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TNI Standards Guidance

Disclaimer: This material represents the opinion of its authors. It is intended solely as guidance and does not include any mandatory requirements except where such requirements are referenced. This guidance does not establish expectations of being implemented universally, exclusively, in whole, or in part.

This guidance does not establish or affect legal rights or obligations and is not finally determinative of the issues it addresses. It does not create any rights enforceable by any party in litigation with TNI, its accreditation bodies, or affiliated institutions. Any decisions made by TNI regarding requirements addressed in this guidance will be made by applying the applicable standards, policies or procedures to the relevant facts.


Module: Toxicity

Subject: Air Quality in the WET Lab

Question 1

Someone mentioned that perfume is strictly prohibited from their laboratory when working with Ceriodaphnia dubia.  How are perfume usage and organism health linked? Is there a specific situation/study where this was pin-pointed as a true problem? Or is this just a standard “good laboratory practice”?

One lab represented on the WET Expert Committee performed root cause investigations (RCI) to determine the impact to cultures and tests from personal cosmetics and identified personal cosmetics as confounding test results as well as wasp spray that was killing some of their Daphnia cultures. While personal hygiene is important it cannot compromise organism health especially in confined areas typically used in WET culture / testing that must control environmental conditions.

The TNI standard says:

“ Constant and Consistent Test conditions, c) Air used for aeration of test solutions, dilution waters and cultures shall be free of oil and fumes.“

and the Freshwater acute and chronic manuals [EPA-821-R-02-012, EPA-821-R-02-013, EPA-821-R-02-014] say,

“5.1.2 The facilities must be well ventilated and free from fumes.  Laboratory ventilation systems should be checked to ensure that return air from chemistry laboratories and/or sample holding areas is not circulated to test organism culture rooms or toxicity test rooms, or that air from toxicity test rooms does not contaminate culture areas. Sample preparation, culturing, and toxicity test areas should be separated to avoid cross contamination of cultures or toxicity test solutions with toxic fumes. 

Ultimately, this is up to each individual laboratory and can be considered prudent laboratory policy to ensure that their organisms are not negatively impacted from personal care products used by their staff.


EPA WET Methods as codified at 40 CFR 136.3, Table 1A

Methods for Measuring the Acute Toxicity of Effluents and Receiving Waters to Freshwater and Marine Organisms, Fifth Edition. October 2002.  United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Water, Washington, D.C., EPA 821-R-02-012

Short Term Methods For Estimating The Chronic Toxicity of Effluents and Receiving Water to Freshwater Organisms
, Fourth Edition. October 2002. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Water, Washington, D.C., EPA 821-R-02-013

Short-term Methods for Estimating the Chronic Toxicity of Effluents and Receiving Waters to Marine and Estuarine Organisms,
Third Edition.  October 2002. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Water, Washington, D.C., EPA 821-R-02-014

2009 TNI V1M7

V1M7 Section