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What can be learnt from an ecotoxicity database in the framework of the REACh regulation ?

Abstract : Since REACh applies in all of EU, special emphasis has been put on the reduction of systematic ecotoxicity testing. In this context, it is important to extract a maximum of information from existing ecotoxicity databases in order to propose alternative methods aimed at replacing and reducing experimental testing. Consequently, we analyzed a database of new chemicals registered in France and Europe during the last twenty years reporting aquatic ecotoxicity data with respect to three trophic levels (i.e., Algae EC50 72 h, Daphnia EC50 48 h and Fish LC50 96 h). In order to ensure the relevance of the comparison between these three experimental tests, we performed a stringent data selection based on the pertinence and quality of available ecotoxicological information. At the end of this selection, less than 5% of the initial number of chemicals was retained for subsequent analysis. Such an analysis showed that fish was the least sensitive trophic level, whereas Daphnia had the highest sensitivity. Moreover, thanks to an analysis of the relative sensitivity of trophic levels, it was possible to establish that respective correction factors of 50 and 10 would be necessary if only one or two test values were available. From a physicochemical point of view, it was possible to characterize two significant correlations relating the sensitivity of the aforementioned trophic levels with the chemical structure of the retained substances. This analysis showed that algae displayed a higher sensitivity towards chemicals containing acid fragments whereas fish presented a higher sensitivity towards chemicals containing aromatic ether fragments. Overall, our work suggests that statistical analysis of historical data combined with data yielded by the REACh regulation should permit the derivation of robust safety factors, testing strategies and mathematical models. These alternative methods, in turn, could allow a replacement and reduction of ecotoxicological testing.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 21, 2014 - 2:22:08 PM
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Adina Henegar, Enrico Mombelli, Pascal Pandard, Alexandre R.R. Pery. What can be learnt from an ecotoxicity database in the framework of the REACh regulation ?. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2011, 409 (3), pp.489-494. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.10.028⟩. ⟨ineris-00963268⟩



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