Toralla Marine Science Station (ECIMAT), relying on its environmental quality unit, has great experience both on characterization of biomaterials ecotoxicity as well as on ecotoxicological bioassays with marine environmental samples. Over 20 ecotoxicology-related research projects, 28 service contracts with Public Agencies and industry, and more than 100 scientific publications endorse this expertise and technical savoir faire.

At our environmental quality unit, we use the bioassays as biological tools, for its application on the following working lines:

  1. Implementation of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) and the Marine Strategy Directive (2008/56/EC), for the assessment of the status of water bodies.
  2. Implementation of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) and the Marine Strategy Directive (2008/56/EC), as well as the REACH Regulation for the Evaluation of the Environmental Risk with the aim to stablish environmental marine quality rules.
  3. Implementation of the guidelines for the characterization of the dredged material and its subsequent relocation in maritime-terrestrial public domain waters.

The fulfillment of each working line is based on the implantation of standardized procedures, which have obtained the ISO 9001:201 quality certification which in turn are based on protocols internationally recognized (ISO, UNE, APHA, etc). Moreover, each of these protocols have been elaborated following methods previously adapted in order to comply with the methodological steps described on the Spanish norms for the characterization of dredged material and its subsequent relocation in maritime-terrestrial public domain waters.

The offer of standardized ecotoxicological bioassays available are listed below:

  • Marine microalgae growth test of  (Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Isochrysis galbana)
  • Sea urchin embryogenesis test (Paracentrotus lividus).
  • Bivalve embryogenesis test (Mytilus, Venerupis spp., Ruditapes spp.)
  • Acute toxicity test with copepods (Acartia clausi e Tisbe bataggliai)
  • Acute toxicity test with Daphnia magna.
  • Amphipods survival test (Corophium) bioassay.
  • Bioluminiscence inhibition test (Vibrio fischeri) test (Microtox).
  • TPT: Previous toxicity test in CEDEX Guidelines.

ECIMAT possess the appropriate infrastructures for the performance of the previous tests. Our multidisciplinary team composed by technicians and researchers (all of them with a university degree) have large experience on bioassays studies and on other environmental quality and marine contamination- related techniques.

This service is included into the ECIMAT Quality Management System

ECIMAT has a Quality Management System, Bureau Veritas certified, where the requirements of the international standard reference, ISO 9001:2015, are implemented and whose scope includes the realization of bioassays for the ecotoxicological characterization of environmental samples and chemical substances.

The quality management system ensures a proper management of the samples that guarantees their traceability, conservation and manipulation, applying procedures widely tested and audited. In addition, the application of the general quality system protocols enables an adequate control about the documentation and the registers through a correct data treatment and data storage.

In our station, we also have procedures and technical instructions applicable for the infrastructure monitoring. Strict plans are applied for the maintenance, calibration and verification of the infrastructure, guarantying its performance.

Once the quality of the full working process is guaranteed, more mechanisms to ensure quality of results are also developed. The program to ensure the quality of results from bioassays are based on the guidelines described on the rule UNE EN–ISO 17025 which defines the General Requirements of the competency for test and calibration laboratories.

Considerations to take into account when you want to request a service

Conducting bioassays requires of previous considerations and preparations. It is very important the coordination between the entity that realizes the sampling and our lab through a timely planning so that the lab is properly equipped and ready and organisms can be acclimated before the tests. This point is vital to ensure that the deadlines set by the regulations are met for the tests conducting.

Request the ecotoxicologycal bioassays.