This document specifies one of the methods for evaluating the habitat function of soils and determining the effects of soil contaminants and chemicals on the reproduction of Eisenia fetida/Eisenia andrei by dermal and alimentary uptake. This chronic test is applicable to soils and soil materials of unknown quality, e.g. from contaminated sites, amended soils, soils after remediation, agricultural or other sites concerned, and waste materials.
Effects of substances are assessed using a standard soil, preferably a defined artificial soil substrate. For contaminated soils, the effects are determined in the test soil and in a control soil. According to the objective of the study, the control and dilution substrate (dilution series of contaminated soil) should be either an uncontaminated soil comparable to the soil sample to be tested (reference soil) or a standard
soil (e.g. artificial soil).
This method is designed mainly for determining the effects of soil contaminants and chemicals on the reproduction of Eisenia fetida/Eisenia andrei. Technical information is also provided on how to use Eisenia fetida/andrei for testing chemicals under tropical conditions (see Annex A). Finally, this method also includes technical information on how to use it with other environmentally relevant earthworm species: e.g., Aporrectodea caliginosa and Dendrodrilus rubidus (see Annexes B, C).
This method does not apply to substances for which the air/soil partition coefficient is greater than one, or to substances with vapour pressure exceeding 300 Pa, at 25 °C. This method does not take into account the persistence of the substance during the test.