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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to birds

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Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

A dose of 0.5 and 5 % light oil in food given to mallard ducks from hatching to 18 weeks of age. At 5% in the diet, growth rate was reduced and liver effects were seen, but all ducks survived

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

In accordance with ECHA's Guidance on information requirements and chemical safety assessment, Chapter R.7 c: Endpoint Specific Guidance, toxicity to birds must be considered for substances supplied at greater than 1000 tonnes per year. The physicochemical and environmental fate properties of the substance (e.g. low biodegradation and high bioaccumulation potential) suggest that the substance is a possible secondary poisoning risk to birds.

Data on mammalian toxicity has shown that the substance is not acutely toxic via the oral route, and that the substance is not expected to be toxic for reproduction.

A weight-of-evidence approach to this endpoint has taken into consideration a study conducted on the similar substance, no. 2 fuel oil, on mallard ducklings. The study found no oil related mortality, but there was a reduction in body weight gain in the group of ducklings exposed to 5% oil in the diet. There was also an increase in liver weight and associated increase in blood enzymes associated with liver hypertrophy. It should be noted that this oil is considered similar to Thermal cracking oil from blends of rubber, fuel oils and paraffin waxes, steam-stripped due to its similar manufacturing process i.e. both are processed via thermal cracking, however, the aliphatic and aromatic contents were found to differ.

Fuel Oil No. 2 is a middle distillate that consists of a complex mixture of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. It contains paraffins, cycloparaffins, aromatics, and olefins from approximately C11 to C20. Aromatic components include benzene, alkylbenzenes, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, cumenes, naphthalenes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). It commonly comprises a blend of straight-run and catalytically cracked distillates, for example, Distillates (petroleum), straight-run middle (CAS 64741-44-2) and Distillates (petroleum), light catalytic cracked (CAS 64741-59-9) and boils over the range 141-462°C. Typically the aliphatic/aromatic ratio is 3:1.

Thermal cracking oil from blends of rubber, fuel oils and paraffin waxes, steam-stripped is also a complex combination of hydrocarbons, predominantly falling within the range C7-C31. Although it contains a relatively high proportion of aromatic hydrocarbons compared to Fuel Oil no. 2, the chemical identities of these components are similar in both oils. Like the Distillates (petroleum), light catalytic cracked component of Fuel Oil No.2, it is also produced by a thermal cracking process.

Thermal cracking oil from blends of rubber, fuel oils and paraffin waxes, steam-stripped and Fuel Oil No. 2 boil over a similar, broad temperature range. In addition, the two oils are similar in a number of other physico-chemical respects including pour point, flash point, vapour pressure, viscosity and relative density.