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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

No relevant effects

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

This endpoint is covered by the category approach for soluble iron salts (please see the section on physical and chemical properties for the category justification/report format). 

Testing for this endpoint has been waived in accordance with column 2 and Annex XI, part 1 and 2, restrictions.

Information from Literature Searches and earlier Assessment Approaches

The literature reviews of Vangheluwe & Versonnen (2004), Johnson et al. (2007) and OECD (2007) revealed some data. The results of the studies, selected as “reliable” by the respective authors are listed in the following tables. Nonetheless the experiments must be rated “not reliable” (Klimisch 3) according to the Klimisch et al. (1997) scale due to methodological objections against testing of aquatic organisms as concluded in the beginning of this chapter (section „Ecotoxicological information“). True, intrinsic toxicity of iron kations in aerobic aquatic test organisms cannot be determined in studies when the solubility of the dissolved ferric kation (as the ferrous form will readily be oxidized to ferric species) is exceeded. None of the experiments found effects at such low levels (depend on pH, section “water solubility”). Notwithstanding the methodological objections formally expressed in the waiving argument for the standard aquatic test organisms, the following data are mentioned for completeness.

Freshwater species:

Table: Data from the EURAS critical review (Vangheluwe & Versonnen 2004, table 3, p 11-12 & 15 and table 3, p 17-18)

Test
substance

Test organism

Test medium

Test
conditions

Nominal / Measured

Duration

Endpoints

NOEC [mg/L]

LOEC
[mg/L]

L(E)C50 [mg/L]

Reference

Author’s Reliability

FeSO4.7H2O

Oncorhynchus mykiss

Dechlorinated / carbon filtered tap water

pH: 6.0-7.1; H: 56-60; Alk: 32, a

TD, c

96 h

Survival

 

 

16.6

Mattock 2002a

R1

Fe2(SO4)3

Oncorhynchus mykiss

Dechlorinated / carbon filtered tap water

pH: 6.9-7.0; T: 13-15; H: 64-97

TD, c

96 h

Survival

 

 

pH adjusted: >27.9

Mattock 2002b

R1

FeCl3.6H2O

Pimephales promelas

Reconstituted ASTM water

pH: 6.7; T: 22; H: 100; Alk: 30

To

96 h

Survival

 

 

21.8 (measured To)

Birge et al. 1985

R1

Lepomis macrochirus

pH: 6.3; T: 22: H: 100; Alk: 24

To

96 h

Survival

 

 

20.3 (measured To)

FeSO4

Salvelinus fontinalis

Carbon filtered river water

pH: 5.5

To, TD

96 h

Survival

 

 

0.41 (measured dissolved)

Decker & Menendez 1974

R2

pH: 6

 

 

0.48 (measured dissolved)

pH: 7

 

 

1.75 (measured dissolved)

FeSO4

Cyprinus carpio

Not reported

pH: 7.1; small carp

N

96 h

Survival

 

 

0.83

Alam & Maugham 1992

R2

pH: 7.1; larger carp

 

 

1.62

FeCl3.6H2O

Danio rerio

Aerated, aged tap water

pH: 5; T: 25; H: 40

N

48 h

Survival

 

>32

 

Dave 1985

R2

pH: 7; T: 25; H: 40

48 h

>32

 

pH: 9; T: 25; H: 40

48 h

>32

 

NON-STANDARD SPECIES

FeSO4.7H2O

Lampetra fluviatilis(Lamprey)

Groundwater

pH: 6; T: 20

N

72 h

Hatching

0.5

 

EC50: 1.1

Myllynen et al. 1997

R1

River water

pH: 5; T: 20

Survival

2

 

LC50: 3.4

R1

a: only measured prior to testing

Alk: alkalinity [mg/L CaCO3]

c: samples were filtered over a 0.2 µm filter

H: hardness [mg/L CaCO3]

N: Nominal concentration

R1: Reliable without restriction according to the scheme of the authors (set out in chapter 3.2 of their publication), corrected to Klimisch 3 “not reliable” as discussed above.

R2: Reliable with restrictions according to the authors (set out in chapter 3.2 of their publication), corrected to Klimisch 3 “not reliable” as discussed above.

T: temperature [°C]

TD: dissolved total Fe measured

To: total Fe measured

Table: Data according to Johnson et al. (2007, table 2.7, p 24)

Scientific name

Common name

Endpoint

Effect

Test duration [h]

Concentration [mg/L] #

Exposure

Toxicant analysis

Comments (Author's Reliability)

Reference

Brachydanio rerio

Zebrafish (larvae)

NOEC

Mortality

48

32

s

n

As FeCl3 (R3)

Dave 1985

Cyprinus carpio

Carp

3.2 cm fry

LC50

Mortality

96

0.96

ss

n

As FeSO4; pH 7.1 (R3)

Alam & Maughan 1992

Cyprinus carpio

Carp, 6.9 cm fry

LC50

Mortality

96

1.74

ss

n

As FeSO4; pH 7.1 (R3)

Alam & Maughan 1992

Oncorhynchus mykiss

Rainbow trout juveniles

LC50

Mortality

96

2.9

f

y

As Fe2(SO4)3; pH 7.2–7.5

Mance & Campbell 1988

Oryzias latipes

Medaka

(8 day fry)

LC50

Mortality

24

1.0–10

s

n

As NH4Fe(SO4)2; pH 6.9 (R3)

Hiraoka et al 1985

Salmo trutta

Brown trout juveniles

LC50

Mortality

96

8.5

f

y

As Fe2(SO4)3; pH 7.2–7.5

Mance & Campbell 1988

Salvelinus fontinalis

Brook trout 14 months old

LC50

Mortality

96

0.41 (d)

f

y

As FeSO4; pH 5.5 (R2)

Decker & Menendez 1974

Salvelinus fontinalis

Brook trout

14 months old

LC50

Mortality

96

0.48 (d)

f

y

As FeSO4; pH 6.0 (R2)

Decker & Menendez 1974

Salvelinus fontinalis

Brook trout

14 months old

LC50

Mortality

96

1.75 (d)

f

y

As FeSO4; pH 7.2 (R2)

Decker & Menendez 1974

# Concentration related to iron if not stated otherwise under comments (third-to-last column)

R2: Reliable with restrictions according to the authors (set out in Annex 1, p 56 of their publication), corrected to Klimisch 3 “not reliable” as discussed above.

R3: Not reliable according to the authors (set out in Annex 1, p 56 of their publication)

d = dissolved.

Exposure: s = static; ss = semi-static; f = flow-through.

Toxicant analysis: y = measured; n = not measured.

Table: Data from the OECD (2007) assessment (table 28, p 65)

Test substance

Test organism

Test duration

Effect

LC50 [mg Fe/L]

Reference

Author’s Reliability

FeCl3.6H2O

Lepomis macrochirus

96 h

Survival at pH 4.8-7.8

20 (m.t)

Birge et al. (1985)

R2

Fe2(SO4)3

Oncorhynchus mykiss

96 h

Survival at pH 6.9-7.4

>28 (n.t)

Mattock (2002a)

R1

Survival at pH 4.1-7.1

13 (n.t)

FeSO4

Salvelinus fontinalis

96 h

Survival at pH 5.5

0.41 (m.d)

Decker & Menendez (1974)

R2

Survival at pH 6.0

0.48 (m.d)

Survival at pH 7.0

1.8 (m.d)

FeSO4

Cyprinus carpio

96 h

Survival at pH 7.1

0.83 (n.t)

Alam & Maugham 1992

R2

FeSO4.7H2O

Oncorhynchus mykiss

96 h

Survival at pH 6.0 -7.1

17 (n.t), 1.7 (m.t)

Mattock (2002b)

R1

m.t = measured total Fe

m.d = measured dissolved Fe

n.t = nominal total Fe

R1, R2 = Rating by the authors (OECD 2007) referring to the Klimisch et al. (1997) scale, corrected to Klimisch 3 “not reliable” as discussed above.

Saltwater species:

Table: Data from the EURAS critical review (Vangheluwe & Versonnen 2004, table 4, p 18)

Test
substance

Test organism

Test medium

Test
conditions

Nominal / Measured

Duration

Endpoints

LC50 [mg/L]

Reference

Reliability

FeSO4.7H2O

Theraon humeralis

Filtered seawater

pH:8.1; S: 35;

T: 20 °C

N, a

24 h

Survival

LC50: 16.7

Francesconi & Edmonds 1995

R2

pH: 8.1;

S: 35;

T: 25°C

LC50: 11.8

a: only measured prior to testing

N: Nominal concentration

R2: Reliable with restrictions according to the authors (set out in chapter 3.2 of their publication), corrected to Klimisch 3 “not reliable” as discussed above

S: Salinity [g/L]

T: temperature [°C]

Table: Data according to Johnson et al. (2007, table 2.9, p 29)

Scientific name

Common name

Endpoint

Effect

Test duration [h]

Concentration

[mg /L] #

Exposure

Toxicant analysis

Comments (Author's Reliability)

Reference

Morone saxatiis

Striped bass

LC50

Mortality

96

13.6

static

not measured

As FeCl2 (R3)

Hughes 1973

# Concentration related to iron if not stated otherwise under comments (third-to-last column)

R3: Not reliable according to the authors (set out in Annex 1, p 56 of their publication)

Table: Data from the OECD (2007) assessment (table 24, p 67)

Test substance

Test organism

Test duration

Effect

Endpoint [mg Fe/L]

Reference

Author’s Reliability

FeSO4.7H2O

Therapon humeralis, sea trumpeter

24 h

Survival at pH 8.1

12 (nominal total)

Francesconi & Edmonds 1995

R2

R2 = Rating by the authors (OECD 2007) referring to the Klimisch et al. (1997) scale, corrected to Klimisch 3 “not reliable” as discussed above.

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