Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

TOXPROF-Determining the toxicity profile of major oils transported in the European maritime area to establish the applicability of biological effects techniques for risk assessment and management - ME1311

Description
Key Customer Purpose
The Oslo and Paris (OSPAR) Commission in 2006 requested that ICES, through the Working Group on the Biological Effects of Contaminants (WGBEC), consider and assess the long term impact of oil spills on marine and coastal life.

Summary Objective
The primary objective of this proposal is to toxicologically profile the major oil types and Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) transported within EU waters using the suite of bioassays and biomarkers recommended by the ICES WGBEC and to produce a guidance document on the use of biological effects techniques for oil spills.
Objective
1) The overall aim and objectives of the project are detailed below.

The primary objective of this proposal is to toxicologically profile the major oil and Hazardous Noxious Substance (HNS) types transported within EU waters using a suite of bioassays and biomarkers recommended by the International Council for Exploration of the Seas (ICES) Working Group for Biological Effects of Contaminants (WGBEC).

Toxicological profiling / hazard identification using bioassays is required to determine the responses to the given oil types. The importance of undertaking this research is to establish the applicability of biological effects techniques (bioassays and biomarkers) for risk assessment, management and policy purposes after oil spill accidents.

The need for these data were highlighted following a request by the Oslo and Paris (OSPAR) Commission in 2006 that ICES, through the WGBEC, consider and assess the long term impact of oil spills on marine and coastal life as requested from OSPAR and provide a guidance document on the use of biological effects techniques for oil spill situations. In addition to providing a background document (ICES WGBEC Report 2006), the working group concluded that research was required on the toxicity profiling of the major oil types transported in a given region. This proposal seeks to fulfill this important data gap. We envisage that the data generated by the project will provide base-line reference data should a spill occur. These data would be used to inform the assessment of the environmental risk posed by the spill, identify vulnerable species and suitable monitoring organisms with expected effects.

2) Scientific objectives (with detailed account of their relationship to the themes of the call and to current European AMP research activities)

The scientific objectives of TOXPROF have a strong relationship with the RISK ASSESSMENT STUDIES theme of the call with specific reference to:
• Studies relating to the transport of dangerous goods in the marine environment (Hazard Identification): TOXPROF will ecotoxicologically and chemically characterise the major oil and HNS types being transported within the EU.
• Studies relating to biomarkers, e.g. key species, sensitive species, ‘first alert’ species: TOXPROF will provide biomarker data for both key and sensitive monitoring species.


The specific scientific objectives of the proposal are:
1. Select and chemically characterise the major oil and HNS types being transported within the EU.
2. Toxicity profile the 8 major transported oil/HNS types (in weathered form) using a suite of bioassays.
3. Toxicity profile 3 of the major transported oil types (in weathered form) using a suite of bivalve and fish biomarkers.
4. Identify the petrogenic components responsible for the observed effects.
5. Publish and disseminate the data along with a guidance document so that they can be used to inform oil spill risk assessments.

3) MILESTONES identified for Cefas component of the programme
• Conduct oil toxicity profiling with bioassays
• Conduct exposure studies on fish and mussels and oil toxicity profiling with mussels
• Identify compounds responsible for effects
• Data analysis and final reporting
• Interim and final reports to Defra
Project Documents
• Two Page Summary : Two Page Summary What are the risks posed to aquatic life by the hazardous compounds transported around EU marine waters   (464k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2008

To: 2010

Cost: £52,168
Contractor / Funded Organisations
CEFAS
Keywords
Environmental Protection              
Oil              
Oil Dispersal              
Pollution              
Residues              
Water Pollution              
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Marine