Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

ECO12: Validation Chemicals for Assessing Biodegradation Tests

Principal Investigator

Dr. Mike Comber
Mike Comber Consulting sprl
Square Prevost-Delaunay 123
B-1030, Bruxelles
Tel: +32 2 2416099

Fax: +32 2 2416099


Martin Holt, private consultant, UK, HOLTM@sky.com

Mark Crane, WCA Environment, UK, mark.crane@wca-environment.com


This project aims to develop a list of reference chemicals covering a range of environmental persistence and non-persistence. This reference set would be available for use to validate modifications to existing biodegradation test methods and to develop new test methods. The validation set would also help address concerns that some of the modifications or new methods could result in tests becoming too powerful or overly protective. The aim of the research is to establish such a list of chemicals, with an agreed (by regulators and industry) set of properties and characterized set of degradation behaviour. The reference set of chemicals would be relevant to projects addressing:

– Compartment persistence / biotransformation
– Bioavailability and bound residues
– Determination of test method variability, e.g. via ring testing
– Field monitoring/exposure model validation

As such, it is considered essential that the project has a good over-sight panel of regulators and Industry representatives who will aid the acceptability of the validation set for the purposes described.

Project Final Report: Developing a set of reference chemicals for use in biodegradability tests for assessing the persistency of chemicals

Related Publications


Kowalczyk A, Martin TJ, Price OR, Snape JR, van Egmond RA, Finnegan CJ, Schäfer H, Davenport RJ, Bending GD. Refinement of biodegradation tests methodologies and the proposed utility of new microbial ecology techniques. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2015 Jan;111:9-22.

Timeline: December 2008 > December 2009

LRI funding: € 75 000

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