Terrestrial Ecotoxicology

Terrestrial ecotoxicology testing generates data which is a fundamental requirement for registration submissions in a range of industries. They also form the basis of Environmental Risk/Impact Assessments (ERA and EIA) for both human and veterinary pharmaceuticals.

Our comprehensive portfolio of terrestrial ecotoxicology studies includes:

  • Acute and reproduction toxicity to earthworms (OECD 207, OECD 222)
  • Acute oral and contact toxicity to honeybees (OECD 213, OECD 214)
  • Acute contact and oral toxicity to bumblebees (OECD 246, OECD 247)
  • Parasitic wasp (Aphidius rhopalosiphi) and predatory mite (Typhlodromus pyri) (basic and extended toxicity/reprotoxicity, including aged residues)
  • Collembolan reproduction in soil (Folsomia candida) (OECD 232)
  • Soil Predatory Mite assay (Hypoaspis aculeifer) (OECD 226)
  • Avian acute oral, dietary, and reproduction in Japanese Quail or Bobwhite (OECD 223, OECD 205, OECD 206) (other avian species are available)
  • Plants, seedling emergence and growth (OECD 208)
  • Plants, vegetative vigor (OECD 227)
  • Carbon and Nitrogen Transformation tests for soil microorganisms (OECD 217 and OECD 216)

We also provide a full analytical service for the method validation and routine analysis required in support of ecotoxicology studies (including for biopesticides, nanomaterials, inorganics and other difficult materials).

Terrestrial and Avian Studies

  • Plant and Soil Toxicity

    Charles River has implemented both plant and soil toxicity testing to meet the regulatory requirements for exposure of agrochemicals.We routinely perform specific regulatory ecotoxicology testing to determine the effects of agrochemicals on plants and soil. These tests can also apply to biocides, industrial chemicals, and veterinary/pharmaceutical products when there is a risk of environmental exposure.

    Non-target plants are often exposed to spray-drift or following applications to various crops, or in accidental exposure scenarios. Regulators require testing on a range of non-target plants covering a range of taxonomic diverse species for seedling emergence (OECD 208) and/or vegetative vigor (OECD 227) or OCSPP 850.4100 for USA registrations.

    Another routine regulatory requirement is to identify products that may harm non-target invertebrates living on plants or in soil. The most common plant-dwelling invertebrates studied are Parasitic Wasp (Aphidius rhopalosiphi) and Predatory Mite (Typhlodromus pyri). These studies have been established in the facility for many years, both as the Basic test and as the Extended test, with reproduction endpoints included. These tests are now supplemented with the aged-residue version of the tests as a third-tier method.

    In addition to these long-standing assays, we’ve recently implemented the Soil Predatory Mite assay (Hypoaspis aculeifer) (OECD 226), which will be available for commercial testing in Q1 2021.

    Our scientists also have extensive experience in other soil assays, such as the Earthworm (Eisenia fetida) acute and reproduction toxicity assays (OECD 207 and 222) and the Collembola (Folsomia candida) reproduction assay (OECD 232). Currently in the implementation phase are the Carbon Transformation (OECD 217) and Nitrogen Transformation (OECD 216) tests for soil microorganisms. These soil assays are all designed to measure potential adverse effects of plant protection products and other chemicals, on important soil-dwelling organisms, where the LC50 or EC50 and NOEC are calculated.

  • Bumblebee Studies

    Charles River has implemented both contact and oral bumblebee testing to meet the regulatory requirements for exposure (OECD 246 and 247).We’ve implemented bumblebee testing as part of our expanding portfolio, for both contact and oral exposure (OECD 246 and 247). Commonly, these tests are combined into a single GLP study, involving approximately 600 bumblebees from at least three different colonies for each study.

    Acute testing in honeybees and bumblebees is considered by regulatory authorities, such as EFSA and the USA EPA, to be fully acceptable for the identification of an intrinsic toxicity for test items as a key lower tier test which will be used in an overall assessment on pollinator effects. Chemicals that raise a concern for pollinator toxicity will usually require further higher-tier testing in other species and/or in field or semi-field studies.

  • Avian Toxicity

    Avian toxicity studies are a standard requirement for plant protection products where wild birds may be exposed to the active substance or the product itself such as: drinking water, over-sprayed food items, residues in fish and earthworms (bioaccumulation), or by ingestion of coated seeds, granules, or slug-bait pellets. Other chemicals may also require assessments of avian toxicity, in particular biocides, with a risk of environmental exposure to wild birds.

    The most common avian species used for this purpose are Bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), used mainly for USA EPA registrations, and Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), used for EU and the rest of the world. Other avian species can be required for laboratory assessment of risks to wild birds, such as passerines (canary, zebra finch, etc.) or waterfowl (mallard duck) depending on the specific registration and the regulatory authority decisions for an application. Other avian testing requirements can include chickens, turkeys, or pigeons for specialist objectives.

    Our large stainless-steel cages for quail, fully meet the EU requirements for housing of experimental avian species.

Accurate terrestrial ecotoxicology data is crucial on your journey to registration. Missing your submission deadline could delay your time to market, or even worse, give your competitor(s) more time to build market share. Work with a team that is ready to get the data you need to submit a comprehensive dossier on time.

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