Environmental Science

Environmental Toxicology

Abt Associates investigates complex toxicological effects of contaminants on the environment. Our toxicologists design, implement, conduct, and manage a wide range of laboratory and field-based bioassays, investigations, and other tests to fill key data gaps and increase our understanding of the adverse effects of chemicals and mixtures on numerous taxa including bacteria, algae, invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

We use our in-house expertise as well as our strategic collaborations and partnerships with university, private, federal, and state laboratories and facilities to determine the toxicity of a wide range of contaminants under varying conditions while applying state-of-the-art toxicity metrics.

The foundation of our environmental toxicology practice is built on a holistic approach to assessing toxicity that includes a range of endpoints including standard, molecular, physiological, and behavioral metrics aimed at interpreting how contaminants adversely affect the environment.

Our techniques include a range of toxicity testing scenarios, including:
  • Evaluation of the toxicity of major organic and inorganic contaminants, such as crude oil and derivatives, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and pesticides;
  • Standardized toxicity testing according to published protocols; and
  • Project or site-specific toxicity testing.

In addition to theoretical and applied research into the mechanisms and toxic effects of contaminants, we have extensive experience applying our expertise to practical problems, such as regulatory standard-setting, development of adverse effects thresholds and response models, extrapolation of laboratory observations to the field, expert testimony, ecological risk assessments, and natural resource damage assessments.