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    ASTM E724 - 21

    Standard Guide for Conducting Static Short-Term Chronic Toxicity Tests Starting with Embryos of Four Species of Saltwater Bivalve Molluscs

    Active Standard ASTM E724 | Developed by Subcommittee: E50.47

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.06

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    Significance and Use

    5.1 An acute toxicity test is conducted to assess the effects of a short term exposure of organisms to a test material under specific experimental conditions. An acute toxicity test does not provide information concerning whether delayed effects will occur and typically evaluates effects on survival. A chronic test is typically longer in duration and includes a sublethal endpoint to assess effects on a population that might occur beyond the exposure period. Because the bivalve embryo development test includes a sublethal endpoint, but is also short in duration, these tests are considered to be short-term chronic tests.

    5.2 Because embryos and larvae are usually assumed to be the most sensitive life stages of these bivalve mollusc species and because these species are commercially and recreationally important, results of these acute tests are often considered to be a good indication of the acceptability of pollutant concentrations to saltwater molluscan species in general. Results of these acute toxicity tests are often assumed to be an important consideration when assessing the hazard of materials to other saltwater organisms (see Guide E1023) or when deriving water quality criteria for saltwater organisms (3) .

    5.3 Results of short-term chronic toxicity tests might be used to predict effects likely to occur to aquatic organisms in field situations as a result of exposure under comparable conditions, except that toxicity to benthic species might depend on sorption or settling of the test material onto the substrate.

    5.4 Results of short-term chronic tests might be used to compare the sensitivities of different species to different test materials, and to determine the effects of various environmental factors on results of such tests.

    5.5 Results of short-term chronic toxicity tests might be useful for studying biological availability of, and structure activity relationships between, test materials.

    5.6 Results of any toxicity test will depend on temperature, composition of the dilution water, condition of the test organisms, and other factors.

    5.7 Results of short-term chronic toxicity tests might be used to predict effects likely to occur to aquatic organisms exposed to suspended particulates of dredged sediments disposed through the water column.

    5.8 Results of short-term chronic toxicity tests might be used to predict effects likely to occur to aquatic organisms exposed to a bedded whole sediments.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide describes procedures for obtaining laboratory data concerning the acute effects of a test material on embryos and the resulting larvae of four species of saltwater bivalve molluscs (Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas Thunberg; eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica Gmelin; quahog or hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria Linnaeus; and the mussel species complex (Mytilus spp.) including the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis Linnaeus; the Mediterranean mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis Lamark; and the Northern Bay Mussel, Mytilus trossulus Gould) during static 48-h exposures. These procedures will probably be useful for conducting static short-term chronic toxicity tests starting with embryos of other bivalve species (1)2 although modifications might be necessary.

    1.2 Other modifications of these procedures might be justified by special needs or circumstances. Although using procedures appropriate to a particular species or special needs and circumstances is more important than following prescribed procedures, results of tests conducted by using unusual procedures are not likely to be comparable to results of many other tests. Comparison of results obtained by using modified and unmodified versions of these procedures might provide useful information concerning new concepts and procedures for conducting 48-h acute tests starting with embryos of bivalve molluscs.

    1.3 These procedures are applicable to most chemicals, either individually or in formulations, commercial products, or known mixtures. With appropriate modifications these procedures can be used to conduct acute tests on temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH and on such materials as aqueous effluents (see also Guide E1192), leachates, oils, particulate matter, sediments, and surface waters. Renewal tests might be preferable to static tests for materials that have a high oxygen demand, are highly volatile, are rapidly biologically or chemically transformed in aqueous solution, or are removed from test solutions in substantial quantities by the test chambers or organisms during the test.

    1.4 Results of toxicity tests with embryos of bivalve molluscs should usually be reported as the EC50 based on the total incompletely developed and dead organisms. It might also be desirable to report the LC50 based only on death. In some situations, it might only be necessary to determine whether a specific concentration is toxic to embryos or whether the EC50 is above or below a specific concentration.

    1.5 This guide is arranged as follows:



    Referenced Documents




    Summary of Guide


    Significance and Use








     Construction Materials


     Test Chambers






    Dilution Water










    Test Material




     Stock Solution


     Test Concentration(s)


    Test Organisms








     Brood Stock Source and Condition


     Spawning and Fertilization






     Experimental Design


     Dissolved Oxygen




     Beginning the Test




     Duration of Test


     Biological Data


     Other Measurements


    Analytical Methods


    Acceptability of Test


    Calculation of Results





    Annex A1

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific hazard statements are given in Section 6.

    1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D4447 Guide for Disposal of Laboratory Chemicals and Samples

    E380 Practice for Use of the International System of Units (SI) (the Modernized Metric System) Withdrawn. The last approved version of this historical standard is referenced on www.astm.org.

    E729 Guide for Conducting Acute Toxicity Tests on Test Materials with Fishes, Macroinvertebrates, and Amphibians

    E943 Terminology Relating to Biological Effects and Environmental Fate

    E1023 Guide for Assessing the Hazard of a Material to Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses

    E1192 Guide for Conducting Acute Toxicity Tests on Aqueous Ambient Samples and Effluents with Fishes, Macroinvertebrates, and Amphibians

    E1367 Test Method for Measuring the Toxicity of Sediment-Associated Contaminants with Estuarine and Marine Invertebrates

    E1391 Guide for Collection, Storage, Characterization, and Manipulation of Sediments for Toxicological Testing and for Selection of Samplers Used to Collect Benthic Invertebrates

    E1706 Test Method for Measuring the Toxicity of Sediment-Associated Contaminants with Freshwater Invertebrates

    E1847 Practice for Statistical Analysis of Toxicity Tests Conducted Under ASTM Guidelines

    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 07.100.20 (Microbiology of water); 13.020.40 (Pollution, pollution control and conservation)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 77101501(Risk or hazard assessment)

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/E0724-21

    Citation Format

    ASTM E724-21, Standard Guide for Conducting Static Short-Term Chronic Toxicity Tests Starting with Embryos of Four Species of Saltwater Bivalve Molluscs, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2021, www.astm.org

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