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Ecotoxicological information

Sediment toxicity

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Description of key information

Based on non standard data with aluminium ammonium sulfate on the wormTubifex tubifex giving an EC50 (96h) of 844 mg aluminium ammonium sulfate/L and the reported negligible risk for these organisms due to the natural occurence and the low bioavailability of aluminum and the rapid mineralisation of ammonia in sediment a justification for non submission of data is presented.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

No standard data are available on toxicity to sediment dwelling organisms. An acute test with a scientifically acceptable methodology was performed with aluminium ammonium sulfate in distilled water on the wormTubifex tubifex (Khangarot, 1991). An EC50 (96h) of 50.23 mg Al/L corresponding to 844 mg aluminium ammonium sulfate/L was observed. For the metal aluminium natural processes probably far outweigh the contribution of their anthropogenic sources as aluminium is amongst the most common elements of the earth’s crust and can be found in great abundance in both the terrestrial as sediment environment. According to Environment Canada (2010), the risks for sediment organisms are negligible, because the bioavailability of aluminium in sediment is low due to the presence of ligands and Dissolved Organic Matters. Moreover, ammonium sulfate is mineralized fairly rapidly, and subsequently nitrified in streams and rivers. Based on these results, it can be therefore postulated that under the proposed conditions of use no adverse effects on sediment organisms would result from the use of aluminium ammonium sulfate.


- Environment Canada and Health Canada (2010). Priority Substances List Assessment Report for Aluminium chloride, Aluminium nitrate and Aluminium sulphate, January 2010.

- Khangarot et al, 1991. Toxicity of metals to a freshwater Tubificid Worm, Tubifex tubifex (Muller). Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. (1991) 46:906-912

- OECD SIDS, 2004. SIDS Initial Assessment Report For SIAM 19.UNEP publication.