This document specifies the derivation of biological equivalence (BEQ) concentrations for results of in vitro bioassays which are based on measuring effects on a biological process such as enzyme induction or cellular growth. The concept described here can be used for any biological assay after the proof of its applicability.
To derive BEQ concentrations, the effect on a biological process caused by a sample – i.e. the activity of the sample – is expressed in terms of a concentration of a reference compound which results in an equivalent effect on the process. The term "sample" used in this document addresses environmental samples as well as defined mixtures and pure compounds used as test item in a bioassay. BEQ concentrations can be derived for environmental water samples, extracts of environmental water samples including tap water or solutions of pure chemicals or mixtures of chemicals.