IRC's laboratory offers a wide range of toxicity tests for freshwater, seawater, sediment and soil samples. The IRC toxicity laboratory is accredited by the Laboratory Accreditation and participates in a regular proficiency testing program.



Tests Conducted at our toxicity testing laboratory include:                  


  • Rainbow trout 96 hour acute test
  • Rainbow trout early life stage test for survival and fertilization success
  • Daphnia magna 48 hour acute test
  • Ceriodaphnia dubia test for sublethal toxicity and reproductive inhibition
  • Microtox toxicity test
  • Pseudokirshneriella subcapitata 72 hour growth inhibition test


  • Echinoid (sea urchins and sand dollars) fertilization success test
  • Three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) toxicity test
  • Microtox toxicity test

Sediment and Soil

  • Macoma balthica mortality and avoidance test for sediments
  • Chironomus tentans survival and growth test
  • Marine amphipod (Rhepoxinias abronius and/or Eohaustorius washintonianus) acute mortality test
  • Hyalella azteca survival and growth test for sediments
  • Microtox solid-phase toxicity test

All test descritions provided below should be used as guidelines only. Please contact the IRC lab to obtain additional information regarding our toxicity testing services.

Samples can be received by the laboratory Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm. We understand, however, that in times of emergencies, samples may be collected and require set up, outside of this schedule. Our laboratory will be more than willing to accomodate any sampling schedule with just a phone call. All sample containers delivered to IRC should be labeled with the sample identification, client name and sample date. To ensure that all required information is included with each sample shipment, it is recommended that an IRC Chain of Custody Form accompany each sample delivery. IRC labels and Chain of Custody Forms are available upon request.

Clients have the choice of either collecting samples themselves or arranging for samples to be collected by qualified IRC staff. Please contact IRC for further details.

Test results are typically faxed or emailed in short form, usually within a day of test completion. A final full report is completed within approximately two weeks. Specialized tests may require a longer period for report preparation. Updates during testing can also be faxed or emailed at the request of the client.

IRC also provides toxicity identification (TIE) and reduction evaluations (TRE) using USEPA specified methods. These evaluations assess the toxicity of various common toxicants in effluents and area used to identify the cause(s) of whole effluent toxicity.

Please contact an IRC representative regarding current price information for our toxicity testing services.


Bioassay: A test using a living organism.

Acute: An effect observed over a relatively short period relative to an organisms' lifespan. Acute toxicity is typically reflected in effects on survival.

Sublethal: An effect observed over a relatively long period relative to an organisms' lifespan. Sublethal toxicity is typically reflected in effects on reproduction, growth and survival.

LC50: The median lethal concentration or the concentration at which there is 50% organism mortality.

LT50: The median lethal time or the time at which there is 50% organism mortality. Only a 100% (undiluted) concentration is used for this test.

IC50: The median inhibiting concentration or the concentration at which there is a 50% inhibitory effect.

Holding Time: The maximum time allowed to elapse between sample collection and test initiation. 

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