Registration Dossier

Ecotoxicological information

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

Additional information

General remark: in Annex I of 67/548/EC lead containing substances are classified for ecotoxicity as category 1 for acute and chronic aquatic toxicity. Consequently, additional testing would not lead to additional information or a more severe classification. Therefore, additional testing is not required. Please note that data concerning aquatic toxicity exist in public literature. This information is summarised in the following.  

Summary taken from International Programme on Chemical Safety, Environment Health Criteria 85, Lead - Environmental aspects (see attachment).


Lead is unlikely to affect aquatic plants at levels that might be
found in the general environment.
In the form of simple salts, lead is acutely toxic to aquatic
invertebrates at concentrations between 0.1 and >40 mg/litre for fresh-water organisms and between 2.5 and >500 mg/litre for marine organisms.
For the same species, the 96-h LC50s for fish vary between 1 and
27 mg/litre in soft water, and between 440 and 540 mg/litre in hard
water. The higher values for hard water represent nominal concen-
trations. Available lead measurements suggest that little of the total
lead is in solution in hard water. Lead salts are poorly soluble in
water, and the presence of other salts reduces the availability of lead
to organisms because of precipitation. Results of toxicity tests
should be treated with caution unless dissolved lead is measured.
In communities of aquatic invertebrates, some populations are more
sensitive than others and community structure may be adversely affected
by lead contamination. However, populations of invertebrates from
polluted areas can show more tolerance to lead than those from non-
polluted areas. In other aquatic invertebrates, adaptation to hypoxic
conditions can be hindered by high lead concentrations.
Young stages of fish are more susceptible to lead than adults or
eggs. Typical symptoms of lead toxicity include spinal deformity and
blackening of the caudal region. The maximum acceptable toxicant
limit (MATC) for inorganic lead has been determined for several species
under different conditions and results range from 0.04 mg/litre to
0.198 mg/litre. The acute toxicity of lead is highly dependent on the
presence of other ions in solution, and the measurement of dissolved
lead in toxicity tests is essential for a realistic result. Organic
compounds are more toxic to fish than inorganic lead salts.
There is evidence that frog and toad eggs are sensitive to nominal
lead concentrations of less than 1.0 mg/litre in standing water and
0.04 mg/litre in flow-through systems; arrested development and delayed
hatching have been observed. For adult frogs, there are no signifi-
cant effects below 5 mg/litre in aqueous solution, but lead in the diet
at 10 mg/kg food has some biochemical effects.