Could a harmonized tiered approach assess dispersant toxicity in Italy and France?

  • Loredana ManfraEmail author
  • Andrea Tornambè
  • Julien Guyomarch
  • Karine Duboscq
  • Olga Faraponova
  • Claudia Sebbio
Challenges in Emerging Environmental Contaminants


In recent years, EU countries have recognized national policies to authorize dispersant use to mitigate the petroleum hydrocarbon contamination in case of unintentional oil spills at sea. A harmonization of dispersant approval procedures is needed because the application of different methodologies agrees on dissimilar toxic responses for the same dispersant in different European countries. Actually, different dispersant approval procedures are applied in France and Italy with one French mandatory toxicity test and three Italian bioassays accompanied with different criteria of toxicity classification. In this paper, a harmonized tiered approach is proposed to address the dispersant ecotoxicological assessment in these two nations. Our approach, applicable at the European level, introduces two mandatory tests (algal growth inhibition test and mortality test with crustaceans) and one discretionary test (fish mortality test), by reducing use of vertebrates as much as possible in accordance with humane principles and animal welfare.


Oil spill management Dispersants Toxicity Harmonized tiered approach 



This work was funded by the RAMOGE Executive Secretariat within the project “Harmonization of protocols and criteria for evaluation and classification of dispersant ecotoxicity” (2018).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loredana Manfra
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Andrea Tornambè
    • 1
  • Julien Guyomarch
    • 3
  • Karine Duboscq
    • 3
  • Olga Faraponova
    • 1
  • Claudia Sebbio
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)RomeItaly
  2. 2.Stazione Zoologica Anton DohrnNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (CEDRE)BrestFrance

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