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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to birds

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Description of key information

Various studies are summarised in the WHO (2002) review. In feeding studies with different bird species, thicker egg shells, depressed weight gain and increased mortality rate was observed.

For Sturnus vulgaris, intubated with fluoride doses up to 160 mg F-/kg bw for 16 days, a NOEC of 10 mg F-/kg bw was derived for mortality and LD50 was calculated to be 17 mg F-/kg bw. Using the molecular weight of CaF2, this translated to a NOEC of 20.5 mg CaF2/kg bw for mortality and 34.9 mg/kg bw CaF2 for LD50.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Short-term EC50 or LC50 for birds:
34.9 mg/kg food
Long-term EC10, LC10 or NOEC for birds:
20.5 mg/kg food

Additional information

The World Health Organisation reviewed several studies that investigated fluoride toxicity in birds.

In birds, the 24-h LD50was 50 mg/kg body weight for 1-day-old European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) chicks and 17 mg/kg body weight for 16-day-old nestlings. Growth rates were significantly reduced at 13 and 17 mg fluoride/kg body weight (the highest doses at which growth was monitored).

Kestrels were fed a diet to which flour contaminated with fluoride (10, 50 or 500 mg/kg) had been applied. The birds receiving the highest fluoride dose died within 6 days. Fluoride at the lower doses had no effect on clutch size, hatchability or fledging success but was associated with a higher fertility. Eggs laid by kestrels at 50 mg/kg had significantly thicker shells. Lower reproductive success of eastern screech-owls (Otus asio) was noted when birds were fed 90 mg fluoride/kg diet wet weight (as sodium fluoride), but not when fed 18 mg fluoride/kg diet