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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

Six valid studies using static, semi-static or flow-through systems and investigating the acute toxicity to different freshwater fish species have been identified. Only one study on acute toxicity to a marine fish species has been found. The 96-hours LC50 value in the most sensitive freshwater fish species was 18 mg/L. The LC50 value found for the only tested marine fish species was 28 mg/L.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

LC50 for freshwater fish:
18 mg/L
LC50 for marine water fish:
28 mg/L

Additional information

The experiments carried out with different freshwater fish species had testing periods ranging from 96 hours to 14 days. The LC50 values found in the studies range from 18 mg/L for Oncorhynchus mykiss to 171 mg/L for Pimephales promelas (Röderer 1990, Anderson and Lustry 1980, Könemann 1981, Mayes et al. 1983, Geiger et al. 1990). Thus, the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss tends to represent the most sensitive freshwater fish species. The 96 hours LC50 value of 18 mg/L was obtained with daily analytical monitoring of the chloroform concentration in the test water and a flow-through toxicant delivery system (Anderson and Lustry 1980) and is retained for the risk assessment.

Only one study delivers information about the acute toxicity of chloroform to the saltwater fish species Limanda limanda. Very few data are given with regard to the test substance and the conditions of the test. However, the 96 -hours LC50 value given for chloroform is 28 mg/L (Pearson et al. 1975), which is in good agreement with that of the most sensitive freshwater species. Thus, the study tends to show that the acute toxicity of chloroform to fish species is rather similar in freshwater and saltwater systems.

In conclusion, the LC50 value of 18 mg/L is used to characterise the short-term toxicity of chloroform to fish and considered to be representative of both, the freshwater and the saltwater systems.