How does bioaccumulation happen?



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    Bioaccumulation can occur in both earth-based and aquatic food chains. Toxins from the environment can accumulate until they have reached toxic levels. We have more control over terrestrial bioaccumulation than aquatic. For example, within an aquatic food chain, there are three main components necessary for bioaccumulation: first, a high octanol-water partition coefficient; second, water and organisms have to reach metabolic and chemical stability; third, intermediate species in the food chain must not be killed by toxicity, as the idea of a chain would then be disrupted. Fore terrestrial bioaccumulation, chemicals usually enter small soil particles, then infusing organisms with traces of those chemicals. Some common chemicals that bioaccumulate are DDTs, PCBs, and methylmercury.

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