Methodologies to examine the importance of host factors in bioavailability of metals

Joanna Burger, Fernando Diaz-Barriga, Erminio Marafante, Joel Pounds, Mark Robson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Bioavailability provides a link between intrinsic toxicity and the ability to produce that toxic effect in an organism. Biomonitoring tools are essential to assess the health of ecosystems and their component parts, including humans. While field and laboratory data are available, two critical issues to our understanding of bioavailability are often missing: 1) knowing the relationship between dose and tissue concentrations, and 2) species extrapolations. Understanding of high to low dose extrapolation is also critical. Methods to understand the importance of host factors in bioavailability of metals must assess gender, age, nutritional status, individual variability, temporal changes, and critical habitat effects. Methods to examine these variables include correlational, observational, experimental, epidemiological, and modeling studies, or a combination of these. Data gaps include developing more representative studies of human and animal populations, better analytical tools for rapid determination of metal content in the field, improved analytical characterization of metal bioavailability, and concurrent studies of different metals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-31
Number of pages12
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Bioavailability
  • Biomonitoring
  • Ecological receptors
  • Host
  • Metals


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