Biological test methods publications

Biological test methods are used in private, government, and academic laboratories across Canada to assess the effects of environmental toxicants on aquatic, sediment, and soil organisms. Some of these standardized biological test methods are required for industries (for example, mining, pulp and paper) to comply with Canadian wastewater regulations. Biological test methods are also used for chemical risk assessment (for example, Chemicals Management Plan) and ecological risk assessment.

Read more about biological test method development

Publications: Biological test methods and guidance documents are amended periodically through the publication of amendment sheets to be used in conjunction with existing methods, or through the publication of subsequent editions. This table provides links to the most recent edition of biological test methods and guidance documents. It lists each report title, publication date with amendments, reference number, and a thumbnail image of the report cover.

Contact Us: If you require a method for which a link is not provided, please email your request to methods@ec.gc.ca.

A laboratory technician performs solution renewal and monitoring of Ceriodaphnia dubia (water fleas) in a toxicity test.
A laboratory technician performs solution renewal and monitoring of Ceriodaphnia dubia (water fleas) in a toxicity test.
Male and female Pimephales promelas (fathead minnows) in culture.
Male and female Pimephales promelas (fathead minnows) in culture.
Biological Test Methods and Guidance Documents
Report Type Report Title Links Publication Date Reference Report Cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Biological Test Method: Acute Lethality Test Using Rainbow Trout HTML Version
PDF Version

2007 & 1996 Amendments, 1990 First edition

RM/09 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Biological Test Method: Acute Lethality Test Using Daphnia spp. HTML Version
PDF Version

1996 Amendments, 1990 First edition

RM/11 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Biological Test Method: Reference Method for Determining Acute Lethality of Effluents to Rainbow Trout HTML Version
PDF Version

2016 & 2007 Amendments, 2000 Second edition

RM/13 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Biological Test Method: Reference Method for Determining Acute Lethality of Effluents to Daphnia magna HTML Version
PDF Version

2016 Amendments, 2000 Second edition

RM/14 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Biological Test Method: Test of Reproduction and Survival Using the Cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia HTML Version
PDF Version

2007
Second edition

RM/21 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Biological Test Method: Test of Larval Growth and Survival Using Fathead Minnows HTML Version
PDF Version

2011
Second edition

RM/22 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Biological Test Method: Growth Inhibition Test Using a Freshwater Alga HTML Version
PDF Version

2007
Second edition

RM/25 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Biological Test Method: Toxicity Tests Using Early Life Stages of Salmonid Fish (Rainbow Trout) HTML Version
PDF Version

1998
Second edition

RM/28 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Biological Test Method: Test for Measuring the Inhibition of Growth Using the Freshwater Macrophyte, Lemna minor HTML Version
PDF Version

2007
Second edition

RM/37 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Procedure for pH Stabilization During the Testing of Acute Lethality of Wastewater Effluent to Rainbow Trout HTML Version
PDF Version

2008

RM/50 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater Procedure for pH Stabilization During the Testing of Acute Lethality of Pulp and Paper Effluent to Rainbow Trout PDF Version

2018

RM/59 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater,  Guidance Supplementary Background and Guidance for Investigating Acute Lethality of Wastewater Effluent to Rainbow Trout PDF Version 2008 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater,  Guidance Supplementary Guidance for Investigating Acute Lethality of Pulp and Paper Mill Effluents due to Ammonia PDF Version 2018 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater, Marine Biological Test Method: Toxicity Test Using Luminescent Bacteria PDF Version 1992 RM/24 Report cover
Aquatic, Freshwater, Sediment Biological Test Method: Test for Survival, Growth and Reproduction in Sediment and Water Using the Freshwater Amphipod Hyalella azteca PDF Version 2017
Third edition
RM/33 Report cover
Aquatic, Marine Biological Test Method: Reference Method for Determining Acute Lethality Using Threespine Stickleback PDF Version 2017
Second edition
RM/10 Report cover
Aquatic, Marine, Sediment Biological Test Method: Fertilization Assay Using Echinoids (Sea Urchins and Sand Dollars) HTML Version
PDF Version
2011
Second edition
RM/27 Report cover
Aquatic, Marine Biological Test Method: Reference Method for Determining Acute Lethality Using Acartia tonsa PDF Version 2019 RM/60 Report cover
Freshwater, Marine, Sediment Biological Test Method: Reference Method for Determining the Toxicity of Sediment Using Luminescent Bacteria in a Solid-Phase Test HTML Version
PDF Version

2002

RM/42 Report cover
Freshwater, Sediment Biological Test Method: Test for Survival and Growth in Sediment Using Larvae of Freshwater Midges (Chironomus tentans or Chironomus riparius) PDF Version

1997

RM/32 Report cover
Guidance Guidance Document on Control of Toxicity Test Precision Using Reference Toxicants PDF Version

1990

RM/12 Report cover
Guidance Guidance Document on Application and Interpretation of Single-species Tests in Environmental Toxicology PDF Version

1999

RM/34 Report cover
Guidance Guidance Document for Testing the Pathogenicity and Toxicity of New Microbial Substances to Aquatic and Terrestrial Organisms PDF Version

2016
Second edition

RM/44 Report cover
Guidance Guidance Document on Statistical Methods for Environmental Toxicity Tests PDF Version Footnote 1 

2007 Amendments, 2005 First edition Footnote 2

RM/46 Report cover
Guidance Recommended Procedure for the Importation of Test Organisms for Sublethal Toxicity Testing PDF Version

1999

Report cover
Guidance, Marine Revised Procedures for Adjusting Salinity of Effluent Samples for Marine Sublethal Toxicity Testing Conducted under Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) Programs PDF Version

2001

Report cover
Guidance, Sediment Guidance Document on Collection and Preparation of Sediments for Physicochemical Characterization and Biological Testing PDF Version

1994

RM/29 Report cover
Guidance, Sediment Guidance Document on Measurement of Toxicity Test Precision Using Control Sediments Spiked with a Reference Toxicant PDF Version

1995

RM/30 Report cover
Guidance, Soil Guidance Document on the Sampling and Preparation of Contaminated Soil for Use in Biological Testing PDF Version

2012

RM/53 Report cover
Marine, Sediment Biological Test Method: Acute Test for Sediment Toxicity Using Marine or Estuarine Amphipods PDF Version

1998 Amendments, 1992 First edition

RM/26 Report cover
Marine, Sediment Biological Test Method: Reference Method for Determining Acute Lethality of Sediment to Marine or Estuarine Amphipods HTML Version
PDF Version

1998

RM/35 Report cover
Marine, Sediment Biological Test Method: Test for Survival and Growth in Sediment Using Spionid Polychaete Worms (Polydora cornuta) PDF Version

2001

RM/41 Report cover
Marine, Sediment Reference Method for Measuring the Toxicity of Contaminated Sediment to Embryos and Larvae of Echinoids (Sea Urchins or Sand Dollars) HTML Version
PDF Version

2014

RM/58 Report cover
Soil Biological Test Method: Tests for Toxicity of Contaminated Soil to Earthworms (Eisenia andrei, Eisenia fetida or Lumbricus terrestris) PDF Version

2007 Amendments, 2004 First edition Footnote 2

RM/43 Report cover
Soil Biological Test Method: Test for Measuring Emergence and Growth of Terrestrial Plants Exposed to Contaminants in Soil HTML Version
PDF Version

2007 Amendments, 2004 First edition Footnote 2

RM/45 Report cover
Soil Biological Test Method: Test for Measuring Survival and Reproduction of Springtails Exposed to Contaminants in Soil HTML Version
PDF Version

2014
Second edition

RM/47 Report cover
Soil Biological Test Method: Test for Growth in Contaminated Soil Using Terrestrial Plants Native to the Boreal Region PDF Version

2013

RM/56 Report cover
Soil Biological Test Method: Test for Measuring Reproduction of Oribatid Mites Exposed to Contaminants in Soil PDF Version

2020

RM/61 Report cover
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