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Short-term toxicity to fish

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Endpoint:
short-term toxicity to fish
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
weight of evidence
Reliability:
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Published study.
Qualifier:
no guideline followed
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Acute dietary toxicity in Salvelinus fontinalis
GLP compliance:
no
Remarks:
: older, non-standard published study
Analytical monitoring:
no
Details on sampling:
No data on sampling
Vehicle:
yes
Details on test solutions:
The test substance was administered in the diet (cod muscle / liver)
Test organisms (species):
Salvelinus fontinalis
Details on test organisms:
Yearling brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) of weight 50-200 g were obtained from Cobequid fish.
Test type:
static
Water media type:
freshwater
Limit test:
no
Hardness:
Not reported
Test temperature:
Not reported
pH:
Not reported
Dissolved oxygen:
Not reported
Salinity:
Not reported
Reference substance (positive control):
no
Dose descriptor:
other: Toxic dose
Remarks:
Results were based on observed toxicity in brook trout exposed to yellow phosphorus via their diet.
Effect conc.:
>= 1.23 - <= 2.73 other: mg
Remarks on result:
other: The authors note that the symptoms of yellow phosphorus poisoning in exposed fish were identical to those observed when the element is present in water, namely external redness, haemolysis and reduced haematocrit.
Details on results:
Yellow phosphorus (P4) contaminated cod muscle (P4, 4-11 ug/g) and liver (P4, 194 ug/g) were lethal when fed to brook trout.
Results with reference substance (positive control):
Not investigated
Reported statistics and error estimates:
Not reported

The authors note that the symptoms of P4 poisoning in the exposed fish were identical to those observed when the element is present in water, namely external redness, haemolysis and reduced haematocrit. The approximate toxic dose of P4 ranged from 1.23- 2.73 mg.

Validity criteria fulfilled:
not specified
Conclusions:
Yellow phosphorus (P4) contaminated cod muscle (P4, 4-11 ug/g) and liver (P4, 194 ug/g) were lethal when fed to brook trout.
Executive summary:

Yearling brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) were exposed to P4 in the diet (cod muscle, cod liver). The approximate toxic dose of P4 ranged from 1.23- 2.73 mg.

The authors note that the symptoms of P4 poisoning in the exposed fish were identical to those observed when the element is present in water , namely, external redness, haemolysis and reduced haematocrit.

Endpoint:
short-term toxicity to fish
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
weight of evidence
Reliability:
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Published study
Qualifier:
no guideline followed
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Acute toxicity of the substance (48h) in Gadus morhua
GLP compliance:
no
Remarks:
: older published study
Analytical monitoring:
yes
Details on sampling:
No details
Vehicle:
yes
Details on test solutions:
Phosphorus dissolved in water
Test organisms (species):
Gadus morrhua
Details on test organisms:
No further details
Test type:
static
Water media type:
saltwater
Limit test:
no
Total exposure duration:
48 h
Post exposure observation period:
No post exposure observation period.
Hardness:
Not reported
Test temperature:
Not reported
pH:
Not reported
Dissolved oxygen:
Not reported
Salinity:
Not reported
Nominal and measured concentrations:
nominal
Details on test conditions:
Cod were exposed to a range of concnetrations of elemental phosphorus in water.
Reference substance (positive control):
no
Duration:
48 h
Dose descriptor:
LC50
Effect conc.:
14.4 µg/L
Details on results:
The acute toxicity of dissolved elemental phosphorus to cod (Gadus morhua) has been investigated in the absence of colloidal phosphorus. The 48 h LC50 for dissolved elemental phosphorus is 14·4 μg/L, and evidence is presented that the incipient lethal level is ca. 1–2 μg/L. Elemental phosphorus was rapidly assimilated into the body tissues of the test animals. The distribution of phosphorus was homogeneous in the muscle tissue with levels ca. 10–30 times the exposure level, highest concentrations were measured in the liver.
Results with reference substance (positive control):
No reference substance used.
Reported statistics and error estimates:
No reported statistics.

No further information.

Validity criteria fulfilled:
not applicable
Conclusions:
The 48 h LC50 for dissolved elemental phosphorus is 14·4 μg/L, and evidence is presented that the incipient lethal level is ca. 1–2 μg/L.
Executive summary:

The acute toxicity of dissolved elemental phosphorus to cod (Gadus morhua) was investigated in the absence of colloidal phosphorus. The 48 h LC50 for dissolved elemental phosphorus is 14·4 μg/L, and evidence is presented that the incipient lethal level is ca. 1–2 μg/L. Elemental phosphorus was rapidly assimilated into the body tissues of the test animals. The distribution of phosphorus was homogeneous in the muscle tissue with levels ca. 10–30 times the exposure level, highest concentrations were measured in the liver.

Endpoint:
short-term toxicity to fish
Type of information:
other: review
Adequacy of study:
weight of evidence
Reliability:
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Review of avaliable data on white phosphorus.
Qualifier:
no guideline followed
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Literature review of available data
GLP compliance:
no
Remarks:
older, published review
Analytical monitoring:
not required
Details on sampling:
Not required
Vehicle:
not specified
Details on test solutions:
Not required
Test organisms (species):
other: the available data on various species are reviewed
Details on test organisms:
The review covers studies on species including bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus Rafinesque), cod (Gadus morhus), atlantic salmon (Salmo salis), herring (Clupea harenqus), Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), Smelt (Osmerus mordax) and Killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus)
Test type:
not specified
Water media type:
saltwater
Limit test:
no
Post exposure observation period:
No details
Hardness:
No details
Test temperature:
No details
pH:
No details
Dissolved oxygen:
No details
Salinity:
No details
Nominal and measured concentrations:
No details
Details on test conditions:
No further details are reported in this review.
Reference substance (positive control):
not required
Duration:
96 h
Dose descriptor:
LC50
Effect conc.:
ca. 45 µg/L
Nominal / measured:
nominal
Conc. based on:
test mat.
Basis for effect:
mortality
Remarks on result:
other: Static fresh water bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) - Isom (1960)
Duration:
96 h
Dose descriptor:
LC50
Effect conc.:
2.5 µg/L
Nominal / measured:
nominal
Conc. based on:
test mat.
Basis for effect:
mortality
Remarks on result:
other: continuous saltwater, Cod (Gadus morhua) - Fletcher and Hoyle (1972)
Duration:
96 h
Dose descriptor:
LC50
Effect conc.:
2.3 µg/L
Nominal / measured:
nominal
Conc. based on:
test mat.
Basis for effect:
mortality
Remarks on result:
other: Continuous saltwater - Atlantic Salmon - Zitko et al (1970) and Fletcher and Hoyle (1972)
Duration:
96 h
Dose descriptor:
LC50
Effect conc.:
3.7 µg/L
Nominal / measured:
nominal
Conc. based on:
test mat.
Basis for effect:
mortality
Remarks on result:
other: Static salt water, Herring (Clupea harengus) - Zitko et al (1970)
Duration:
96 h
Dose descriptor:
LC50
Effect conc.:
2.5 µg/L
Nominal / measured:
nominal
Conc. based on:
test mat.
Basis for effect:
mortality
Remarks on result:
other: continuous saltwater, Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) Fletcher et al (1970, 1971)
Duration:
96 h
Dose descriptor:
LC50
Effect conc.:
2.5 µg/L
Nominal / measured:
nominal
Conc. based on:
test mat.
Basis for effect:
mortality
Remarks on result:
other: Continuous saltwater, Smelt (Osmerus mordax)- Fletcher et al (1971)
Duration:
96 h
Dose descriptor:
LC50
Effect conc.:
> 20 µg/L
Nominal / measured:
nominal
Conc. based on:
test mat.
Basis for effect:
mortality
Remarks on result:
other: Continuous saltwater, Killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) - Fletcher et al (1971)
Details on results:
The results demonstrate that white phosphosphoris is of high acute toxicity to fish. Addtional data indicate that colloidal phosphorus may be of higher toxicity than the dissolved substance.
Results with reference substance (positive control):
No results to report
Reported statistics and error estimates:
Not applicable

No further information

Validity criteria fulfilled:
not applicable
Conclusions:
The LC50s obtained for a variety of fish species are 3 ±0.7 ug/L.
Executive summary:

The authors review the available data relting to the acute toxicity of white phosphorus to fish species. They conclude that white phosphorus is highly toxic to fish. The 96 hour LC50 values are less than 50 ppb for all fish species studied, and it is noted that the incipient lethal level is 'probably less than 1 ppb' for most fish. Phosphorus poisoning appears to be cumulative and irreversible, though the cause of mortality has not been determined. While phosphorus is readily taken up by fish and other aquatic organisms directly from the water, fish may also acquire lethal quantities of elemental phosphorus through the food chain, since the few macroinvertebrates studied have a much higher tolerance for white phosphorus than fish. The symptoms of phosphorus intoxication are passed onto brook trout when they are fed muscle tissue from phosphorus-poisoned cod. The authors postulate that that the minimum 'incipient lethal level' is 0.1 ug/l, comparable to the NOEC, (1/5 the lowest measured).

Description of key information

White phosphorus is of very high acute toxicity to fish species, with reported LC50 values as low as 2.3 ug/L.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

LC50 for freshwater fish:
0.002 mg/L
LC50 for marine water fish:
0.014 mg/L

Additional information

The acute toxicity of dissolved elemental phosphorus to cod (Gadus morhua) was investigated in the absence of colloidal phosphorus. The 48 h LC50 for dissolved elemental phosphorus is 14·4 μg/L, and evidence is presented that the incipient lethal level is ca. 1–2 μg/L. Elemental phosphorus was rapidly assimilated into the body tissues of the test animals. The distribution of phosphorus was homogeneous in the muscle tissue with levels ca. 10–30 times the exposure level, highest concentrations were measured in the liver (Maddock & Taylor, 1976).

In a literature review, Burrows et al (1973) conclude that white phosphorus is highly toxic to fish. The 96 hour LC50 values are less than 50 ppb for all fish species studied, and it is noted that the incipient lethal level is 'probably less than 1 ppb' for most fish. Phosphorus poisoning appears to be cumulative and irreversible, though the cause of mortality has not been determined. While phosphorus is readily taken up by fish and other aquatic organisms directly from the water, fish may also acquire lethal quantities of elemental phosphorus through the food chain, since the few macroinvertebrates studied have a much higher tolerance for white phosphorus than fish. The symptoms of phosphorus intoxication are passed onto brook trout when they are fed muscle tissue from phosphorus-poisoned cod. The authors postulate that that the minimum 'incipient lethal level' is 0.1 ug/l, comparable to the NOEC, (1/5 the lowest measured).

In a study of dietary toxicity (Fletcher, 1973), brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) were exposed to P4 in the diet (cod muscle, cod liver). The approximate toxic dose of P4 ranged from 1.23- 2.73 mg.