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Ecotoxicological information

Long-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

The 31-d NOEC for MTBE in the freshwater fish Pimephales promelas is 299 mg/l; a safety factor of 10 will be applied on this value.  

Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC10, LC10 or NOEC for freshwater fish:
29.9 mg/L

Additional information

An OECD212 5 day study on embryos/sac fry is available for TAME with zebrafish. This established a NOEC of 128mg/l. However, such a study does not cover all sensitive fish life stages and therefore could be considered inadequate to cover this end point completely. No other chronic studies with fish are available for TAME, however an ELS test with eggs and larvae/fry of fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) is available for MTBE (ENSR, 1999). This result is used for read-across, the 31-d NOEC is 299 mg/l. A QSAR predicts that MTBE will be of lower toxicity than TAME, but only by a factor of ~2. The QSAR is quite conservative and predicts the toxicity of MTBE to be lower than the experimentally determined values. As a conservative approach, the value used for the CSA for chronic fish toxicity will be derived from the value for MTBE but reduced by a factor of 10 to take into account the lower toxicity of MTBE. An effect concentration of 29.9 mg/l for TAME will be used in the CSA. This value is lower than that derived from Boventre.