SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  12 May 2011
Volume 12 Issue 5

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Dog with toy

You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks: Research Applications of Standard Toxicity Tests

Trudy Watson-Leung (Ontario Ministry of the Environment), Lisa Taylor (Environment Canada), Chris Ingersoll (US Geological Survey), Dana Moore (University of Guelph)

When was the last time your dog picked up his old, well-loved, and worn-out chew toy instead of playing with the brand new, clean, latest dog craze plaything?  Are you an environmental scientist stuck using the same old tools from the same old tool box or are you someone who “thinks outside the box”? Standardized toxicity tests may be viewed as our “old toys” but their advantages are tested and true.

Water and sediment toxicity tests are employed in both regulatory and research applications. The use of standardized toxicity testing methodologies in both of these contexts can serve to reduce uncertainty and variability while increasing their comparability across data sets. Using standard test methods in research applications can allow an old dog to learn new tricks! There is tremendous value in designing research projects (say with site-specific objectives) using standard toxicity test designs as the basis while assessing the impact of modifying factor(s) (e.g. temperature, pH, hardness) on the resulting toxicity. By doing so and following the procedures and reporting requirements of the methods, researchers could ensure that their work will be useful in meta-analyses and the development of guidelines or large databases (e.g., ECOTOX database, the EURAS bioconcentration factor (BCF) Gold Standard Database, and Toxicity/Residue Database).

The goal of this session during the SETAC North America 32nd Annual Meeting from 13-17 November in Boston, MA, is to highlight the value of using standard toxicity test designs as a basis for research and the importance of testing and reporting multiple modifying factors to assess the big picture. “Old dogs” attracted to this session will be involved in toxicity test method development, site-specific oriented research, database creation or management, and meta-analysis of published toxicity studies.

Abstracts are being accepted through 1 June.

Session chair contact information:

Session Co-Chairs:  Lisa Taylor, Chris Ingersoll, and Dana Moore

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