LabLogic helps ensure REACH chemical fate requirements are met

19 May 2011

Since June 2007, the EU regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) has imposed on manufacturers of all chemical products an obligation to identify their human health and environmental risks to ensure that they are manufactured and used safely.

For agro-chemical and pharmaceutical companies - and the contract laboratories that carry out studies for them - the relevant directives (91/414 and EMEA/CHMP/SWP/4447/00 respectively) require extensive eco-toxicological testing to determine the environmental fate of products under development in air, water, and soil.

One company offering software and instrumentation suited to this growth area of metabolism studies is LabLogic Systems. Dr Huw Loaring, the company'’s systems director, says: "In recent times we have seen a growth in the use of radioactivity for environmental fate studies and companies are turning to our solutions to consolidate their data. Our Debra LIMS and Sara software, for example, are used in a wide range of studies such as OECD Test 316 for biodegradation by soil photolysis."

Debra can be used to manage livestock and plant metabolism studies, and the additional Sara specialist module for soil residues adds functionality for a range of environmental fate and biodegradation analyses.

Studies of transformations in soil and sediment (OECD 307/308) can often last up to 12 months and accumulate a lot of data, so having a LIMS that can manage the whole process - especially the routine measurement and adjustment of moisture content of the test systems - helps reduce the possibility of mistakes being made, as technicians and study directors can clearly see any missing data points.

Sara allows for the configuration of multiple soil samples and the measurement of their water holding capacities at different pressures, as well as the dispensing of soil test systems as the study is initiated. Sample analysis capturing weight and LSC data allows for the easy calculation of concentration and total recovery of the test article to be tabulated for the final report.

If metabolite profiling and identification is needed, LabLogic’'s radio-HPLC detector Beta-RAM Model 5 with Stop-Flow measurement is perfect for samples where high sensitivity is key.

And the company’'s Trace residue extraction software can be used when matrices demand a high degree of sample preparation and the EPA requires to see a flow-chart of the logic used for extraction and isolation. Trace keeps track of the often long and complex extraction processes used and performs the necessary calculations to determine the concentration of each component in the process, all of which feeds into the diagrammatic extraction tree that aids easy understanding.

Dr Loaring adds: "LabLogic has always worked closely with key partners in the agrochemical industry and specialist contract research organisations to produce systems that reduce study times, improve quality and adhere to strict regulatory requirements, so our involvement in environmental fate work is a further extension of that policy."

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