Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

ECO1A-INIA: Relationships Between Persistence, Bioaccumulation Potential and Effects in Waters, Sediments and Soils

Principal Investigator

Dr. Jose Tarazona
Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnologí­a Agraria y Alimentaria
Ctra de la Coruní£ km 7,5
28040 Madrid
Tel: +34 91 347 68 37
Fax: +34 91 357 22 93


Dr. Philippe Garrigues – Université Bordeaux

Dr. Roy Thompson – AstraZeneca


Emissions of man-made chemicals can potentially have an adverse impact on the ecological balance in marine and terrestrial environments. Risk assessments have historically considered the potential for bioaccumulation (transference form the environmental compartment to the organisms) but not the potential for biomagnification through the food chain. Assessing the biomagnification risk is however essential for chemicals which combine persistence and bioaccumulation potential such as DDT and similar compounds. Whilst environmental levels may seem ‘harmless’ based on conventional effect measurements, the substance may nonetheless appear in body tissue at potentially harmful levels. This research aims to develop more accurate models for predicting the environmental risks. Key steps will be:
1. Improving understanding and prediction of bioaccumulation via the food web.
2. Developing a tiered approach to assess the potential for biomagnification.
3. Defining critical body burdens for chronic toxicity endpoints of terrestrial and marine organisms.
4. Studying the relationships between biomagnification and factors such as persistence and bioavailability to predict body concentrations more accurately.

Related Publications

E Alonso, N Tapie, H Budzinski, K Lemenach, L Pelluhet, JV Tarazona, A model for estimating the potential biomagnification of chemicals in a generic food web: preliminary developmentEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research 2008, 15, 31-40.

Timeline: November 2000 > October 2006

LRI funding: €1,000,000

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