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. Åkerman, A. Jahnke, P. Mayer, M.S. McLachlan. A flow-through passive dosing system for continuously sypplying aqueous solutions of hydrophobic chemicals to bioconcentration and aquatic toxicity tests. Chemosphere. 2012 Feb;86(6):593-9.

M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Åkerman, M.S. McLachlan. Internal Benchmarking Improves Precision and Reduces Animal Requirements for Determination of Fish Bioconcentration Factors. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Aug 7;46(15):8205-11.

M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Åkerman, M.S. McLachlan.  In-vivo passive sampling to measure elimination kinetics in bioaccumulation tests. Chemosphere. 2012 Jun;88(1):62-8.

M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Åkerman and M.S. McLachlan. Measuring bioconcentration factors in fish using exposure to multiple chemicals and internal benchmarking to correct for growth dilution. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2012 Aug;31(8):1853-60.


M.S. McLachlan, M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Åkerman, A. Jahnke, M. MacLeod. Bioaccumulation Assessment: Evolution or Revolution? 14th Annual Cefic-LRI Workshop, November 2012, Brussels, Belgium.

M.S. McLachlan, M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Åkerman, M. MacLeod, A. Jahnke. Benchmarking and passive dosing/sampling in fish BCF experiments. HESI sponsored workshop, Moving bioaccumulation assessments to the next level: progress made and challenges ahead, February 2011, Washington, D.C., USA


M.S. McLachlan, M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Åkerman, A. Jahnke, P. Mayer. Saving test animals, time, and costs in fish bioconcentration tests. 13th Annual Cefic-LRI Workshop, November 2011, Brussels, Belgium.

M.S. McLachlan, M. Adolfsson-Erici, G. Åkerman. Saving test animals, time, and costs in fish bioconcentration tests. SETAC Europe 21st Annual Meeting,  May 2011, Milan, Italy.

Timeline: December 2008 > December 2010

LRI funding: € 157 582

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