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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Administrative data

Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

Expected non-toxic to aquatic invertebrates.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Fresh water invertebrates

Fresh water invertebrates
Effect concentration:
1 g/L

Additional information

No specific information exists on the short-term toxicity of lysozyme hydrochloride to aquatic invertebrates. However considering that lysozyme is naturally occurring in many organisms, including aquatic organisms, it is expected to be non-toxic for aquatic life at the threshold concentrations commonly used in the (eco)toxicological tests.


Below some data available in the HERA documentation on Cellulase, Lipase and Subtilisins (Protease) are reported, in order to support this consideration.

- Cellulase: IC50 Daphnia magna at 24 and 48-h > 1000 mg active enzyme protein (aep)/l. At 0.6 g/l no immobilized daphnia were observed (HERA 2005; Greenough and Everett, 1991)

- Lipase: IC50 Daphnia magna at 24-h > 1000 mg aep/l. Analysis of samples revealed a significant loss of enzyme activity during the 24 h period. The mean value for enzyme activity was 82 % after 2 h and 76 % after 24 h (HERA 2005; Greenough and Everett, 1991)

- Maxatese P: EC50 on Gammarus salinus at 24 -h: 200 mg/l (probably not based on aep) (HERA 2007; Mann, 1971)

- Subtilisin (Maxatase P): EC50 on Tubifex sp. at 24 -h: 50 mg/l (probably not based on aep (HERA 2007; Mann, 1971)

- Subtilisin: Daphnia Magna EC50 at 48-h: 160 mg/l (probably not based on aep) (HERA 2007; Schöberl and Huber, 1988)

The existing data on the acute toxicity to aquatic invertebrates of enzymes reported values of the E(I)C50 in a range between 50 - 1000 mg/l.

Data by Mann (1971), Schöberl and Huber (1988) are not conducted in compliance with the standard test methods, thus they were evaluated by HERA as not reliable and, hence, not suitable for the aquatic toxicity assessment.

Nevertheless, in general the available data are in agreement to describe enzymes as non-toxic to aquatic invertebrates.

In conclusion, on the basis of the comparison with other enzymes, Lysozyme may be considered as non-toxic to aquatic invertebrates. Since data available are not specific for Lysozyme, it is preferred to make a qualitative assessment.


Greenough RJ, Everett DJ (1991) Safety evaluation of alkaline cellulase. Food and Chemical Toxicology 29: 781-785.

HERA (2005). Human and environmental risk assessment on ingredients of household cleaning products - alpha-amylases, cellulases and lipases.

HERA (2007). Human and environmental risk assessment on ingredients of household cleaning products - Subtilisins (Proteases). Edition 2.0. 2007.

Mann H (1971) Untersuchungen über die Wirkung von Waschmittelenzymen auf Fische und andere Wasserorganismen. Archive der Fischerwissenschaft 22; 146-154.**

Oystein Lie, Oystein Evensen, Anita Sorensen, Ellen Froysadal (1989). Study on lysozyme activity in some fish species. Dis. aquat. Org. 6: 1-5.

Schöberl P and Huber L, (1988) Ökologisch relevante Daten von nichttensidischen Inhaltsstoffen in Wasch- und Reinigungsmitteln. Tenside Detergents 3/4: 86-107 **

**Reported as Klimisch 4 in the HERA document.