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Developmental toxicity / teratogenicity

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developmental toxicity
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
comparable to guideline study with acceptable restrictions

Data source

Reference Type:
Relative Developmental Toxicities of Acrylates in Rats following Inhalation Exposure.
Saillenfait AM et al.
Bibliographic source:
Toxicol. Sciences 48: 240-254

Materials and methods

Principles of method if other than guideline:
Groups of 20-29 bred female rats (17-25 pregnant) were exposed to the compound 6h/day on days 6 through 20 of gestation. Control animals were exposed concurrently to filtered room air. The test concentrations of n-butyl acrylate were 100, 200, and 300 ppm (corresponding to approx. 0.52, 1.05, and 1.57 mg/L)*.
* Calculation of concentrations (mg/L) based on Derelanko MJ (2000). Toxicologist's Pocket Handbook, CRC Press, conversion table, p. 57
GLP compliance:
not specified
Limit test:

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
Butyl acrylate
EC Number:
EC Name:
Butyl acrylate
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
butyl acrylate
Details on test material:
- Test substance: n-butyl acrylate
- Analytical Purity: > 99 %
- Supplier: Aldrich Chemical Co. (Milwaukee, WI)

Test animals

Details on test animals or test system and environmental conditions:
- Source: IFFA CREDO Breeding Laboratories (Saint-Germain-sur-l' Arbresle, France)
- Age at study initiation: Young, nulliparous females
- Weight at study initiation: 200-220 g
- Housing: Single in clear polycarbonate cages with stainless-steel wire lids and hardwood shaving as bedding.
- Diet: Food pellets (UAR Alimentation Villemoisson, France), ad libitum
- Water: Filtered tap water, ad libitum

- Temperature (°C): 21 ± 2
- Humidity (%): 50 ± 5
- Photoperiod (hrs dark / hrs light): 12 hrs dark/12 hrs light

Administration / exposure

Route of administration:
inhalation: vapour
Type of inhalation exposure (if applicable):
whole body
unchanged (no vehicle)
Details on exposure:
Exposures were conducted in 200-L glass/stainless-steel inhalation chambers with dynamic and adjustable laminar air flow (6-20 m3/h). The chamber temperature was set at 23 ± 2°C, and the relative humidity at 50 ± 5 %. The air-flow rate passed through the fritted disk of a heated bubbler containing the test chemical. Concentrations of acrylate ester were monitored continuously with a gas-chromatograph equipped with a flame ionization detector and an automatic gas-sampling valve. In addition, exposure levels were determined once during each 6-h exposure period by collecting atmosphere samples through glass tubes packed with activated charcoal. The charcoal samples were then desorbed with carbon disulfide. The resulting samples were analyzed by gas chromatography using appropriate internal standards.

- Exposure apparatus: Glass/stainless-steel inhalation chambers
- Source and rate of air: Test atmospheres were generated through an additional air-flow  rate passed through the fritted disk of a heated bubbler containing ethylhexyl acrylate. The vaporized compound was introduced into the main air inlet pipe of the exposure chamber.
- Air flow rate: 6-20 m3/h

- Brief description of analytical method used: GC/FID
- Samples taken from breathing zone: yes
Analytical verification of doses or concentrations:
Details on analytical verification of doses or concentrations:
Analytical concentrations (mean ± SD):
103.3 ± 6.7 ppm (nominal: 100 ppm)
202.8 ± 9.7 ppm (nominal: 200 ppm)
302.5 ± 10.1 ppm (nominal: 300 ppm)
Details on mating procedure:
- Impregnation procedure: cohoused
- If cohoused:
- M/F ratio per cage: 1/2-3
- Length of cohabitation: Overnight
- Proof of pregnancy: sperm in vaginal smear referred to as day 0 of pregnancy
Duration of treatment / exposure:
days 6 to 20 of gestation
Frequency of treatment:
6 hours/day
Duration of test:
until gestation day 21
No. of animals per sex per dose:
Control animals:
yes, sham-exposed
Details on study design:
- Dose selection rationale:
Exposure concentrations were based on preliminary studies in which marked decreases in maternal weight gain were observed at 200 and 300 ppm of butyl acrylate. Results from previous prenatal inhalation toxicity studies on butyl acrylate were also considered (Merkle and Klimisch, 1983). The high concentrations of butyl acrylate for the definitive study (200 and 300 ppm, respectively) were chosen to maximize the opportunity of identifying embryolethal or teratogenic potential.


Maternal examinations:
- Time schedule for examinations: On gestation day (GD) 0, 6, 13 and 21.

Food consumption was measured for the intervals GD 6-13 and 13-21.

- Sacrifice on gestation day 21
- Organs examined: The uteri were removed and weighed. The number of implantation sites, resorptions, and dead and live fetuses were recorded.
Ovaries and uterine content:
The ovaries and uterine content was examined after termination: Yes
The number of implantation sites, resorptions, and dead and live fetuses were recorded. Uteri which had no visible implantation sites were stained with ammonium sulfide (10 %) to detect very early resorptions.

Examinations included:
- Gravid uterus weight: Yes
- Number of corpora lutea: No data
- Number of implantations: Yes
- Number of early resorptions: Yes
- Number of late resorptions: Yes
Fetal examinations:
Live fetuses were weighed, sexed, and examined for external anomalies including those of the oral cavity. Half of the live fetuses from each litter were preserved in Bouin's solution and examined for internal soft tissue changes. The other half were fixed in ethanol (70 %), eviscerated, and then processed for skeletal staining with alizarin red S for subsequent skeletal examination.

- External examinations: Yes: all per litter
- Soft tissue examinations: Yes: half per litter
- Skeletal examinations: Yes: half per litter
- Head examinations: Yes: all per litter
Data were presented as mean ± SD. The number of  implantation sites and live fetuses and the various body weights were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by Dunnett's test if differences were found. The percentages of non-live  implants and  resorptions and the proportions of fetuses with alterations in each litter were evaluated by using the Kruskal-Wallis test, followed by the Dixon-Massey test where appropriate. Rates of pregnancy, fetal sex ratio, and percentage of litters with malformations or external, visceral, or skeletal variations were analyzed by using Fisher's test. Where applicable, least-squares analysis was carried out. For all statistical tests, the level of significance was set a priori at alpha = 0.05.

Results and discussion

Results: maternal animals

General toxicity (maternal animals)

Clinical signs:
not specified
Dermal irritation (if dermal study):
not examined
no mortality observed
Body weight and weight changes:
effects observed, treatment-related
Description (incidence and severity):
During the entire exposure period, maternal weight gain was signifciantly reduced at 200 ppm and 300 ppm compared to the control group. Absolute weight gains (expressed as the day 21 body weight minus the gravid uterus weight and minus the day 6 body weight) were reduced in a dose-rependent manner in all exposure groups.
Food consumption and compound intake (if feeding study):
effects observed, treatment-related
Description (incidence and severity):
Decreases in food consumption was observed during the first half of the study for the females in the 100 ppm dose group and throught the exposure period at 200 and 300 ppm. The maximum decrease was 40-50% at the highest concentration.
Food efficiency:
not examined
Water consumption and compound intake (if drinking water study):
not examined
Ophthalmological findings:
not examined
Haematological findings:
not examined
Clinical biochemistry findings:
not examined
Urinalysis findings:
not examined
Behaviour (functional findings):
not examined
Immunological findings:
not examined
Organ weight findings including organ / body weight ratios:
not examined
Gross pathological findings:
not examined
Neuropathological findings:
not examined
Histopathological findings: non-neoplastic:
not examined
Histopathological findings: neoplastic:
not examined

Maternal developmental toxicity

Number of abortions:
no effects observed
Pre- and post-implantation loss:
no effects observed
Total litter losses by resorption:
no effects observed
Early or late resorptions:
no effects observed
Dead fetuses:
no effects observed
Changes in pregnancy duration:
not examined
Description (incidence and severity):
Migrated Data from removed field(s)
Field "Effects on pregnancy duration" (Path: ENDPOINT_STUDY_RECORD.DevelopmentalToxicityTeratogenicity.ResultsAndDiscussion.ResultsMaternalAnimals.MaternalDevelopmentalToxicity.EffectsOnPregnancyDuration): not examined
Changes in number of pregnant:
no effects observed

Effect levels (maternal animals)

Key result
Dose descriptor:
Effect level:
ca. 0.52 mg/L air (nominal)
Basis for effect level:
other: maternal toxicity

Results (fetuses)

Fetal body weight changes:
effects observed, treatment-related
Description (incidence and severity):
Fetal body weight was significantly reduced at 200 ppm (for both sexes combined and males) and at 300 ppm (both sexes combined, males and females). These decreases amounted to 7-8 % (p<0.05) and 26-28 % (p<0.01) of control values for the 200 and 300 ppm groups, respectively.
Reduction in number of live offspring:
no effects observed
Changes in sex ratio:
no effects observed
Changes in litter size and weights:
not specified
Changes in postnatal survival:
no effects observed
External malformations:
no effects observed
Skeletal malformations:
no effects observed
Description (incidence and severity):
A few sporadic malformations were seen in the 300 ppm and the control group. The incidence of individual skeletal variations (mainly incomplete ossification of sternebrae and of vertebral centra) was similar in the control and treated groups.
Visceral malformations:
no effects observed

Effect levels (fetuses)

open allclose all
Key result
Dose descriptor:
Effect level:
ca. 0.52 mg/L air (nominal)
Basis for effect level:
other: fetotoxicity
Key result
Dose descriptor:
Effect level:
ca. 1.57 mg/L air (nominal)
Basis for effect level:
other: teratogenicity

Fetal abnormalities

not specified

Overall developmental toxicity

Developmental effects observed:
not specified

Any other information on results incl. tables

Maternal body weights:

Concentration [ppm/6h/d]

Maternal body weight GD 6 [g]

Absolute weight gain [g]


294 ± 23

32 ± 15


289 ± 23

18 ± 14*


299 ± 24

-16 ± 20**


292 ± 23

-60 ± 26**

Absolute weight gain: (Day 21 body weight) - (gravid uterus weight) - (Day 6 body weight)

Reproductive parameters:

Conc. [ppm/6h/d]

No. of litters

No. of implantation sites/litter

% of non-live implants/litter

% of resorption sites/litter

No. of live fetuses/litter

Average fetal body weight/litter [g]



15.68 ± 3.17

10.9 ± 15.49


14.12 ± 4.01

5.74 ± 0.43



15.58 ± 3.05

6.82 ± 10.19

6.82 ± 10.19

14.71 ± 3.57

5.71 ± 0.35



15.08 ± 4.23

4.72 ± 5.96

4.72 ± 5.96

14.46 ± 4.20

5.33 ± 0.40*



15.40 ± 5.24

6.48 ± 15.94

6.48 ± 15.94

14.68 ± 5.38

4.25 ± 0.94**

Concentration [ppm/6h/d]





Mean % of fetuses with:

- any malformations/litter

2.00 ± 7.33



0.62 ± 2.65

- external variations/litter

1.33 ± 6.67



0.22 ± 1.11

- visceral variations/litter

8.81 ± 14.64



4.17 ± 20.41

- skeletal variations/litter

13.70 ± 15.48

17.01 ± 14.53

18.71 ± 24.21

24.65 ± 20.69

- any variations/litter

12.60 ± 10.80

13.27 ± 15.07

10.10 ± 10.32

15.90 ± 19.98

* ,** Significant differences from the control (0 ppm) value, p 0.05, and p 0.01, respectively.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Executive summary:

In a developmental toxicity study, pregnant Sprague-Dawley female rats (20-29 per dose) were exposed to the compound 6h/day on days 6 through 20 of gestation. Control animals were exposed concurrently to filtered room air. The test concentrations of n-butyl acrylate were 100, 200, and 300 ppm (corresponding to approx. 0.52, 1.05, and 1.57 mg/L). Significant decreases in maternal body weight gain were observed at 200 ppm and 300 ppm, and decreased absolute weight gain were observed in all dose groups through the entire exposure period. Decreased fetal body weight was observed at 200 ppm (7-8%) and 300 ppm (26-28%) in the presence of significant maternal toxicity. No significant increases in malformations was observed in n-butyl acrylate exposed fetuses.