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Long-term toxicity to fish

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Two reliable studies on the chronic toxicity of sodium nitrite have been identified.

Colt et al. (1981) investigated the growth rate of the channel catfish over 31 days in a non-guideline study using a flow-through test system. The result showed a NOEC of 6.16 mg/L.

Kroupova et al. (2010) studied the effect of several sublethal nitrite concentrations on the comon carp in a 30 d "early life stage toxicity test" according to OECD guideline 210 (with slight modifications). Chronic nitrite exposure of early-life stages of common carp affected their survival, growth rate, early ontogeny, and histology. The values of NOEC and LOEC were calculated on the basis of accumulated mortality and estimated at 7 mg/L and 28 mg/L NO2+, respectively. However, even the lowest nitrite level (0.7 mg/L NO2+ = 2.1 mg/L NaNO2) caused considerable physiological changes, especially delayed early ontogeny accompanied by slightly decrease in FCF (Fulton’s condition factor).

Nevertheless, since sodium nitrite dissociates immediately into sodium and nitrite ions, and nitrite will be rapidly transformed into nitrate by microbiological activity, a long-term exposure of aquatic organisms is unlikely of importance.

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