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The weaker points of fish acute toxicity tests and how tests on embryos can solve some issues.
Fish acute toxicity tests play an important role in environmental risk assessment and hazard classification because they allow for first estimates of the relative toxicity of various chemicals in various species. However, such tests need to be carefully interpreted. Here we shortly summarize the main issues which are linked to the genetics and the condition of the test animals, the standardized test situations, the uncertainty about whether a given test species can be seen as representative to a given fish fauna, the often missing knowledge about possible interaction effects, especially with micropathogens, and statistical problems like small sample sizes and, in some cases, pseudoreplication. We suggest that multi-factorial embryo tests on ecologically relevant species solve many of these issues, and we shortly explain how such tests could be done to avoid the weaker points of fish acute toxicity tests.
Animals, Embryo, Nonmammalian/drug effects, Fishes/embryology, Fishes/genetics, Guidelines as Topic, Host-Parasite Interactions, Risk Assessment/methods, Sample Size, Species Specificity, Toxicity Tests, Acute/methods
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