- Development of relatively simple, sensitive and reliable toxicity tests, based upon physiological and biochemical response criteria, for predicting the environmental hazard of new chemical substances.
- Validation of these tests in the laboratory and also in stream and pond mesocosms and microcosms which mimic the complex environmental conditions found in natural freshwater ecosystems;
- Identification of the most useful tests and formulation of "Standard Operating Procedures", in a form suitable for incorporation into the Community procedures for the testing, notification and classification of dangerous substances.
Biochemical and physiological laboratory toxicity tests will be developed, applying cellular and subcellular in vitro procedures, and whole organism procedures. The test organisms used will include groups representative of different trophic levels and occuring in pelagic and benthic environments (e.g. gammarids, rotifers, cladocerans, copepods, algae and fishes). The tests will be developed and evaluated applying reference chemicals selected from those (copper, lindane, atrazine, 3,4-dichloroaniline) employed in previous projects in the Environment Research Programmes, which will allow direct comparison of test sensitivities. Further chemicals will be used when appropriate (e.g. 2,4-dinitrophenole, rotenone, malathione, cabaryle, etc.).
Validation of these ecotoxicological tests will be achieved
a) by comparing the physiological/biochemical results (e.g. concerning the endpoints "scope for growth", membrane injury and cytotoxicity, lysis of erythrocytes, uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation, inhibition of the photosynthetic and/or respiratory electron transport, inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, alkylating and/or SH-inhibiting activity, gill pathology, injury of haem biosynthetic pathway, etc.) to those obtained in previous laboratory studies using conventional indicators of toxicology, and
b) in the field, by comparing the physiological/biochemical endpoints which have been identified as sensitive in the laboratory tests with impacts at the population (e.g. invertebrate population densities and drift) and ecosystem level (e.g. community photosynthesis, respiration, carbon and nitrogen flux and cycling) in stream and pond micro- or mesocosms.
Call for proposalData not available
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
ME9 8AG Sittingbourne