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Ecotoxicological information

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Read-across from the dissolved silver ion is also applied to fulfil information requirements for uncoated and coated nanosilver. Supporting information for this read-across is included in endpoint summaries, in the appended nanosilver summary/justification document, and in an appended summary of a comparative testing programme undertaken for nanosilver and silver nitrate.

Notter et al. (2014) presents a meta-analysis of published EC50 values for ionic silver and nanosilver. The authors demonstrate that almost 94% of acute toxicity values assessed for freshwater, seawater and terrestrial systems using algae, annelid, arthropoda, bacteria, crustacea, fish, nematoda, plant, protozoa and rotatoria show that the nanoform of silver is less toxic than the dissolved metal (when normalised for total metal concentration). In addition, a specific testing programme designed to compare the effects of the smallest nanosilver form covered by the REACH dossier and silver nitrate to algae, Daphnia (long-term) and soil microorganisms (Schlich et al. 2017 a,b,c,d, and Smolders and Willaert, 2017) demonstrated that the nanoform of silver is less toxic than ionic silver (based on EC10 and EC50 values for total, ‘conventional’ dissolved (<0.45µm) and ‘truly’ dissolved (<3kDa) silver). Therefore, taking the full body of evidence into account, the read-across use of toxicity values from ionic to nanosilver as a ‘worst case’ approach is justified and scientifically defensible.