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ECO15/14-15.2-USTO: Rapid estimation of TMF using laboratory, field and computer modelling methods in aquatic organisms

Principal Investigator

Dr. Michael McLachlan
Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM)
Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Tel: +46 8 674 7228
Fax: +46 8 674 7638


Jon Arnot, affiliated with University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada
Katrine Borga, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Norway
Philipp Mayer, National Environmental Research Institute (NERI), Denmark
John Nichols, USEPA Environmental Research Lab.-Duluth, USA


Chemical bioaccumulation is an interesting scientific phenomenon and an important regulatory consideration. The production and use of chemicals that are assessed as having a high potential to accumulate can be restricted in many jurisdictions.  At the same time, recent scientific developments have made a broad range of advancements in methods to assess bioaccumulation. LRI projects are making a strong contribution to the rapid progress in this area through research on in silico methods to estimate biotransformation, in vitro measurement of biotransformation, optimization of laboratory bioconcentration methods, combined approaches to estimate trophic magnification potential and field-based approaches for bioaccumulation.

Industry and academic partners in LRI projects met in December 2010 and January/February 2011 to discuss progress and future research needs. These discussions have led to a clear view that the new science has stimulated new thinking about how bioaccumulation needs to be assessed.  Additional highly-targeted research that would improve such assessments was identified. This project addresses these additional research needs that can be undertaken as an extension to the TMF project, LRI-ECO15, led by Michael McLachlan and Matthew MacLeod, Stockholm University


The research needs identified in discussions between industry and academic LRI partners were 1) A need for reliable, self-consistent data on uptake efficiencies of organic chemicals ingested by fish with food, and 2) A need to more fully exploit equilibrium passive sampling technologies in field-screening of chemicals for biomagnification.  Our proposal to address these two research needs as an extension of activities in ECO 15 is outlined below.


Related Publications

Xiao R., Adolfsson-Erici M., í‚kerman G., McLachlan M.S. and MacLeod M. (2013). A benchmarking method to measure dietary absorption efficiency of chemicals by fish. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Armitage J.M., Arnot J.A., Wania F. and Mackay D. (2012). Development and evaluationof mechanistic bioconcentration model for ionogenic chemicals in fish. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 32(1), 115-128.

Adolfsson-Erici M., í…kerman G., Jahnke A., Mayer P. and McLachlan M.S. (2011). A flow-through passive dosing system for continuously supplying aqueous solutions of hydrophobic chemicals to bioconcentration and aquatic toxicity tests. Chemosphere.

Mackay D., Arnot J.A., Gobas F. and Powell D.E. (2013). Mathematical relationships between metrics of chemical bioaccumulation in fish. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 32(7), 1459-1466.

Borga K., Fjeld E., Kierkegaard A. and McLachman M.S. (2012). Food Web Accumulation of Cyclic Siloxanes in Lake Mjí¸sa, Norway. Environmental Sciences & Technology. 46, 6347-6354.

Nichols J.W., Huggett D.B., Arnot J.A., Fitzsimmons P.N. and Cowan-Ellsberry C.E. (2013). Toward improved models for predicting bioconcentration of well-metabolized compounds by rainbow trout using measured rates of in vitro intrinsic clearance. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 32, 1611-1622.

Nichols, J.W.; Huggett, D.B.; Arnot, J.A.; Fitzsimmons, P.N.; Cowan-Ellsberry, C.E. 2013. Toward improved models for predicting bioconcentration of well-metabolized compounds by rainbow trout using measured rates of in-vitro intrinsic clearance. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 32 (7) in press.

Research project summary:

Controls on the Trophic Magnification Factor of Organic Chemicals in Aquatic Foodwebs by Matthew MacLeod, Jon Arnot, Katrine Borgí¥ and Michael McLachlan

Executive summary:

Extending research progress on bioaccumulation under TMF2 (TMF2+), by Matthew MacLeod, December 2014


Applying multimedia models to calculate Trophic Magnification Factors (TMFs): exploring basic assumptions and the role of the physical environment by Jon A. Arnot, Lawrence P. Burkhard and Liisa Reid

Exploring the use of multimedia fate and bioaccumulation models to calculate trophic magnification factors (TMFs) by Jon A. Arnot, Lawrence P. Burkhard and Liisa Reid

In-vitro biotransformation of hydrophobic chemicals by fish liver enzyme fractions: a dosing approach using molecular carriers by Dorothea Gilbert, Philipp Mayer, Patrick Fitzsimmons, John Nichols, SETAC Annual meeting in Glasgow, 2013.


Inter-calibrating passive sampling and dosing polymers by Dorothea Gilbert, Gesine Witt, Foppe Smedes and Philipp Mayer, SETAC Annual meeting in Glasgow, 2013.


Timeline: November 2011 > March 2014

LRI funding: € 210,000


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