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Short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Description of key information

With high probability acutely not harmful to aquatic invertebrates.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

In water, dimethyl ether - boron trifluoride rapidly decomposes to form dimethyl ether and boron trifluoride dihydrate. The latter reacts further to boric acid and fluoroboric acid, which finally hydrolyses to yield hydrofluoric acid/ fluoride ions. The assessment of toxicity to aquatic invertebrates was therefore based on studies on the substance itself as well as on the products of hydrolysis.

The acute toxicity of dimethyl ether – boron trifluoride on aquatic invertebrates was investigated in a static test, using Daphnia magna as test organism. The test was conducted according to the EC Directive 79/831/EEC (C2) and GLP. The immobility observed in the unneutralised samples was due to the decrease of pH at high test substance concentrations. In the neutralised sample, no effects were observed at the concentration of 100 mg/L (BASF AG, 1992). 

For boron, several daphnid values are reported, including several studies of high quality. Acute values (24-48 hour EC50) range from 73 to 226 mg-B/L for Daphnia magna. Data for other daphnids are reported but are of low reliability. Also the acute values reported for Ceriodaphnia dubia and Simocephalus vetulus are in the 100-180 mg-B/L range. Expressed mg dimethyl ether - boron trifluoride per litre, all values are above 100 mg/L.

Maier and Knight (1981) reported that water hardness had no effect on the acute toxicity to the midge Chironomus decorus, with a 48-hour EC50 of 1376 mg-B/L.