The ecotoxicology assessment of wood preservatives and their active ingredients by means of germination tests using cress - A critical consideration
P Jüngel, A O Rapp, E Melcher
With putting the Biocidal Products Directive 98/08/EC (BPD) in place an environmental risk assessment for wood preservatives and impregnated timber is requested. To assess possible risks, suitable test methods are required, which reveal the ecotoxicological profile including environmental fate and behaviour of treated commodities. Germination and growth tests could contribute to the determination of ecotoxicological effects on plant seeds and their embryos. Investigations were carried out in order to determine the germination and the growth behaviour of cress with the aim, to investigate the possibilities and limitations of these tests. The results show that the cress germination test is very sensitive as a rule. A prevention of the germination as such does not indicate a possible toxicity of the formulation investigated. The assessment of the germination processes as the only criterion is not a sufficient measure for the ecotoxicological profile of wood preservatives and impregnated timber. Germination tests, however, can supply a first indication concerning a possible effect on the environment. In connection with the other methods, it is possible to receive supplementary information in a very short time.