Effect-Based Trigger Values (EBTs) are innovative tools for assessing and managing the potential risks posed by chemicals in our environment.
Traditionally, chemical risk assessment has been based on determining the concentration of specific pollutants. While these analyses are valuable, they do not always reflect the full extent of the damage caused by micropollutants, particularly in terms of their combined effects.
Effect-Based Trigger Values (EBT) offer a complementary approach that considers the real effects of chemicals on biota and ecosystems through the results of in vitro tests, rather than focusing solely on concentrations.
These new 'standardised' values enable regulators, policy-makers and industry professionals to make informed decisions about water quality management, pollution control and product safety.
Bioassays and EBT
Bioassays are crucial tools in determining EBT. They involve exposing organisms or cell cultures to specific substances and then measuring biological responses. These responses can include changes in growth, reproduction, survival, etc. The data obtained from these bioassays are used as a basis for defining EBTs, identifying the concentrations of substances at which significant biological effects are observed.
There are several advantages to using EBTs and bioassays together. These methods take account of real effects and complex interactions, making risk assessment more complete and realistic. In addition, EBTs have a remarkable ability to detect effects at much lower concentrations, improving the accuracy of risk assessment.
The practical applications of bioassays and EBT cover a wide range of fields, from environmental monitoring and pharmaceutical research to industrial safety assessments. These tools enable us to assess the impact of chemical substances on ecosystems, human health and regulatory compliance.
Aware of these challenges, the Tame-Water laboratory is one of the first bioassay laboratories in France to adapt its results to this interpretation grid. In addition to this technological advance, this invaluable tool enhances the relevance of its analyses and provides its partners with more accurate decision-making support.