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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to soil macroorganisms except arthropods

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Description of key information

A single study is included in this section which compares the toxicity of trichloroethane to earthworm using methodology developed by the EEC.  The  results of the study showed that in a contact test the toxicity of trichloroethane was found to be 83ug/sq cm. Other similar materials were tested both via the contact test and by the more widely used soil test. As trichloroethane is known to possess only basic toxicity a comparison of the toxicity of similar compounds to trichloroethane in the contact test that was subsequently included in the soil test shows that the soil test toxicity of trichloroethane would be expected to be >3500mg/kg

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Short-term EC50 or LC50 for soil macroorganisms:
3 500 mg/kg soil dw

Additional information

Neuhauser et al 1985 attempt to classify the materials tested based on current classification systems for mammalian toxicology. Unfortunately the severity of the contact test is not taken adequately into account in this estimation in that 1,2-dichloropropane is classified as very toxic based on the contact test whereas in the soil test it is classified as relatively non-toxic. As the contact test toxicity recorded for 1,1,1-trichloroethane is greater than that for 1,2-dichloropropane it is possible to predict that as both materials only demonstrate basic rather than specific toxicity to this species and that under the less stringent conditions of the soil test 1,1,1-trichloroethane will be classifiable as relatively non-toxic. The contact test to determine LC50 values for earthworm is now rarely used as it is now recognised that the artificial soil test provides a more realistic estimation of the probable toxicity of chemicals to earthworms for risk assessment purposes.