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Short-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

Barium fluoride will dissociate in aqueous solution to form barium and fluoride ions. Reliable acute toxicity data for fish are available for barium and fluoride.

Regarding toxic effects of dissolved Ba, a reliable 96h-LC50 of >3.5 mg Ba/L was determined by Egeler and Kiefer (2010) for Danio rerio corresponding to a 96h-LC50 of > 4.5 mg BaF2/L (dissolved). For fluoride a 96h-LC50 of 51 mg/L was observed in rainbow trout corresponding to 235.9 mg BaF2/L. Comparing acute toxicity levels for fish of Ba and F in freshwater, it can be concluded that the acute toxicity of BaF2 is driven by barium and the 96h-LC50 of >4.5 mg BaF2/L (dissolved) is considered for freshwater fish.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

For barium fluoride no data on the short-term toxicity to fish are available. As barium fluoride in water rapidly dissociates into barium and fluoride ions, it is these ions that are expected to be present in the environment and which will therefore be assessed. Reliable acute toxicity data for fish are available for barium and fluoride ions.


Egeler and Kiefer (2010) conducted an acute toxicity test with Danio rerio according to OECD Guideline 203 and GLP with Barium chloride dihydrate. No effects (mortality) were observed at the nominal test concentration of 100 mg Ba2+/L. The dissolved and total fractions were measured. A white precipitate was observed upon dissolution of BaCl2, presumbably the formation of poorly soluble barium sulfate. However, at a nominal concentration of 100 mg Ba2+/L, the dissolved and total barium concentrations were 3.5 and 97.5 mg/L, respectively. Translating the latter value to BaF, a 96h-LC50 of > 127.7 mg BaF2/L is derived based on the total barium concentration in test solution. Further, re-calculation of the 96h-LC50 of > 3.5 mg dissolved Ba/L results in an LC50 of > 4.5 mg BaF2/L.


In the EU Risk Assessment Report for hydrogen fluoride several fish studies are reported. All reported tests were performed with sodium fluoride and the results corrected for the fluoride ion. From the different studies reviewed in this report, the lowest effect-value was observed in rainbow trout with a 96-h LC50 of 51 mg fluoride/L corresponding to 235.9 mg BaF2/L. Although methodological data are incomplete, the data have been reviewed by the EU and are therefore considered to be suitably reliable for environmental risk assessment.