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Diss Factsheets

Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Administrative data

Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

A study was performed to assess the effect of the test item on the growth of the green algaPseudokirchneriella subcapitata. The method followed that described in the OECD Guidelines for Testing of Chemicals (2006) No 201, "Freshwater Alga and Cyanobacteria, Growth Inhibition Test" referenced as Method C.3 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 761/2009.


Preliminary solubility work conducted indicated that it was not possible to obtain a testable solution of the test item using traditional methods of preparation (e.g. ultrasonication and high shear mixing).

A preliminary media preparation trial indicated that a dissolved test item concentration of approximately 94.3 mg/L was obtained from a saturated solution method of preparation indicating this to be the limit of water solubility of this item under test conditions.

Following a preliminary range-finding test and initial experiment,Pseudokirchneriella subcapitatawas exposed to solutions of the test item at nominal concentrations of 1.0, 3.2, 10, 32 and 100% v/v saturated solution (three replicate flasks per concentration) for 72 hours, under constant illumination and shaking at a temperature of 24 ± 1 °C. The test item solutions were prepared by stirring an excess (100 mg/L) of test item in culture medium using a propeller stirrer at approximately 1500 rpm for 24 hours. After the stirring period any undissolved test item was removed by filtration (0.2 µm Sartorius Sartopore filter, first approximate 2 liters discarded in order to pre-condition the filter) to produce a 100% v/v saturated solution of the test item. This saturated solution was then further diluted as necessary, to provide the remaining test groups.

Samples of the algal populations were removed daily and cell concentrations determined for each control and treatment group, using a Coulter®Multisizer Particle Counter.


Analysis of the test preparations at 0 hours showed measured test concentrations to range from 0.979 to 92.9 mg/L. A decline in measured test concentration was observed at 72 hours to between 0.768 and 75.7 mg/L (71% to 84% of the 0-Hour measured test concentrations); hence, it was considered appropriate to calculate the results based on the geometric mean measured test concentration only in order to give a “worst case” analysis of the data.

Exposure ofPseudokirchneriella subcapitatato the test item gave the following results based on the geometric mean measured test concentrations:

Response Variable




95% Confidence Limits


No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC)


Lowest Observed Effect Concentration (LOEC)


Growth Rate


















Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC50 for freshwater algae:
20 mg/L
EC10 or NOEC for freshwater algae:
1.9 mg/L

Additional information