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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to terrestrial plants

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Description of key information

Toxicity to terrestrial plants data are not available and testing is scientifically unjustified.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Testing of toxicity to terrestrial plants is not necessary for magnesium carbonate, because magnesium carbonate and magnesium and carbonate ions are ubiquitous in the environment and are found naturally in soil, water and sediment. Magnesium is an important constituent of most soils and the minerals found in soil are mostly compounds of magnesium with other substances. Moreover, magnesium is essential to life and is intentionally applied to soils as an important constituent of fertilisers to ensure an adequate supply of magnesium to plants. Soil magnesium is necessary for proper plant functions and helps in producing healthy fruits and flowers. Some of the functions of magnesium in the soil include photosynthesis, as a carrier of phosphorus in the plant, as an enzyme activator and a constituent of many enzymes, sugar synthesis, starch translocation, plant oil and fat formation, nutrient uptake control, increases iron utilization and aids nitrogen fixation in legume nodules. The classic magnesium deficiency symptom is interveinal chlorosis of the lower/older leaves. However, the first symptom is generally a more pale green color that may be more pronounced in the lower/older leaves. In some plants, the leaf margins will curve upward or turn a red-brown to purple in color. Full season symptoms include preharvest leaf drop, weakened stalks, and long branched roots. Conifers will exhibit yellowing of the older needles, and in the new growth the lower needles will go yellow before the tip needles. Many fertilisers available today make use of magnesium and magnesium-rich salts to in order to ensure that plants have the supply of magnesium they need to promote healthy growth.

Given the essential nature of magnesium carbonate, its natural occurence in the environmental, and the extensive and continued use of magnesium carbonate as a constituent of fertiliser, the performance of terrestrial plant toxicity tests is scientifically unjustified.