Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

Establishing a bio-concentration factor (BCF) Gold Standard Database


Increasingly there is pressure to develop alternatives for animal testing. One such test is the
bioconcentration test, OECD305. This test involves exposing fish at concentrations of a chemical
below which effects are expected, and after some time, transferring them to clean water. After
sacrifice the fish are assessed for the concentrations of the chemical and an uptake and elimination
curve established. Alternatives require high quality data on the original study against which they can
be compared. While many people have reviewed BCF data and used them for their own purposes,
e.g. for QSAR development, there have been few attempts to make a gold standard database widely
available. Having such a database, into which new data points could also be added would
considerably ease the potential to develop and begin the process for validation of alternative BCF
studies. For example the database could act as a validation set of chemicals, for alternatives.


  • Recommend and agree quality standards for BCF studies.
  • Define structure of database, identify and prioritise database fields, collect all available BCF data, review and assign quality ratings.
  • Develop a publicly accessible databank, discussions on where this should be best hosted and how it should be maintained are also needed.
  • Populate the database with the good/high quality data.
  • Ensure good visibility of the project by presentations at SETAC and other fora.

Timing: The project may last 6 to 9 months

Cost: 50,000 EUROS

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