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Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Description of key information

Selenastrum capricornutum (new name: Pseudokirchnerella subcapitata): EC0 (96h): 2 mg/L (corresponding to NOEC), EC50 (96h): 9 mg/L, EC100 (96h): 40 mg/L (Calamari et al., 1980),
Desmodesmus subspicatus: EC3 (7d): 2.6 mg/L (Trenel and Kuhn, 1982),
Chlorella pyrenoidosa: EC50 (96h): 30 mg/L (Van Leeuwen et al., 1985; cited in HSDB, 2010),

Marine algae species Skeletonema costatum: EC50 (72h): 28 mg/L (Eide-Haugmo et al., 2012)

Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC50 for freshwater algae:
9 mg/L
EC50 for marine water algae:
28 mg/L
EC10 or NOEC for freshwater algae:
2 mg/L

Additional information

Calamari et al. (1980) performed an experiment according to EPA, National Eutrophication Research Program, Corvallis, Oreg. (1971) to test the acute toxicity of dimethylamine (and other amines) to Selenastrum capricornutum (new name: Pseudokirchnerella subcapitata). Reported results are EC0 (96h): 2 mg/L (i.e. NOEC), EC50 (96h): 9 mg/L, and EC100(96h): 40 mg/L, respectively. This EC50 value for the algae species is also cited in the peer-reviewed database HSDB (2010). The green algae Desmodesmus subspicatus was exposed for 7 days to the test substance in accordance to the national guideline LTwS No. 10 (Trenel and Kuhn, 1982). Continuous illumination was applied during the static freshwater test. The test vessels were shaken once per day. The turbidity was used as basis of effect, whereby giving an EC3 value of 2.6 mg/L at the end of the test.

The freshwater algae Chlorella pyrenoidosa was exposed to the test substance for 96 h in a static experiment (Van Leeuwen et al., 1985). No reference guideline is mentioned. 200 mL Erlenmeyerflasks were taken as test vessels and placed on a mechanical shaker with an initial cell density 10E8 cells/mL. The temperature was held constant at 20 +/- 1 °C and continuous illumination was applied. 3 replicates per concentration and control was applied, however, no test concentrations are available. The EC50 value was reported as 30 mg/L. This value is also cited in the peer-reviewed database HSDB (2010).

The freshwater algae Scenedesmus quadricauda was used in a static experiment to investigate the toxicity of the test substance (Chromek, Kupec and Mladek, 1983). The substance concentration in the algal biomass was determined in aqueous filtrate from disintegrated and washed cells using gas chromatography. The nominal test concentrations were 0, 150 and 300 mg/L. An addition of 150 mg/L test substance showed no effect on the biomass production rate. 300 mg/L induced a substantial growth-rate reduction in the approx. linear portion of the algal growth curve. Since the exposure period was about 150 hours, the test system has to be considered as unsuitable, since this period last longer than the phase of exponential algal growth.

In a static screening study of Eide-Haugmo et al. (2012) with marine phytoplankton species Skeletonema costatum aquatic toxicity of dimethylamine (DMA, CAS 124-40-3) and further 42 amines was determined. The test was performed according to ISO guideline 10253 of 1999, natural seawater served as test medium. Test substance concentrations used in this study were based on pre-tests with wide concentration-ranges. For DMA a EC50 (72 h) value of 28 mg/L was calculated.