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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to fish

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short-term toxicity to fish
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Well performed study, with sufficient information on material and methods, and well documented.
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Experiments were performed in aquariums under static conditions. Study comprised of 5-7 concentrations arranged in arithmetical progression and a control group. Each concentration was tested at 8 or 12 fish. 48-hr LC50 values and 95% confidence interval wee determined. Test was performed twice.
GLP compliance:
not specified
Analytical monitoring:
Details on sampling:
- Sampling method: solutions were replaced every 24h. Before and after change of solutions, oxygen contents, temperature and pH of these solutions were measured.
Details on test solutions:
- Concentrations: range 50 - 140 mg/L (5-7 concentrations tested in arithmetical progression and one control group)
Test organisms (species):
Cyprinus carpio
Details on test organisms:
- Common name: carp
- Age at study initiation (mean and range, SD): 0+
- Weight at study initiation (mean and range, SD): 33.6 +/- 15.5 g
- Feeding during test: no
- Number of fish: 8-12 fish at each concentration

- Acclimation period: 10-14 days
- Acclimation conditions (same as test or not): not indicated
- Type and amount of food: no
- Health during acclimation (any mortality observed): not indicated

Test type:
Water media type:
Limit test:
Total exposure duration:
48 h
Post exposure observation period:
not indicated
3.20-3.34 mval
Test temperature:
12.0-15.2 C
Dissolved oxygen:
9.0-9.8 mg/L
14.0-11.0 mg/L Na
Details on test conditions:
- Test vessel:
- Material, size, headspace, fill volume: 245 dm3 aquaria
- Aeration: steady
- Renewal rate of test solution (frequency): 24 h

- Total organic carbon: not indicated
- Chlorine: 17.8 - 13.2 mg/L
- Fe: 0.16-0.27 mg/L
- SiO2: 8.8-8.2 mg/L
- SO4: 19.0-13.6 mg/L
- HCO3: 352-170 mg/L
- Mg: 18.0-9.3 mg/L
- Mn: 0.0 mg/L
- Ca: 78.0-52.5 mg/L
- K: 6.4-3.3 mg/L
- Conductivity: 362 - 340 uS/cm
Reference substance (positive control):
negative control group
48 h
Dose descriptor:
Effect conc.:
447 mg/L
Nominal / measured:
meas. (not specified)
Conc. based on:
other: calculated based on total ammonia
Basis for effect:
mortality (fish)
Remarks on result:
other: 95% CI 391-513 mg/L
48 h
Dose descriptor:
Effect conc.:
> 95 - < 102 mg/L
Nominal / measured:
meas. (not specified)
Conc. based on:
other: total ammonia
Basis for effect:
mortality (fish)
Remarks on result:
other: 95% CI 83-109 mg/L and 78-134 mg/L)
Validity criteria fulfilled:
48-h LC50 is 102 mg total ammonia/L equivalent to 480 mg ammonium nitrate/L (95% CI 367-630 mg/L) when 8 fish/concentration were exposed. 48-h LC50 is 95 mg total ammonia/L equivalent to 447 mg ammonium nitrate/L (95% CI 391-513 mg/L) when 12 fish/concentration were exposed.
Conclusion: 48-h LC50 for ammonium nitrate is 447 mg/L (95% CI 391-513 mg/L).

Description of key information

The 48-h LC50 for ammonium nitrate in fish (carp) is 447 mg/L (95% CI 391-513 mg/L).

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Fresh water fish

Fresh water fish
Effect concentration:
447 mg/L

Additional information

Ammonium nitrate was tested in cyrpinus carpio, carp, for 48 hours. Based on the total ammonia concentration the LC50 was approx. 100 mg/L, calculating the LC50 for ammonium nitrate to be 447 mg/L. Although an exposure period of only 48 hr was considered here, it is thought that although the 96 hr LC50 will be lower, this will not be lower than 100 mg/L.

In the aquatic environment, all the present nitrate substances will dissociate into their ions: ammonium, calcium, magnesium, nitrate, potassium and sodium. From the substances tested, it is clear that the LC50 on fish is higher then 100 mg/L for most substances.