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Diss Factsheets

Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Administrative data

Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

No effects up to limit of water solubility are expected (WS < 1 mg/L)

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

No experimental data evaluating the toxicity of Fatty acids, C16-C18, methyl esters (CAS No. 85586-21-6) to algae are available. Therefore, toxicity data from a structurally similar analogue substance, methyl myristate (CAS No. 124-10-7) is used as read-across in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006, Annex XI, 1.5. Both substances are formed by fatty acids esterified with methanol, containing C16-18 (CAS No. 85586-21-6) and C14 (CAS No. 124-10-7) fatty acid components. The C14 substance (CAS No. 124-10-7) was chosen as read-across substance as monoconstituent representative of medium-to-high fatty acid chain lengths within the category (insoluble substances).This substance, even when comparable to the target substance, has a shorter fatty acid C-chain length and due to this fact, the molecular size and weight will be lower than those of CAS No. 85586-21-6. For these reasons, methyl myristate can be expected to be more bioavailable to aquatic organisms and can be regarded as a worst-case read-across for Fatty acids, C16-18, methyl esters (CAS No. 85586-21-6).The log Pow (> 5 for both substances) and water solubility values (0.05 mg/L for CAS No. 124-10-7 and < 1 mg/L for CAS No. 85586-21-6) of these two substances indicate that, besides the structural similarities that will lead to similar toxicity profiles, a comparable behavior in water can be expected. Based on this information, it is justified to use the toxicity data from methyl myristate as read-across for Fatty acids, C16-C18, methyl esters in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006, Annex XI, 1.5.

One study evaluating the toxicity of methyl myristate (CAS No. 124-10-7) to algae is available (Migchielsen, 2010). This test was conducted according to OECD 201 under GLP conditions. Algae (Pseudokirchnerella subcapitata) were exposed to the test substance for 72 hours, within a static water regime at a 100 mg/L loading rate and subsequent dilutions. Analytical determinations of test concentrations in the solution were performed at t=0 and t=24 hours. Due to the insolubility of the substance in water (0.05 mg/L), it could only be detected at test initiation (0.42 mg/L), being under the LOD during the rest of the test period. After 72 hours, no significant effects on biomass and growth rate were observed at any concentration tested and therefore, the EC50 (72 h) was determined to be > 100 mg/L (nominal, filtered test solution) and > 0.023 mg/L (time weighed average concentration).


Based on the results obtained for the structurally related category member (in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006, Annex XI, 1.5), Fatty acids, C16-C18, methyl esters (CAS No. 85586-21-6) is not expected to show toxicity to algal species up to the limit of its water solubility (< 1 mg/L).