Aquatic Toxicity Profiles

For several years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been collecting occurrence data for a highly diverse set of contaminants, including pharmaceuticals and personal care products, flame retardants, and industrial chemicals. Many of these contaminants are present in the aquatic environment across all of Minnesota.

These contaminants may have a variety of adverse impacts on aquatic life, including the ability to disrupt the endocrine system or other biological systems. Toxicity data and regulatory or screening values for many of these contaminants do not exist. In the past, it was very difficult for us to put our monitoring data into context.

We have developed new methods — the Aquatic Toxicity Profile (ATP) — to help us understand how the contaminants we have found in the environment might be impacting ecological health. ATPs use a weight-of-evidence approach to gain a broad understanding of the potential impacts of specific contaminants in the aquatic environment. PDF iconMinnesota’s Aquatic Toxicity profiles (wq-cec2-02)

ATPs differ from the traditional approach used to set regulations in many ways. The ATP is a non-regulatory screening tool that uses the precautionary principle. In other words, this is a conservative approach.

ATPs will help us prioritize contaminants for monitoring, plan more effective and targeted monitoring studies, identify contaminants that may be good candidates for water quality standards, determine which contaminants would be good candidates for pollution prevention efforts, and communicate risk to the public.

As we complete ATPs for individual contaminants we will post them to this site. Each ATP consists of two parts:

  • a worksheet containing all the technical information used to determine the priority — or level of concern — of each contaminant.
  • a summary profile that gives a brief but complete overview of the concerns related to each contaminant.

Data resources

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

MPCA 2015 – Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products and Endocrine Active Chemical Monitoring in Lakes and Rivers: 2013

MPCA 2013 – Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Minnesota’s Rivers and Streams: 2010

MPCA 2013 – Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Active Chemicals in Minnesota Lakes

MPCA 2013 – Endocrine Active Compounds Monitoring in Minnesota Lakes, 2009-2011: Lake Habitat and Land Use

MPCA 2011 – Wastewater Treatment Plant Endocrine Disrupting Chemical Monitoring Study

MPCA 2010 – Statewide Endocrine Disrupting Compound Monitoring Study 2007-2008

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

MDA 2015 WQ Monitoring Report

MDA 2014 WQ Monitoring Report

MDA 2013 WQ Monitoring Report

MDA 2012 WQ Monitoring Report

National Park Service

National Park Service 2013 (see Table B-1)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (pharmaceuticals only)

United States Geological Survey

USGS Stream Survey – organics, pharm., hormones, 1999-2000

USGS SIR2014-5154 Overview Pesticides Streams Rivers USA 1992-2011

USGS SIR2014-5139 Organics in Source Water USA 2002-2010