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Ecotoxicological information

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Description of key information

Carbon black is highly insoluble in water and unlikely to cross biological membranes. Aquatic toxicity is unlikely to occur. Based on available studies for non-nanoforms and nanoforms of carbon black on the acute toxicity to microorganisms, algae, invertebrates and fish and chronic toxicity to algae, the potential for acute and chronic toxicity of carbon black non-nano and nanoforms to aquatic organisms is low.

Additional information

As carbon black (solid: particulate/powder) is insoluble in water, modifications are required to the standard ecotoxicity test procedures. These have taken two forms. In one, suspensions of carbon black are maintained through stirring or aeration while the test is carried out. These tests may be influenced by the lowering of solution pH caused by some types of carbon blacks, or by the physical presence of the particles themselves. In the other modification, carbon blacks at various concentrations are equilibrated with water at or just above ambient temperatures, typically for 24 hours or less. The suspensions are then filtered, and the filtrates used in the standard tests. The lowering of solution pH due to some carbon blacks may also influence these tests. This second type of test has the potential to demonstrate the ecotoxicity of aqueous extracts of carbon black, and of any water-removable adsorbates.

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