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Calculations involving BCF and Half Life of Dioxins

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For dioxins in fathead minnows, the BCF = 29,200. The half-life for elimination of dioxins from fathead minnows is 14.5 days.

a. For an aquatic habitat where the dioxin concentration is 0.020 ppt, what is the concentration of dioxin in fathead minnows?
b. If a fathead minnow is taken from the contaminated habitat and placed in a clean laboratory water tank, how many days will it take for the dioxin concentration in the minnow to drop to 0.10 ppb?

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Solution Summary

This solution encompasses the calculations involving the Bioconcentration Factor (BCF) and Half Life of Dioxins. The definition of BCF and its mathemical equation are explained here in detail. The determination of concentration from the equation of BCF is also shown. The use of the integrated first order kinetic equation (involving half life) is systematically discussed here as well to guide students in determining the time it takes for the concentration of a substance to drop to a certain value.

Solution Preview

Bioconcentration Factor (BCF) is defined as the ratio of the concentration of a substance in an organism (at a specific period of exposure) to the concentration of the substance in the surrounding medium (during the same period). The equation for BCF is given below:

BCF = ...

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