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Environmental Fate

River, Environment

We have state of the art analytical capability to perform the studies below using radiolabelled or non-radiolabelled test items, giving our customers more flexibility to their ERA approach.

As more parent associated metabolite fate studies are required, Fera offer a range of bespoke studies which meet regulatory requirements. We can tailor the design of the standard OECD studies to meet specific customer requirements. We amend the test matrix, design and analysis to suit the analyte in question giving our customers more options to their risk assessment.

Fera's expert team supports its customers during the entire regulatory process, from questions about compound formulation to regulator queries regarding submitted risk assessments.

Current OECD Fate and Behaviour studies performed at Fera

  • OECD 106 Adsorption/Desorption Using a Batch Equilibrium Method
  • OECD 121 Estimation of the Adsorption Coefficient (Koc) on Soil and on Sewage Sludge using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • OECD 301 Ready Biodegradability 301A-F.
  • OECD 307 Aerobic and Anaerobic Transformation in Soil
  • OECD 308 Aerobic and Anaerobic Transformation in Aquatic Sediment Systems
  • OECD 309 Aerobic Mineralisation in Surface Water – Simulation Biodegradation Test
  • OECD 310 Ready Biodegradability - CO2 in sealed vessels (Headspace Test)
  • OECD 312 Leaching in Soil Columns
  • OECD 314 Simulation Tests to Assess the Biodegradability of Chemicals Discharged in Wastewater
  • OECD 316 Phototransformation of Chemicals in Water- Direct Photolysis

EFSA 2014 / NAFTA 2006 – Field dissipation studies for actives and transformation products.

Additional Studies such as Time dependant (Aged) sorption and Plant Uptake factor assessments

Compound specific Plant Uptake Factor assessment

Chemicals at Fera are now able to commercially offer compound specific Plant Uptake Factor assessment studies for PPP's under GLP. Plant uptake studies have been designed to answer a specific question, what is the uptake of compounds from water by plant roots systems?

Plants are known to absorb dissolved compounds from soil pore water via their root system during regular water consumption. This standard process is implemented in regulatory accepted leaching models such as PEARL, PELMO or PRZM as a sink term influencing the mass balance of a compound in soil leading to the leaching potential in groundwater. Current guidance recommends a default value of '0' is applied to the models.

Plant uptake leads to a decrease of compound mass in the soil system and thus diminishes the amount of substance available for leaching. Leaching models simulate plant uptake by considering the soil water consumed by plants, the concentration of a substance freely available in the soil water (which is the result of sorption and degradation processes considered separately in the models) and the parameter "plant uptake factor" (PUF) sometimes attributed as Transpiration Stream Concentration Factor (TSCF).

Correct implementation of the plant uptake process in the FOCUS leaching models is an important factor in the regulatory assessment of many substances.

Chemicals are now able to offer a laboratory based assessment under GLP to accurately measure plant uptake. Chemicals use a hydroponics system which submerges the root system of the plant species into the treated solution and measures concentration over a set period.


Our laboratories

Our laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that enable cost-effective performance of GLP compliant contract research environmental fate studies for pesticides, veterinary medicines, pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals to satisfy regulatory requirements including:

  • Laboratory (GLP) analytical services for agrochemicals, REACH, veterinary medicinal products
  • Laboratory studies with radio-labelled and non-radiolabelled chemicals
  • Batch sorption including aged sorption and column leaching studies according to OECD guidelines and parameter estimation
  • Soil, water-sediment and manure/slurry biodegradation studies including estimation of degradation parameters and endpoints
  • Hard (man-made) surfaces fate studies including lab-scale sorption, wash-off, and field monitoring studies
  • Design, interpretation and analysis of lysimeter, field leaching, field dissipation and environmental (e.g. groundwater) monitoring studies

Our Chemicals scientists have also undertaken bespoke studies investigating the fate of chemicals under non-standard scenarios performed to GLP standards for registration purposes including:

  • Effect of rainfall on volatilisation of pesticides from a soil surface
  • Air concentrations arising from transpiration of pesticides
  • Domestic losses of biocides to the environment
  • Veterinary medicinal product losses from farmyard
  • Uptake of pharmaceuticals into plants

Case study: Fate of Nanopesticides in soil

Soil sorption, degradation and column leaching experiments were performed to investigate the fate and behaviour of different nanoformulations of pesticides in soils.

  • Nanoformulations of pesticides can influence the environmental fate of the active ingredient
  • Preliminary results indicated greater sorption of the nanoformulations compared to the active ingredient
  • No consistent differences in degradation and leaching behaviour between nanoformulations and active ingredients
  • Current fate models are adequate for some nanoformulations, but alternatives may be needed for others

Chemical Brochure

Download the latest brochure here Chemical brochure

  • Forefront of regulatory exposure modelling
  • Unparalleled experience in environmental modelling & risk assessment
  • Close working relationships with EU Member State Competent Authorities, EFSA, DWI & CRD

Contact Us - Chemicals

T: +44 (0)300 100 0324

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