Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

ECO14-USTO: Development and validation of an abbreviated in vivo fish bioconcentration test

Principal Investigator

Prof. Michael McLachlan
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Tel: +46 8 6747228
Fax: +46 8 6747637


The overall objective of the research project is to reduce the cost and the number of animals needed to measure the bioconcentration factor (BCF) of organic chemicals in fish, using the accepted ”gold standard” OECD 305 as the point of reference. More specifically, the goals are to:
– Reduce the number of fish use from a minimum of 40 to 4 (by >90 %)
– Reduce the length of the test from a minimum of 6 weeks to 2 weeks
– Reduce the analytical costs by reducing the number of analyses in a complex matrix (fish) by >90%
– Increase the precision and accuracy of the BCF determination
– Demonstrate that the test can be conducted simultaneously for different substances
To achieve these goals, the following innovative techniques will be applied:
– Passive dosing to maintain constant concentrations in the dissolved phase
– Internal benchmarking chemicals to reduce the effects of inter-individual variability and other experimental variables on the BCF determination and provide a simple and reliable indicator as to whether critical BCF thresholds are exceeded
– Passive samplers in water to benchmark the chemical uptake rate and to assess whether it is similar for the test chemical and the reference chemical
– Passive samplers in fish to allow kinetics to be followed in an individual fish rather than a succession of individuals.

Related Publications

M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Akerman, A. Jahnke, P. Mayer and M.S. McLachlan (2012). A flow-through passive dosing system for continuously sypplying aqueous solutions of hydrophobic chemicals to bioconcentration and aquatic toxicity tests. Chemosphere. 86, 593-599.

M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Akerman and M.S. McLachlan (2012). Internal Benchmarking Improves Precision and Reduces Animal Requirements for Determination of Fish Bioconcentration Factors. Environmental Science & Technology. 46(15), 8205-8211.

M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Akerman and M.S. McLachlan (2012).  In-vivo passive sampling to measure elimination kinetics in bioaccumulation tests. Chemosphere. 88, 62-68.

M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Akerman and M.S. McLachlan (2012). Measuring bioconcentration factors in fish using exposure to multiple chemicals and internal benchmarking to correct for growth dilution. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 31(8), 1853-1860.


Bioaccumulation Assessment: Evolution or Revolution? by M.S. McLachlan, M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. í…kerman, A. Jahnke and M. MacLeod


Saving test animals, time, and costs in fish bioconcentration tests by Michael S. McLachlan, Margaretha Adolfsson-Erici, Gun í…kerman, Annika Jahnke and Philipp Mayer

Timeline: December 2008 > December 2010

LRI funding: €157,582

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