Evaluation and comparison of multimedia mass balance models of chemical fate: Application of EUSES and ChemCAN to 68 chemicals in Japan

Katsuya Kawamoto, Matthew MacLeod, Don Mackay

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The European Union System for Evaluation of Substances (EUSES) and the ChemCAN chemical fate model are applied to describe the fate of 68 chemicals on two spatial scales in Japan. Emission information on the chemicals has been obtained from Japan's Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry and available monitoring data gathered from government reports. Environmental concentrations calculated by the two models for the four primary environmental media of air, water, soil and sediment agree within a factor of 3 for over 70% of the data, and within a factor of 10 for over 87% of the data. Reasons for certain large discrepancies are discussed. Concentrations calculated by the models are generally consistent with the lower range of concentrations that are observed in the environment. Agreement between modeled and observed concentrations is considerably improved by including an estimate of the advective input of chemicals in air from outside Japan. The agreement between the EUSES and ChemCAN models suggests that results of individual chemical assessments are not likely to be significantly affected by the choice of chemical fate model. Primary sources of discrepancy between modeled and observed concentrations are believed to be uncertainties in emission rates, degradation half-lives, and the lack of data on advective inflow of contaminants in air.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-612
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • ChemCAN
  • Japan
  • Model comparison
  • Model evaluation
  • Multimedia models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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