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Short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Description of key information

The lowest reported 48 hour EC50 is 0.22 µg Ag/L for Daphnia magna based on measured filtered silver concentrations (Bianchini et al., 2002). 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Data were available from several published sources on the acute toxicity of silver to freshwater invertebrates when silver nitrate was used as the test substance. The most sensitive 48 hour EC50 is reported by Bianchini et al. (2002) for the water flea, Daphnia magna. Similar EC50 values were reported by other authors (e.g. Glover et al., 2005).

In freshwater, short-term tests indicate that invertebrates are more sensitive than fish. Within the invertebrates, cladocerans and amphipods are more sensitive than aquatic insects, which are in turn more sensitive than other tested invertebrate groups. This is consistent with other metals (e.g. copper and cadmium).

Data on the toxicity of silver to marine invertebrates are more limited. However, the data indicate that marine invertebrates are less sensitive to silver than freshwater species. The most sensitive acute EC50 (mortality) for marine invertebrates is 154.6 μg Ag/L for the copepod, Acartia tonsa (Pedroso et al., 2007).