OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals, Section 3

Environmental fate and behaviour

2074-577x (online)
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The OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals is a collection of about 150 of the most relevant internationally agreed testing methods used by government, industry and independent laboratories to identify and characterise potential hazards of chemicals. They are a set of tools for professionals, used primarily in regulatory safety testing and subsequent chemical and chemical product notification, chemical registration and in chemical evaluation. They can also be used for the selection and ranking of candidate chemicals during the development of new chemicals and products and in toxicology research. This group of tests covers environmental fate and behaviour. In 2017, the section 3 “Degradation and Accumulation” was renamed to “ Environmental fate and behaviour”  to take into account Test Guidelines measuring endpoints such as dispersion, aggregation.

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Test No. 305: Bioconcentration: Flow-through Fish Test

Test No. 305: Bioconcentration: Flow-through Fish Test You or your institution have access to this content


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This Test Guideline describes a procedure for characterising the bioconcentration potential of substances in fish, under flow-through conditions (but semi-static regimes are permissible).

The test consists of two phases: the exposure (uptake) and post-exposure (depuration) phases. During the uptake phase (28 days normally and 60 days maximum), separate groups of four fishes of one species are exposed to at least two concentrations of the test substance. They are then transferred to a medium free of the test substance for the depuration phase. A depuration phase is always necessary unless uptake of the substance during the uptake phase has been insignificant. In addition to the two test concentrations, a control group of fish is held without the test substance. The concentration of the test substance in/on the fish is followed through both phases of the test. During the test, dissolved oxygen, TOC, pH, total hardness and salinity, and temperature should be measured in vessels. The lipid content should be determined on the same biological material as is used to determine the concentration of the test substance, when feasible. Where possible the bioconcentration factor at apparent steady-state (BCF), expressed as a function of the total wet weight of the fish, and the kinetic bioconcentration factor (BCFK) are calculated. The bioconcentration should be expressed in relation to lipid content in addition to whole body weight.

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