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The following discussion is partly quoted from the EU RAR on naphthalene [ECB 2003]:

Toxicity data for naphthalene are available for microorganisms, aquatic plants, aquatic invertebrates and fish under acute conditions together with several chronic data. The reported results are from both static and flow-through tests with some based on nominal concentrations and others on measured concentrations. The test results available for algae appear to show short-term effects at lower levels than the results from longer term tests. This may indicate acclimation to the chemical with time. There are a lot of data available on fish and invertebrates, and a wide range of species has been tested. The majority of the results from short-term tests lie in the range 1-10 mg/L. All of the organisms tested appear to show similar sensitivity in the short-term tests. There is some evidence to suggest that naphthalene exerts its toxic effect by narcosis. Acute toxicity values have been predicted using QSAR equations for chemicals that act by narcosis. The predicted values were 7.8 mg/L (LC50for fish), 6.1 mg/L (LC50for daphnia) and 3.8 mg/L (EC50for algae), all of which fit closely the range of measured values whilst being towards the high end. Longer-term studies are also available. As mentioned above, 40-day tests on coho and pink salmon gave LC50s similar to the short-term tests. The NOEC for weight gain in a 40-day test with coho salmon fry was 0.12 mg/L. An embryo-larval study on fathead minnows had a NOEC for survival of 1.84 mg/L and a NOEC for hatchability and fish length/weight of 0.45 mg/L. The NOEC for daphnia is 0.6 mg/L and for sea-urchin eggs 0.22 mg/L. The available data cover two trophic levels and, as all organisms appear to have similar sensitivity in the short-term tests, these can be considered to cover the most sensitive species.

ECB 2003: European Union Risk Assessment Report NAPHTHALENE [CAS No: 91-20-3; EINECS No: 202-049-5] RISK ASSESSMENT European Communities, 2003 []