Small-scale Freshwater Toxicity Investigations: Volume 1 - Toxicity Test Methods

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Springer Science & Business Media, Sep 22, 2005 - Nature - 551 pages
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Developed, developing and emerging economies worldwide are collectively contributing multiple stresses on aquatic ecosystems by the release of numerous contaminants. This in turn demands that basic toxicological information on their potential to harm living species be available. Hence, environmental protection programs aimed at preserving water quality must have access to comprehensive toxicity screening tools and strategies that can be applied reliably and universally. While a good number of toxicity testing procedures and hazard assessment approaches have been published in the scientific literature over the past decades, many are wanting in that insufficient detail is available for users to be able to fully understand the test method or scheme and to be able to reproduce it successfully. Even standardized techniques published in recognized international standard organization documents are often lacking in thoroughness and minutiae. Paucity of information relating to biological test methods may be consequent and trigger several phenomena including generation of invalid data and resulting toxicity measurements, erroneous interpretation and decision-taking with regards to a particular chemical or environmental issue, or simply abandonment of testing procedures. Clearly, improperly documented toxicity testing methods can be detrimental to their promotion and use, as they open the doorway to unnecessary debate and criticism as to their raison d’être. Furthermore, this situation can indirectly contribute to delaying, minimizing or eliminating their application, thereby curtailing the important role toxicity testing plays in the overall protection and conservation of aquatic ecosystems.

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Overview of contemporary toxicity testing
Microtox acute toxicity test
Solidphase test for sediment toxicity using the luminescent bacterium
Algal microplate toxicity test
Algal toxicity test
Microalgal toxicity tests using flow cytometry
Algal microplate toxicity test suitable for heavy metals
Lemma minor growth inhibition test
Acute and chronic toxicity testing with Daphnia sp
Hydra population reproduction toxicity test method
Amphipod Hyalella azteca solidphase toxicity test using High WaterSediment ratios
Chironomus riparius solidphase assay
Acute toxicity assessment of liquid samples with primary cultures of rainbow trout hepatocytes
Rainbow trout gill cell line microplate cytotoxicity test

Spirotox testSpirostomum ambiguum acute toxicity test
Rotifer ingestion test for rapid assessment of toxicity

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About the author (2005)

Christian Blaise, D.Sc., is a senior research scientist at the Saint-Lawrence Centre, Environment Canada, Québec Region, where he heads the Aquatic Toxicology Unit (ATU), River Ecosystems Research Section. He also holds an adjunct professor status at UQAR (Université du Québec à Rimouski) where he contributes to teaching and (co)directs graduate students in the field of ecotoxicology. ATU strives to develop, validate, standardize, modernize (and promote the commercialization of) bioanalytical and biomarker techniques, making use of new instrumental technologies whenever possible, in order to determine the potential (geno)toxicity of chemicals and various types of environmental matrices (e.g., effluents, sediments, pore/surface waters). ATU research output provides practical tools and approaches which facilitate decision-making for environmental management of aquatic ecosystems such as the Saint-Lawrence River. ATU also provides (inter)national technology transfer to interested professionals and agencies and promotes graduate student training by co-directing applied research projects with university collaborators.

Dr. Blaise obtained university diplomas from the U. of Montréal (B.A., 1967: biology and chemistry), U. of Ottawa (B.Sc., 1970: cell biology; M.Sc., 1973: environmental microbiology) and U. of Metz (D.Sc., 1984: ecotoxicology). He is a member of the editorial board for two scientific journals (Environmental Toxicology; Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety) and holds membership in both the biologists’ (Association des Biologistes du Québec) and microbiologists’ (Association des Microbiologistes du Québec) associations of the province of Québec. He regularly attends and makes presentations during major venues held in the field of ecotoxicology (SETAC: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry; SECOTOX: Society of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety; ATW-Canada: Aquatic Toxicity Workshop-Canada; ISTA: International Symposium on Toxicity Assessment). Dr. Blaise has (co)authored over 100 scientific articles in internationally refereed journals, as well as having written several book chapters, reviews, and various government technical reports.

He recently co-edited, with Canadian colleagues, a book dedicated to small-scale toxicity testing (Wells, P., K. Lee and C. Blaise (eds.), 1998. Microscale testing in Aquatic Toxicology Advances, Techniques and Practice. CRC Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, 679 pages). He was scientific organizer of the 10th International Symposium on Toxicity Assessment (ISTA 10), hosted by the Saint-Lawrence Centre where he works, and held in Quebec City, August 26-31, 2001. He further co-edited with another Canadian colleague, a special edition of Environ. Toxicol. (Volume 17 [3]: 2002, special issue) highlighting selected papers presented at the ISTA 10 venue.

Jean-François Férard, D.Sc., is a professor at the University of Metz (Lorraine province of France), where he heads a research team (RT) which is part of a C.N.R.S. (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) research unit for Ecotoxicity and Environmental Health (E.S.E). He also manages an undergraduate school program dedicated to Environmental Engineering. His teaching duties involve fundamental and applied Ecotoxicology, Physiology and Physiotoxicology, Cell Biology and other related disciplines.

In the field of ecotoxicology, his RT was involved in the behavior of metals, PAHs and complex mixtures in air, water and soil compartments and their effects on different organisms (bacteria, algae, crustaceans, plants, arthropods, etc.). His actual research endeavors are more specifically focused on the development of metal-resistance (e.g. phytochelatin) and genotoxic (e.g. comet assay) biomarkers. He also promotes knowledge and use of toxicity tests by organizing an annual course entitled "Ecotoxicity and carcinogenicity of chemicals" which provides a theoretical and practical view of numerous toxicity tests to decision-makers, industrialists and consultants. Since 1974, he has markedly contributed to numerous research programs that have successfully lead to i) development and validation of different ecotoxicity tools (e.g. new toxicity test methods, trophic chain models, biomarkers), ii) hazard/risk assessment schemes and iii) links between field and laboratory studies. These undertakings were financially supported by the European Economic Community, the French ministry of the Environment, and agencies such as the French Water Agency of the Rhin-Meuse Watershed, the French Agency for Environment and Energy Ressources.

Professor Férard obtained university diplomas from the U. of Strasbourg (B.A., 1970: biology and chemistry; B.Sc., 1973: biochemistry) and U. of Metz (M.Sc., 1974: chemistry and environmental toxicology; D.Sc., 1978: environmental toxicology; State doctorate, 1986: environmental toxicology). He was European editor for Environmental Toxicology and Water Quality from 1992-1996 and holds membership in SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry). He regularly makes presentations during major symposia held in the field of ecotoxicology (e.g. SETAC meetings, Secotox conferences, International Symposia on Toxicity Assessment, Annual Aquatic Toxicity Workshops in Canada). Professor Férard has (co)authored over 50 scientific articles in (inter)nationally refereed journals, as well as having written several book chapters, reviews, and research reports. He also participates in several OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and AFNOR (Association française de normalisation - French standards association) initiatives to standardize and promote the use of biological tests.