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Toxicology Services

Biological Tissue AnalysisNorth Water District Laboratory Services, Inc. (NWDLS) has been providing a broad range of environmental toxicology services since 1978. These services include whole effluent toxicity biomonitoring, sediment toxicity characterization, and product toxicity tests.

Effluent Biomonitoring

NWDLS provides a full range of acute and short-term chronic whole effluent toxicity (WET) tests with marine and freshwater organisms. As part of our commitment to client service, NWDLS offers door-todoor sample handling and transport (including sample collection, where needed), custom reporting, and computer-based information management (IM) tools for tracking permit requirements to assure compliance with testing schedules.

Discharges that fail to meet permit limits may be required to conduct a toxicity reduction evaluation (TRE), consisting of a three-phased testing program, to characterize and identify the causative toxicants (toxicity identification evaluation). NWDLS’ experienced toxicologists, chemists, and environmental engineers investigate and identify the causes and sources of effluent toxicity and provide cost-effective solutions for compliance with permit requirements.

Product Toxicity Testing

NWDLS offers a broad range of toxicity testing services for evaluation of chemicals and product mixtures used in the environment, particularly drilling fluids and oilfield chemicals, lubricants, and detergents. NWDLS’ staff can develop novel sample preparation and/or testing procedures to accommodate unique test material properties.

Sediment Toxicity Characterization

NWDLS provides sediment testing services for both marine and freshwater environments. Programs support dredged material testing for open-water or confined disposal sites conducted in accordance with EPA, US Army Corps of Engineers, or regional guidelines. Services provided by NWDLS include:

  • Sampling and analysis plans
  • Toxicity testing by “Green Book” or other appropriate protocols
  • Bioaccumulation assessments
  • Evaluation of disposal options

Test Organism Cultures

For the production of test organisms, NWDLS maintains an extensive culture facility and dedicated full-time culture biologists. Species available at the NWDLS laboratory include:

  • Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)
  • Inland silverside (Menidia beryllina)
  • Sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus)
  • Mysid (Mysidopsis bahia)
  • Waterfleas (Ceriodaphnia dubia, Daphnia pulex, and Daphnia magna)
  • Freshwater amphipod (Hyalella azteca)
  • Dipteran (Chironomus tentans)

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