Chemical Risk Assessment
Environment and Animal Health Group
Environmental Risk Assessment
• Multi-disciplinary approach to the risk
assessment of organic and inorganic
chemicals in aquatic ecosystems.
• Fate and effects of natural and
synthetic chemicals in both fresh
water and marine systems (including
food chain assessments).
• Scientists actively involved in OECD
and other international test guideline
– Chair UK NC3Rs (Replacement, Refinement
and Reduction) Regulatory Toxicology
Committee (Ecotoxicology Working Group).
– OECD Endocrine Disrupters Testing &
Assessment Working Group (Ecotoxicology
Validation Management Group).
– OECD Validation Management Group in
Ecotoxicology for test guideline
development (Fish Experts Group).
Environmental Chemistry and Fate
• Extensive analytical chemistry
capabilities for metals, nutrients,
organic chemicals and radionuclides,
including trace level environmental
• Wide range of in-house specialist
facilities including GC-MS, GC-MS/MS,
GC-ECD, HPLC, ICP-MS and LC-MS/MS.
• The high quality of Cefas science is
reflected through accreditation
(including GLP, ISO, MCERTS and
Ecotoxicology and effects assessment
• In depth skills in hazard assessment of
chemicals using a suite of freshwater
and marine ecotoxcity tests .
• Tests include:
– In vitro assays (e.g. YAS, YES, CALUX)
– Acute invertebrate testing (e.g.
Daphnia magna OECD 202 and 211).
– Chronic partial and full life cycle
invertebrate assays (shrimps,
copepods, oysters, and sediment
– Acute fish studies (e.g. OCED 203)
– Chronic and partial life cycle fish
studies including zebrafish, rainbow
trout and sticklebacks (e.g. OECD 210,
– Amphibian metamorphosis assay
Environmental effects monitoring
• Environmental monitoring is a
valuable tool for environmental risk
assessment (ERA) and environmental
impact assessment (EIA).
– Field collection environmental
samples (from point source to ocean).
– Biological effects testing .
– Quality assured chemical analysis.
– Effluent characterisation (Integrated
chemical fractionation and biological
– Validation of fate effects modelling
TIE (Toxicity Identification Evaluation): identifying
causes of toxicity in complex samples
The stickleback as a sentinel and model species
• Small teleost (easy to keep in the lab).
• Present all around the North Hemisphere.
• One of three species truly endemic to the
• Fresh, estuarine, and marine waters
• Well-documented biology.
• Complete genome sequence (US), bridge
the gap between model and sentinel
• Unique traits/tools for endocrine
disruption research and OECD type
testing (early life stage, juvenile growth
Linking biomarkers Spiggin assay
to behaviour (androgens)
Intersex (ovotestis) Field monitoring
Chemical risk and population relevant endpoints
Sebire et al., (2008). The model anti-androgen flutamide suppresses the expression of typical male
stickleback reproductive behaviour. Aquatic Toxicology 90 (1), pp. 37-47.
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