Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

Comparisons of marine and freshwater data and test methods


It is recognised that the amount of existing data on the ecotoxicity of chemicals varies very much between the environmental compartments. There is a need to address to what extent data from one compartment (e.g. flowing fresh waters) can be used to estimate the hazard of the chosen chemical to another compartment, (e.g. marine waters). The rationale of the project is to establish to what extent it may be possible to extrapolate data for risk assessment from the freshwater environment to the marine environment, in order to minimise additional testing costs for risk assessment in the marine environment, where longer exposures can occur compared with those in inland waters.


Proposals submitted for consideration should follow the format of the application form'Application for a CEFIC-LRI Grant' and should address the following areas under individual sub-headings:

  • The title of the research proposal
  • The name and affiliation of the principal investigator and the laboratory or laboratories in which the research will be conducted
  • Evidence of the principal investigator's knowledge of, and contribution to, current understandings of the role of environmental media on the toxicity of chemicals across different species.
  • A clear definition of the research objectives, including a description of the mechanistic basis for the proposed research.
  • A clear plan of investigation, including a clearly defined milestone plan which identifies all critical decision points in the research programme.
  • A detailed breakdown of costs

The successful applicant(s) will be required to submit a progress report every 6 months during the course of the programme. At the end of the project a detailed review of the project and the achievements made will be provided by the principal investigator. The successful applicant or applicants will also be required to prepare for publication a manuscript describing the work undertaken and the results achieved.



Review the test methods available for studying the toxicity of persistent and bioaccumulating substances and of more easily studied substances in the freshwater and marine environments, drawing on the existing documents of the OECD as far as possible and concentrating on effects in the water column. Review existing toxicity data on chemicals studied in both fresh and saline waters, utilising inter alia the work of the ECETOC Task Force on aquatic hazard assessment. Compare species sensitivity distributions for saltwater and freshwater organisms exposed to the same chemical. Analyse the data for their use in environmental risk assessment and identify for which types of substance the freshwater PNEC can be safely used as a surrogate for a saltwater PNEC. Fill the gaps in (a) test methods and (b) toxicity data.

Timing: Starting in 1999

Cost: An estimated maximum of $620,000 over 6 years

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