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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to soil macroorganisms except arthropods

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Description of key information

According to Regulation (EC) No.1907/2006, Annexes IX, Column 2, studies on effects on terrestrial organisms (short-term toxicity to invertebrates ) need not be conducted if direct and indirect exposure of the soil compartment is unlikely. Long-term toxicity testing shall be considered for substances that have a high potential to adsorb to soil or which are very persistent. Potassium cyanide has a low potential for adsorption to soil/sediment (Koc = 2-3).  As the chemical safety assessment for this substance demonstrates that 1) the exposure levels estimated in all relevant scenarios do not exceed the appropriate DNEL or PNEC, and 2) the likelihood and severity of an event occurring due to the physicochemical properties of the substance is negligible, according to Annex 1, Section 6.4, the criteria for adaptation are met.  Specifically, all risk characterization ratios are under 1.0, and direct and indirect exposure to sediment is unlikely as demonstrated by the attached exposure assessments.  There are no physicochemical hazards identified for this substance. Further testing is not indicated.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

The data requirement for toxicity to soil macro-organisms was waived, due to the low potential for soil adsorption of potassium cyanide. A supporting study testing the comparative acute toxicity of potassium cyanide, potassium ferrocyanide and potassium ferricyanide to the earthworm Eisenia fetida showed that the complexed forms of cyanide (potassium ferrocyanide and potassium ferricyanide) were much less toxic than the simple cyanide salts (potassium cyanide).