The study was designed to evaluate two methods that can be used to estimate the biological impact of organics and inorganics that may be in wastes applied to land for treatment and disposal. The two methods were the contact test and the artificial soil test. The contact test is a 48 hr test using an adult worm, a small glass vial, and filter paper to which the test chemical or waste is applied. The test is designed to provide close contact between the worm and a chemical similar to the situation in soils. The method provides a rapid estimate of the relative toxicity of chemicals and industrial wastes. The artificial soil test uses a mixture of sand, kaolin, peat and calcium carbonate as a representative soil. Different concentrations of the test material are added to the artificial soil, adult worms are added and worm survival is evaluated after two weeks. These studies have shown that: earthworms can distinguish between a wide variety of chemicals with a high degree of accuracy.