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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to soil macroorganisms except arthropods

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Description of key information

Key value for chemical safety assessment

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

Additional information

One reliable key study is available for this endpoint. In this study (Phillips CT and Wentsel RS, 1993), tests were conducted by ERDEC in 1993 to determine if Methyl salicylate, a component of HL simulant, was responsible for the toxicity exhibited by earthworms (Eisenia foetida) in an earlier test. The method used to assess the hazards of Methyl salicylate to these non-target organisms was adapted from the one developed by Neuhauseret al., 1985. The test was run with six concentrations of test substance at 13 ± 0.2°C. Nominal concentrations of Methyl salicylate were 0 (control), 50, 100, 200, 350, and 500 mg/kg dry weight. For each concentration, five earthworms were randomly added to beaker containing a non-sterile artificial soil. Three replicates per concentration were used for each experiment. After 14 days, weight and survival rate of earthworm were examined. The Methyl salicylate produced no lethal effects on earthworms up to the 200 mg/kg level. However, earthworms lost weight at the 100 mg/kg level. This weight loss continued up to the 350 mg/kg level with no earthworms surviving at the 500 mg/kg level. Two NOEC values may thus be deduced from these data, one (200 mg/kg) based on mortality and another (50 mg/kg) based on growth. As this study is a short term toxicity test, the mortality is considered as a more appropriate criteria for the determination of the effect value. No LC50 value has been determined in this study. At the concentration of 200 mg/kg no mortality has been observed. At the concentrations of 350 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg, 14 % and 100% of mortality has been observed. Based on these results, it can be concluded that the 14d LC50 is between 350 and 500 mg/Kg. As a worst case, the value of 350 mg/Kg dry weight is used for the derivation of the PNEC value.

It should be noted that the composition of the soil tested was described as follows: The components of soil used in the earthworm toxicity test were finely ground sphagnum peat (10% by weight), kaolinite clay (20%), fine sand (69%), and calcium carbonate (1%). During mixing, 50 mL of distilled water was added to each 200g batch of soil to provide a moisture level of 25%. The organic matter content is not stated in the publication, therefore, it is not possible to check the compliance with the standardised generic environment defined in the ECHA guidance R16.