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Long-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Description of key information

From the available test data in combination with QSAR calculations it can be concluded, that the members of the ethylene category show a very low long-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Fresh water invertebrates

Fresh water invertebrates
Effect concentration:
8 590 mg/L

Additional information

Within the category of 'ethylene glycol and higher glycols' data on long-term effects to aquatic invertebrates are available for ethylene glycol (CAS-No.: 107-21-1) [Pillard, 1995] and triethylene glycol (CAS-No.: 112-27-6) [Adams & Heidolph, 1985; LeBlanc & Surprenant, 1983; Montgomery et al., 1985]. All available long-term studies investigated the impact on the reproduction of the test organisms. Three studies were conducted with Dapnids (Ceriodaphnia dubia or Daphnia magna) and one study with the saltwater shrimp Mysidopsis bahia.

The study with ethylene glycol was conducted according to EPA guideline 600/4-89/001 with Ceriodaphnia dubia as test species. This test was terminated when 60% of the control organisms had produced three broods. After a test duration of 7 days the NOEC for reproduction was determined to be 8590 mg/L ethylene glycol (nominal) [Pillard, 1995].

Two further studies measured the effect of triethylene glycol on the reproduction of Daphnia magna [Adams & Heidolph, 1985; LeBlanc & Surprenant, 1983]. One study was conducted according to the national standard ASTM (E 47.01, Draft No. 1, "Draft proposed standard practice for conducting renewal life cycle toxicity tests with Daphnia magna"). In this test the Daphnids were exposed to triethylene glycol for 21 days. Based on reproduction the reported NOEC is > 15000 mg/L triethylene glycol (nominal) [Adams & Heidolph, 1985].  

The study with the saltwater shrimp Mysidopsis bahia was also conducted according to the standard of ASTM (E-47.01, Draft No. 2, 1982 (Standard Practice for Conducting Life-Cycle Toxicity Tests With Saltwater Mysid Shrimp). The test organisms were exposed to triethylene glycol in a flow-through system for 23 days. Up to the highest test concentration of 1000 mg/L no effect on the reproduction of the saltwater shrimps were observed [Montgomery et al., 1985].

For each category member the expected long-term toxicity to Daphnids was additionally calculated with the QSAR EpiWin-Program ECOSAR v1.11. Based on the results of the estimations a very low chronic toxicity has to be expected for all category members. The calculated 16d chronic value (ChV) for ethylene glycol (CAS-No.: 107-21-1) is 690 mg/L [BASF SE, 2013].