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Sediment toxicity

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In water, diethyl ether - boron trifluoride rapidly decomposes to form diethyl ether and boron trifluoride dihydrate. The latter reacts further to boric acid and fluoroboric acid, which finally hydrolyses to yield hydrofluoric acid/ fluoride ions (BUA, 2005). Studies reviewed in the EU Risk Assessment Report for boron were therefore considered relevant.

Limited data on boron toxicity to sediment organisms are available. Short-term studies of the aquatic tubificid worm showed no mortality at 85 to 1313 mg-B/L (Mann, 1973). Studies of the midge Chironomous decorus showed a 2-day EC50 of 1376 mg-B/L (Maier & Knight, 1991). As noted above, a NOEC of 10 mg-B/L was reported for C. decorus (Maier & Knight) but the study system did not include any sediment.

The single guideline study using spiked sediments showed a NOEC for growth and emergence of 180 mg-B/L for the midge Chironomous riparius in a 28 day test (Hooftman et al. 2000b).