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Environmental Fate

Environmental fate studies are at the core of giving our customers more flexibility to their ERA (Environmental Risk Assessment) approach. Our scientific experts are able to offer you extensive scientific and technical support to help you on your path to product registration combined with our state of the art facilities to perform studies using radiolabelled and non-radiolabelled test items and substances. We can offer the entire spectrum of laboratory and higher-tier environmental fate studies as more parent associated metabolite fate studies are required.

We also offer a range of bespoke studies which meet regulatory requirements and have the ability to tailor the design of the standard OECD studies to meet your 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. Our expert team supports you through the entire regulatory process, from questions about compound formulation to regulator queries regarding submitted risk assessments.

River, Environment

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 Services

Current OECD (The Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development) Fate and Behaviour Studies

OECD Guidelines are for the Testing of Chemicals and are periodically reviewed in the light of scientific progress and current regulatory procedures. The OECD Guidelines is a collection of about 150 of the most relevant internationally agreed testing methods used by government, industry and independent laboratories to identify and characterise potential hazards of chemicals. They are a set of tools for professionals, used primarily in regulatory safety testing and subsequent chemical and chemical product notification, chemical registration and in chemical evaluation. They can also be used for the selection and ranking of candidate chemicals during the development of new chemicals and products and in toxicology research.

OECD 106

Adsorption/Desorption Using a Batch Equilibrium Method

Adsorption/desorption studies are useful for generating essential information on the mobility of chemicals and their distribution in the soil, water and air. They can be used in the prediction or estimation, for example, of the availability of a chemical for degradation, transformation and uptake by organisms; leaching through the soil; volatility from soil; and run-off from land surfaces into natural waters. Adsorption data can also be used for comparative and modelling purposes expand

OECD 121

Estimation of the Adsorption Coefficient (Koc) on Soil and on Sewage Sludge using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

The sorption behaviour of substances in soils or sewage sludges is a useful indicator of the binding capacity of a chemical on organic matter of soil and sewage sludge and allows for comparisons to be made between different chemicals expand

OECD 301

Ready Biodegradability 301A-F

This study is for determining ready biodegradability. Chemicals which are non-volatile and are soluble in water to at least 50 mg DOC/l may be assessed by this method, provided also that they do not significantly adsorb, are not lost by foaming and do not inhibit bacteria at the concentration tested expand

OECD 307

Aerobic and Anaerobic Transformation in Soil

This study is to measure the time course of biodegradation of a test substance in soil under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and to quantify the observations expand

OECD 308

Aerobic and Anaerobic Transformation in Aquatic Sediment Systems Aerobic and Anaerobic Transformation in Soil

The purpose of this study is to measure the time course of biodegradation of a test substance in aquatic sediment systems under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and to quantify the observations expand

OECD 309

Aerobic Mineralisation in Surface Water - Simulation Biodegradation Test

The purpose of this study is to measure the time course of biodegradation of a test substance at low concentration in aerobic natural water and to quantify the observations expand

OECD 310

Ready Biodegradability - CO2 in sealed vessels (Headspace Test)

Biodegradation is one of the most important factors in assessing the environmental fate of chemicals. Substances coming into the aquatic environment via waste water get in contact with the sewage treatment microorganisms, which is therefore the basis for the assessment of aquatic biodegradation. expand

OECD 312

Leaching in Soil Columns

Man-made chemicals may reach soil directly via deliberate application (e.g. agrochemicals) or via indirect routes (e.g. via waste water ›sewage sludge› soil or air› wet/dry deposition). For risk assessment of these chemicals, it is important to estimate their potential for transformation in soil and for movement (leaching) into deeper soil layers and eventually into groundwater expand

OECD 314

Simulation Tests to Assess the Biodegradability of Chemicals Discharged in Wastewate

This study observes the ultimate biodegradation of organic chemicals whose route of entry into the environment begins with their discharge to wastewater. It consists of five simulation tests in a) sewer systems, b) activated sludge, c) anaerobic digester sludge, d) treated effluent in the mixing zone of surface water, and e) untreated wastewater that is directly discharged to surface water. These tests are appropriate for chemicals released continuously or episodically to wastewater expand

OECD 316

Phototransformation of Chemicals in Water- Direct Photolysis

Direct photolysis involves the transformation of a chemical resulting from direct absorption of a solar photon. Direct photolysis can be an important dissipation pathway for a chemical that exhibits significant light absorption above 290 nm cut-off of the solar irradiation at the earth's surface. The purpose of this test is to investigate the potential effects of solar irradiation on the test substance in water expand

EFSA 2014/NAFTA 2006

Field dissipation studies for actives and transformation products

This study evaluates laboratory and field dissipation to obtain values (DegT50) of pesticide active substances and their transformation and reaction products (metabolites) in soil are critical information used in plant protection products in soil. The values are used in the current FOCUS modelling frameworks for estimating groundwater and surface water exposure levels. In addition, they are used in the soil exposure scenarios developed by EFSA as a result of the revision of the Guidance Document on Persistence of Pesticides in Soil. expand

Plant Update Study ebook

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Learn More

To speak with us about any of our chemical regulation services, please contact our customer team on:

+44 (0)300 100 0324 or contact us here.

Contact Us - Chemicals

T: +44 (0)300 100 0324

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Pesticide Usage Survey - FROM DATA TO ACTION

Big data is the latest competitive advantage for businesses. Data is now woven into every industry and function across the global economy. The use of 'BIG DATA' will become the basis of competition and growth for businesses by enhancing the productivity and creating significant value for global economy with waste reduction and increased quality of products and services.

  • Businesses that early adopt 'Big Data' leverages data to determine how the products are actually used in the real world
  • Perform Risk Analysis


Want to know about Pesticide Usage Surveys?

Plant Uptake Studies ebook

Fera can support our partners by performing plant uptake studies to refine chemical exposure assessments. This service provides our partners with more options to reduce chemical risk, by bringing together radiochemistry, plant growth & modelling knowledge to support chemical regulatory assessments.

Download our Plant Uptake Studies ebook today

Bespoke Fate of Chemicals Studies

We can investigate 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

Telephone: +44 (0)300 100 0324


Recent Examples of our R&D projects

Meet Us at SETAC 2017 (7 - 11 May, Brussels)

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

  • Unique Event, bringing together an international forum of scientists, managers & other professionals
  • Exchange of information and ideas on the study, analysis and solutions of environmental problems
  • 7-11 May 2017, Brussels

Fate of Nanopesticides in Soil

We recently carried out a case study on soil absorption, degradation and column leaching in order to investigate the fate and behaviour of different nanoformulations of pesticides in soils.

What was discovered:

  • 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

Telephone: +44 (0)300 100 0324


Case Study - Low Solubility (Water Sediment Study)

Fera can support our partners with the legal nature of the REACH authorisation process. Our latest case study illustrates a robust tailored study design that not only incorporated regulatory requirements, but also ensured the analytical challenges posed by the plasticizer were considered.

Download our Case Study on Low Solubility

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