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Development and Application of Sediment Toxicity Test for Regulatory Purposes

Water Quality Control

  1. Thomas Ángel Del Valls Casillas

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.wq1515

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Ángel Del Valls Casillas, T. 2005. Development and Application of Sediment Toxicity Test for Regulatory Purposes. Water Encyclopedia. 2:458–464.

Author Information

  1. University of Cadiz, Puerto Real, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Since the mid-1970s research has focused on the development of sediment toxicity bioassays that could effectively predict potential biological adverse effects and could be used as an effective tool to characterize sediment toxicity. It is widely accepted that there are no chemical measurements that reliably predict sediment toxicity. In addition, sediments are a complex matrix that require complex tests for estimating the actual bioavailability of contaminants (7). Here we review the evaluation process that has been applied in the different initiatives carried out to introduce this new approach in a regulatory context. The design of toxicity tests for the characterization of dredged material in Spain is used as an example.


  • sediment quality;
  • regulatory agencies;
  • bioassay;
  • contaminated sediments;
  • sediment toxicity