Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

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, jon.arnot@utoronto.ca
Katrine Borga, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Norway, katrine.borga@niva.no
Philipp Mayer, National Environmental Research Institute (NERI), Denmark, phm@dmu.dk

John Nichols, USEPA Environmental Research Lab.-Duluth, USA, nichols.john@epa.gov


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.

Click here to read the project summary.
Click here to read the executive summary.

Related Publications


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

Borga K., Fjeld E., Kierkegaard A. and McLachman M.S. Food Web Accumulation of Cyclic Siloxanes in Lake Mjí¸sa, Norway. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Jun 5;46(11):6347-54.

Starrfelt J., Borgå K., Ruus A., Fjeld E. Estimating trophic levels and trophic magnification factors using Bayesian inference. Environ Sci Technol. 2013 Oct 15;47(20):11599-606.

Armitage J.M., Arnot J.A., Wania F. and Mackay D. Development and evaluationof mechanistic bioconcentration model for ionogenic chemicals in fish. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2013 Jan;32(1):115-28.

Mackay D., Arnot J.A., Gobas F. and Powell D.E. Mathematical relationships between metrics of chemical bioaccumulation in fish. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2013 Jul;32(7):1459-66.

Nichols, J.W., Huggett, D.B., Arnot, J.A., Fitzsimmons, P.N., Cowan-Ellsberry, C.E. Toward improved models for predicting bioconcentration of well-metabolized compounds by rainbow trout using measured rates of in-vitro intrinsic clearance. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2013 Jul;32(7):1611-22.

Xiao R., Adolfsson-Erici M., Akerman G., McLachlan M.S., MacLeod M. A benchmarking method to measure dietary absorption efficiency of chemicals by fish. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2013 Dec;32(12):2695-700.

Papa E., van der Wal L., Arnot JA., Gramatica P. Metabolic biotransformation half-lives in fish: QSAR modeling and consensus analysis. Sci Total Environ. 2014 Feb 1;470-471:1040-6.

Jahnke A., Mayer P., McLachlan M.S., Wickström H., Gilbert D., MacLeod M. Silicone passive equilibrium samplers as ‘chemometers’ in eels and sediments of a Swedish lake. Environ Sci Process Impacts. 2014 Mar;16(3):464-72.

Jahnke A., MacLeod M., Wickström H., Mayer P. Equilibrium sampling to determine the thermodynamic potential for bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants from sediment. Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Oct 7;48(19):11352-9.

McLeod A.M., Arnot J.A., Borgå K., Selck H., Kashian D.R., Krause A., Paterson G., Haffner G.D., Drouillard K.G. Quantifying uncertainty in the trophic magnification factor related to spatial movements of organisms in a food web. Integr Environ Assess Manag. 2015 Apr;11(2):306-18.

Xiao R., Arnot J.A., MacLeod M. Towards an improved understanding of processes controlling absorption efficiency and biomagnification of organic chemicals by fish. Chemosphere. 2015 Nov;138:89-95.


D. Gilbert, G. Witt, F. Smedes, P. Mayer. Inter-calibrating passive sampling and dosing polymers. SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting, May 2013, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

A. Jahnke, P. Mayer, M.S. McLachlan, H. Wickström, M. MacLeod. Thermodynamic bioaccumulation study using PDMS-based passive equilibrium sampling in a Swedish lake. SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting, May 2013, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

M. MacLeod, J. Arnot, K. Borgå, M. McLachlan. Controls on the Trophic Magnification Factor of Organic Chemicals in Aquatic Foodwebs. SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting, May 2013, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Jon A. Arnot, Lawrence P. Burkhard, Liisa Reid. Exploring the use of multimedia fate and bioaccumulation models to calculate trophic magnification factors (TMFs). SETAC Europe 20th Annual Meeting, May 2010, Seville, Spain.

Jon A. Arnot, Lawrence P. Burkhard, Liisa Reid. Applying multimedia models to calculate Trophic Magnification Factors (TMFs): exploring basic assumptions and the role of the physical environment. SETAC Europe 21st Annual Meeting, May 2011, Milan, Italy.

D. Gilbert, P. Mayer, P. Fitzsimmons, J. Nichols. In-vitro biotransformation of hydrophobic chemicals by fish liver enzyme fractions: a dosing approach using molecular carriers. SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting, May 2013, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Timeline: November 2011 > March 2014

LRI funding: € 210 000

Cefic-Lri Programme Responsible Care

Terms and Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Coockie Settings

© Copyright 2017 Cefic | European Chemical Industry Council. All rights reserved.