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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to birds

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Description of key information

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Long-term EC10, LC10 or NOEC for birds:
1 700 mg/kg food

Additional information

After examination of all available studies, only one relevant study on toxicity to birds is available.

In their study Wood and Bitman (1980) fed White Leghorn laying hens with either a standard laying mash control diet (C) or the control diet containing 1% DEHP (DEHP) or 1% DEHP and 5% tallow (DEHP-T) for 28 days. Endpoints recorded were the feed consumption, body weight, egg production and composition, yolk fat and total cholesterol and, liver composition, lipid and cholesterol content.

DEHP added induced a decrease in egg production. However, egg weight, egg composition (per cent shell, white, and yolk), yolk lipid and cholesterol of eggs showed no differences compared to control eggs. This effect on egg production may be due to decreased feed consumption or from other physiological effect of DEHP.

Moreover, considering lipid, free and total cholesterol content in plasma, liver and major pectoralis muscle, feeding 1% DEHP in the diet modified some aspects of the lipid metabolism in laying hens in a manner similar to that reported in mammalian species. The mechanism by which DEHP lowers plasma lipids and cholesterol has not been elucidated.

As DEHP induced a decrease in egg production (14%) and effects on lipid metabolism were found at the lowest test concentration, LOEC = 10000 ppm. As an effect level of 14% fulfils the prerequisite for dividing the LOEC by two, a NOEC of 5000 ppm can be derived. The feed in this study was a standard laying mash (consisting mainly of different meals). In TGD (Appendix VII) it is stated that the energy content of grain is higher than fish. This means that in order to obtain the same amount of energy more wet weight of fish must be consumed compared to grain. Therefore a correction factor of 3 may be applied for the difference in caloric content of the diet of laboratory animals and the diet of fish-eating birds or mammals”. Hence, the NOEC can be lowered with a factor 3 resulting in a NOEC of about 1700 mg/kg food.