Environmental Toxicology at the WSLH
Established in 1988, the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) Environmental Toxicology Department primarily conducts biomonitoring tests on wastewater (or effluents) for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) in conjunction with the Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit program. The state uses Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing to measure, predict and control the discharge of materials that may be harmful to indigenous aquatic life. Recognizing that no single test method or test organism can be expected to satisfy a comprehensive approach to environmental conservation and protection, the WDNR requires a battery of aquatic toxicity tests which are broadly accepted and that measure different toxic effects using organisms representing different trophic levels and taxonomic groups. WET testing provides a "real world" approach to effluent testing, since effluent is being tested in the form it was discharged on species that represent those found in the ambient environment. By using WET testing as a tool, the WDNR can track the aggregate effects of effluents on aquatic organisms.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources certifies the WSLH Environmental Toxicology Department. The laboratory follows USEPA and Wisconsin methods manuals for all effluent and receiving water toxicity tests. A complete Quality Assurance and Quality Control Program is maintained and the laboratory currently holds National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) accreditation to enhance its Quality Control Program.
The Environmental Toxicology Department is dedicated to remaining on the cutting edge of technology. The lab dedicates part of its time to research and development to bring new biological tests online. The lab frequently participates in round robin studies. It also strives to incorporate new tests for biological monitoring on an as needed basis for all WDNR departments.
As part of the University of Wisconsin, the laboratory is dedicated to education. The lab participates in tours for students and members of the WDNR. It also facilitates graduate and undergraduate university programs by allowing students to use the lab for hands on training and research.
The WSLH Environmental Toxicology Department is primarily used by the WDNR, but also provides service to other governmental agencies. The lab does no testing for private permits. The Environmental Toxicology Section also provides sample collection services. If you have any questions or require further information please feel free to contact us.
WLSH Environmental Toxicology Department:
Kari Fleming, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Biomonitoring Coordinator:
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