Development of a test system to contribute to the soil risk assessment of xenobiotic chemicals.
The main-purdose of the international joint-project is to develop test systems for the early detection and evaluation of sublethal effects on organism in soil ecosystems. The research will result in a battery of soil fauna species representative of European soil ecosystems. The project is subdivided into seven sub-projects of even size, each dealing with one specifictaxa. Through coordination and cooperative work Within the project group test methods will be developed each based on common principles on test conditions and endpoints for sublethal effects. Furthermore, the scientific collaboration promotes the use of up-to-date methodology e.g. digital image processing. The following seven taxa are included in the projects: Nematoda, Enchytreidae, Lumbricidae, Collembola, oribatida, Gamasida, Staphylinidae. For use in statistical extrapolation methods from the laboratory to the field preliminary experience indicate that seven taxa are the most cost-effective number for predictive risk assessment from a test battery. Several aspects concerning the representativeness of new and 0ld test species need evaluation, i.e. sensitivity, exposure routes, mobility, life stage, life strategy, life form and habitat. The general goal of maintaining and even improving the quality and variety of European soil ecosystems has prompted this effort to establish a research programme for the terrestrial area for the development and evaluation of methods to assess the impact of anthropogenic substances on soil biological variables. Regulatory guidelines for handling of polluted soil and chemicals depend on the development of ecotoxicological methods and risk assessment procedures. At the moment, the assessment of ecotoxicological effects on soil organisms is hardly possible as an adequate number of soil ecotoxicity guidelines is not available. Consequently, there is no available test battery that covers all relevant invertebrate life forms in soil. Therefore there is an urgent need for the development of standardizable test procedures for assessinn the ecological effects of chemicals in the terrestrial environment. Such procedures should be incorporated in Annex Vto the European Community Directive 67/548/EEC on testing, notification and classification of dangerous substances.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
223 62 Lund
SO9 3TU Southampton
1081 HV Amsterdam
6701 ES Wageningen