Methods and criteria to assess the eco-toxicity of construction products

Raindrops on coated exterior railings

Statements on the environmental compatibility of exterior construction products were made via eco-toxicological test systems. TZW conducted supplementary screening analysis for organic compounds in eluates.

The project has contributed to harmonising eco-toxicological test methods for construction products to implement life cycle requirements of the Construction Products Regulation. The recommendations prepared in a previous project for a battery of tests for the eco-toxicological assessment as part of the environmental compatibility of construction products for outdoor use (German Environment Agency document 74/2016) were included in the Technical Rule DIN CEN/TR 17105. This shall gain a more binding status when it is converted into a Technical Specification (TS) in the future.

A ring trial according to DIN ISO 5726 was organised and conducted for the quality assurance and validation of the prepared draft guidelines. About 30 construction products were selected and the available data viewed on inorganic and organic analytical screening. A collection of these products have been eluted and investigated in biotests. Flat or monolithic products have been eluted in a dynamic surface leaching test (DSLT, according to DIN CEN/TS 16637-2), granular products via a percolation test in the upward stream (DIN CEN/TS 16637-3). The aqueous eluates obtained were undergo basic chemical analysis and/or more extensive analysis and full eco-toxicity testing. In the project, TZW was performing GC-MS screening and suspected target analyses using LC-ESI-TOF.

Secondly, proposals should be drafted for three product groups on how to integrate the methods in the criteria for awarding the Blue Angel certification. Suitable award criteria should also be developed for the eco-toxicological assessment. The results were presented as part of an online meeting.


Heisterkamp, I.; Gartiser, S.; Kretzschmar, M.; Schoknecht, U.; Kalbe, U.;  Happel, O.;  Ratte, M.: Methoden und Kriterien zur Bewertung der Ökotoxizität von Bauprodukten – Abschlussbericht, UBA Texte 151 (2022)

Heisterkamp, I.; Ratte, M.; Schoknecht, U.; Gartiser, S.; Kalbe, U.; Ilvonen, O.: Ecotoxicological evaluation of construction products: inter‑laboratory test with DSLT and percolation test eluates in an aquatic biotest battery. Environmental Sciences Europe 33:75, 1-14 (2021)

Schoknecht, U.; Kalbe, U.; Heisterkamp, I.; Kretzschmar, M.; Gartiser, S.; Happel, O.; Ilvonen, O.: Release of substance from joint grouts based on various binder types and their ecotoxic effects. Environmental Sciences Europe 34:111 (2022)

Heisterkamp, I.; Gartiser, S.;  Schoknecht, U.; Happel, O.; Kalbe, U.; Kretzschmar, M.; Ilvonen, O.: Investigating the ecotoxicity of construction product eluates as multicomponent mixtures. Environmental Sciences Europe 35:7, 1-20 (2023)