New and updated methods to detect and characterize endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are urgently needed for the purpose of environmental risk assessment since these substances are often not detected using existing chronic toxicity tests. Numerous reports on the effects of EDCs on crustacean development and reproduction have been published and the development of life-cycle tests with crustaceans has been prioritized within the OECD work program for endocrine disrupter testing and assessment. As a result, Sweden, and Denmark initiated a proposal for development of a full life-cycle test with marine copepods (Acartia tonsa, Nitocra spinipes, Tisbe battagliai, and Amphiascus tenuiremis). The present paper gives an overview on the endocrine system of crustaceans with special emphasis on development and reproduction, which are targets for endocrine disruption, and reviews available methods for detecting effects on development and reproduction in calanoid and harpacticoid copepods. A draft OECD guideline Copepod Development and Reproduction Test has been developed, and a pre-validation of this draft guideline was completed in 2005. An updated draft guideline, taking into account the results of the pre-validation, is now under validation in an international ring-test, which is running till the end of 2006.
- toxicity testing
- endocrine disruption in crustaceans
- full life-cycle test
- standard method