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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Description of key information

Two reliable (Klimisch 1, guideline- and GLP-compliant) studies address the short-term toxicity of terephthalic acid to unicellular aquatic algae.   
In the first study (Government of Japan, Ministry of the Environment, 2003d), Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (formerly known as Selenastrum capricornutum) was exposed to high purity TPA (free acid), dosed from a stock solution prepared with DMSO, at a concentration intended to approximate to TPA's aqueous solubility limit. No toxicity was observed under these test conditions:
P. subcapitata 72 -h ErC50 (static): >19.0 mg TPA/L, 72 -h NOErC: 19.0 mg TPA/L.
These endpoints are mean measured values and represent the maximum concentration achievable under the test conditions.
In the second study (Knacker et al., 1993c) Desmodesmus subspicatus (formerly known as Scenedesmus subspicatus) was exposed to TPA following its treatment with NaOH solution to convert the acid to its much more soluble sodium salt(s). No toxicity was observed under these conditions:
D. subspicatus 72 -h ErC50 (static): >668 mg TPA-equiv/L, 72 -h NOEC: 668 mg TPA-equiv/L.
These endpoints are mean measured values and represent the highest concentration applied.
Terephthalic acid and its more environmentally relevant terephthalate sodium salt exhibit very low toxicity to unicellular aquatic algae.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC10 or NOEC for freshwater algae:
19 mg/L

Additional information