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. 315: Bioaccumulation in Sediment-dwelling Benthic Oligochaetes

Test No. 315: Bioaccumulation in Sediment-dwelling Benthic Oligochaetes You or your institution have access to this content

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16 Oct 2008
9789264067516 (PDF)

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This Test Guideline describes a method to assess bioaccumulation of sediment-associated chemicals in endobenthic oligochaetes worms. It applies to stable, neutral organic chemicals having log Kow values between 3.0 and 6.0, superlipophilic substances that show a log Kow of more than 6.0, or stable metallo-organic compounds which tend to associate with sediments.

The test consists of two phases. During the uptake phase, worms are exposed to sediment spiked with the test substance, topped with reconstituted water and equilibrated as appropriate. Groups of control worms are held under identical conditions. The duration of the uptake phase is by default 28 days, unless a steady-state has been reached before. For the elimination phase, the worms are transferred to a sediment-water-system free of test substance. This second phase is terminated when either the 10% level of steady state concentration, or of the concentration measured in the worms on day 28 of the uptake phase, is reached, or after a maximum of 10 days. Change of the concentration of the test substance in/on the worms is monitored throughout both phases of the test. The uptake rate constant (ks), the elimination rate constant (ke) and the kinetic bioaccumulation factor (BAFK = ks/ ke) are calculated. Radiolabelled test substances may be used to determine whether metabolites identification and quantification should be made. The minimum number of treated replicates for kinetic measurements should be three per sampling point throughout uptake and elimination phase. To ensure the test validity (cumulative mortality of the worms < 20% of the initial number), toxicity tests should also be conducted at regular intervals. Besides, the worm lipid content, the sediment total organic carbon content and the residue level in worms at the end of the elimination phase are useful for the interpretation of the results.

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