- Prior to 1981, manufacturers of oil spill dispersants wishing their products to carry the South African Bureau of Standards (S.A.B.S.) mark of approval or to conform to the applicable S.A.B.S. specification had to have the testing undertaken in the United Kingdom. A new test was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1975, and this and several other tests in use worldwide are reviewed. After consideration of the requirements of a dispersant toxicity test, the necessary modifications for the South African situation are detailed. Results show that the test is comparable with those in use overseas as regards licensing purposes, but there are still basic research problems on dispersant use to be overcome. 1983 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.