Brixham Environmental Laboratory - part of AstraZeneca

Brixham Environmental Laboratory - part of AstraZeneca

Brixham Environmental Laboratory provides a multi-disciplinary service to industry for the investigation and resolution of environmental issues. Experienced laboratory and field investigation teams can investigate the fate and effects of products and wastes in air, water and soil environments. These teams are supported by a comprehensive modelling, consultancy and information service. Brixham Environmental Laboratory is a part of AstraZeneca.

Company details

Freshwater Quarry , Brixham , Devon TQ5 8BA United Kingdom
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Business Type:
Industry Type:
Analytical Services
Market Focus:
Internationally (various countries)

The objective of Brixham Environmental Laboratory is to deliver fit-for-purpose environmental support to the chemical industry world-wide, providing assessments of the environmental fate and effects of new and existing products and intermediates.  The laboratory can also offer environmental support for the manufacturing processes that produce those products.

In 1948 Brixham Environmental Laboratory (BEL) began life as a testing facility for ICI Paints, the laboratory moved to its current site on the Brixham seafront in 1957.  During the 1960’s the remit of the laboratory gradually changed from the testing of the efficacy of marine antifouling paints, to testing and predicting the fate and effects of products and effluents in the environment. The laboratory transferred to Zeneca Limited following the demerger of ICI in 1993 and in 1999 the laboratory became part of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

Throughout its history the laboratory has worked for both its parent company and external clients, who have included a wide range of companies from within the international chemical industry.  Because of that wide customer base the laboratory has strict processes and procedures in place to ensure client confidentiality.

BEL was first given a Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliance certificate in 1979, one of the earliest European laboratories to be compliant with GLP.  Now all regulatory studies completed by the laboratory are completed within the GLP framework.  A copy of the laboratory’s current GLP certificate can be downloaded here.

GLP Certificate

The laboratory has had continuous investment to ensure that its facilities and equipment remain state-of –the-art.  The ecotoxicology and analytical chemistry building that was built in 1991 is still one of the most advanced, purpose built, ecotoxicology facilities in the world.

In 2006 another major investment took place, a four storey building containing a new animal husbandry unit, new environmental fate laboratories and a new information centre.  This forms part of a programme of continuous maintenance and improvement for both the site facilities and the laboratory equipment.

BEL also invests in its staff, 80% are graduates and more than 40% have post graduate degrees.  Many of those staff have completed their degrees whilst working at the laboratory, part of a long term commitment to both staff development and the development of applied environmental science.

BEL currently employs up to 84 people from all over the world with a wide range of professional qualifications.  These include internationally acclaimed scientists with Doctorates and established publication records as well as individuals with professional business and management qualifications.  Our 34 bench scientists, most with a degree in an environmental / analytical science, make up our largest cohort.  As with any large modern employer, the site also requires a range of service and support staff to ensure efficiency

Our internal staff BEL logo competition is producing some interesting pictures!