene) in all five basins: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario. The predicted concentrations fell within one to two orders of magnitude of data reported in the literature. These results suggest that the model is appropriate for estimating the fate and exposure of chemicals for a screening level risk assessment. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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