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Long-term toxicity to fish

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High quality chronic single-species NOEC/(L(E)C10 values are available for 10 freshwater fish species.  A chronic fish Biotic Ligand Model was developed for 2 fish speices. These NOECS and  the chronic fish Biotic ligand models (BLM) are carried forward to the risk characterisation. 
High quality chronic single-species NOEC/(L(E)C10 values are available for 2 marine fish species. These NOECS are carried forward to the risk characterisation.

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NOECS for freshwater fish:

 High quality chronic NOEC/(L(E) C10 values are available for 10 species: Ictalurus punctatus, Oncorhynchus kisutch, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Salvelinus fontinalis,Pimephales promelas, Pimephales notatus, Perca fluviatilis, Noemacheilus barbatulus, Catostomus commersoni; Esox lucius.  Individual high quality NOEC/(L(E) C10 values from different studies range between 2.2 µg/l Cu for the rainbow troutOncorhynchus mykiss(endpoint growth) to 188 µg/l Cu for the perchPerca fluviatilis(endpoint mortality). The NOECs are used to derive high quality “species geometric mean” NOEC values for the most sensitive endpoint for each of the 10 species of fish. These species-specific NOEC/EC10s range from 11.6 µg Cu/L (Oncorhynchus mykiss,; growth) to 56.2 µg Cu/L (Pimephales notatus, growth). These values are carried forward to the PNEC derivation.

Important intra-species varibility in NOEC: L(E) C10 values are observed due to differences in the physico-chemistry of the test waters. The effects data from 2 fish species (Pimephales promelas(Erickson et al., 1996)) andOncorhynchus mykis (Waiwood and Beamish, 1979) were used to develop a chronic fish Biotic Ligand Model (De Schamphelaere and Janssen, 2004), useful to the normalization of the NOECS and thus the reduction of the intra-species variability.

Several papers address the mechanism of action of copper after acute and/or chronic exposures: Santore et al.(2001), Handy (2003), Grosell et al.(2002) and Grosell 2007. Interestingly Grosell et al (2002) provides a mechanistic understanding of the observed higher sensitivity in smaller organisms.

Within the ecotoxicity data base, a decreased growth ofO. mykissbelow 7.8 µg Cu/l and above 16 µg Cu/l indicating an optimal concentration range for copper between 8 & 16 µg Cu /L. Below 7.8 µg Cu/L, a copper deficiency was observed (Seim et al, 1984).

NOECS for Marine fish: 13 high quality chronic single-species NOEC: L(E) C10 values are available for 2 species of marine fish. Individual NOEC: L(E) C10 values range between 55 and 123 µg Cu/L (Both values for Atherinops affinis, reproduction (hatchling growth parameters)). The retained species-specific NOECs are 55 µg Cu/L for topsmelt Atherinops affinis and 57.8 µg Cu/L forsheepshead minnow Cyprinodon variegates. The database contains some records, supportive to the understanding ot f the mechanism of action on copper. Grosell (2007) provides a mechanistic understanding of the observed lesset sensitivity in estuarine environments compared to freshwater or marine environments.