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Contemporary Problems of Ecology

2003 year, number 2

Some Approaches to the System of Criteria for Environmental Hazards of Man-Caused Effects on Organisms and EcoSystems.

Pages: 247–253


The paper provides a critical discussion of the classification criteria for environmental hazards which is used in some states - e.g., the states of EC (European Community),in order to decide in what classification category a substance will fit. A new system of criteria for environmental hazards is proposed. The system includes four blocks according to the four levels of man-caused disturbances in living systems. As an example of a non-lethal but potentially important effect produced by a man-made chemical, some new data on the inhibitory effects of a surfactant on bivalves are presented. A non-ionic surfactant Triton-X100 inhibited the water filtration by mussels. Various ecologically important consequences of the inhibition of water filtration are discussed. The efficiency of the proposed system of criteria is demonstrated