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Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Description of key information

 There are two key studies for exposure of algae to Bisphenol A (both rated Klimisch 1, i.e., reliable without restriction) for both compartments, freshwater and marine water. The key study by Alexander et al. (1985; published in Alexander 1988) which was conducted in accordance with EPA-600/9-78-018 test method reported the 96-h EC50 value of 2.73 mg/L for the freshwater algae Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata based on cell count. Furthermore, an EC10 of 1.36 mg/L was derived in this study. The other key study conducted by Springborn Bionomics (1985c; published as Alexander et al., 1988) was performed following test method EPA 560/6-82-002 and reported a 96-h EC50 of 1.0 mg/L with the marine water diatom Skeletonema costatum based on cell count using non-linear interpolation. These original data have been re-analysed by the UK rapporteur in the EU Risk Assessment update in 2008 using probit analysis which is in accordance with the OECD Guideline. The resulting EC50 is 1.1 mg/L (cell count), and 1.4 mg/L (chlorophyll content). In addition, the UK rapporteur calculated a 96-h EC10 of 0.4 mg/L (cell count; most sensitive endpoint). 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC50 for freshwater algae:
2.73 mg/L
EC50 for marine water algae:
1.1 mg/L
EC10 or NOEC for freshwater algae:
1.36 mg/L
EC10 or NOEC for marine water algae:
0.4 mg/L

Additional information

There are two key studies for exposure of algae to Bisphenol A (both assigned to Reliability 1, i.e. reliable without restriction) for both compartments, freshwater and marine water.

The freshwater algae, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (formerly known as Selenastrum capricornutum), was exposed for 96 h to nominal concentrations of Bisphenol A of 0, 0.78, 1.30, 2.16, 3.6, 6.0, and 10.0 mg/L (Alexander et al., 1985; published in Alexander et al., 1988). These corresponded to mean measured concentrations of 0, 0.69, 1.17, 1.99, 3.41, 5.86, and 9.74 mg/L, respectively. The 96-h EC50 for cell count was 2.73 mg/L and the 96-h EC50 for total cell volume was 3.10 mg/L. The EC10 for the most sensitive endpoint, cell count, was calculated by probit analysis to be 1.36 mg/L.

The marine diatom, Skeletonema costatum, was exposed for 96 h to nominal concentrations of Bisphenol A of 0, 0.72, 1.1, 1.9, 3.2, 5.4, 9.0, and 15 mg/L (Springborn Bionomics, 1985c; published as Alexander, 1988). These corresponded to analysed test concentrations of 0, 0.66, 1.1, 1.6, 2.8, 5.2, 8.8, and 15 mg/L, respectively. At the end of the exposure, chlorophyll A concentration and cell counts were significantly reduced at all Bisphenol A test concentrations. Based on the analysed concentration and the observed effects, the EC50s for cell count and chlorophyll A content, calculated by probit analysis, were 1.1 mg/L and 1.4 mg/L, respectively. The 96-hr EC10 for the most sensitive endpoint, cell count, was calculated by probit analysis to be 0.4 mg/L.

A supporting study rated as Klimisch 2 (reliable with restrictions) was identified (Stephenson et al., 1983). This study was conducted in accordance with E09-04 test method with freshwater algae Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata and determined an EC50 of 2.5 mg/L.