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Long-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Highly refined base oils are viscous fluids derived from petroleum lubricant base oils through a sequence of fractionations and chemical purifications to ensure that the final product is comprised of saturated acyclic and cyclic hydrocarbon molecules. To gain insights into the composition of highly refined base oils, it is critical to understand the nature of other lubricating base oils since these substances serve as the feedstock for the highly refined mineral oils. In evaluating toxicological properties for highly refined base oils, other lubricant base oils which have undergone less refinement provide a conservative basis for read-across.

In a key semi-static 21-day long-term Daphnia magna toxicity test (OECD 211; KS = 2), 10 animals/loading were exposed to the Water Accommodated Fraction (WAF) of other lubricant base oil LVIN 38 (CAS #64742-53-6) at nominal concentrations of 1, 10, 100 and 1000 mg/L. The NOEL was 10 mg/L based on reproduction. The loss of all daphnids in the 100 mg/L WAF was attributed to a non-treatment related effect, the cause of which was unknown. Further testing would be required to clarify the consequences of exposure to a 100 mg/L WAF of the base oil (Shell, 1995).

In a supporting semi-static 21-day long-term Daphnia magna reproduction test (OECD 211; KS = 2), 10 animals/loading were exposed to the WAF of solvent-refined heavy paraffinic distillate (PSG 1860; CAS # 64742-04-7) at nominal concentrations of 0, 10, and 1000 mg/L. The EL50 was > 1000 mg/L and the NOEL was ≥ 1000 mg/L based on the lack of mortality or reproduction impairment (BP Oil Europe, 1995).

In supporting semi-static 21-day long-term Daphnia magna reproduction test (OECD 211; KS = 2), 10 animals/loading were exposed to the WAFs of other lubricant base oils HVI 60, XHVI 4.0, HVI 65, and LVIN 38 (CAS #64742-53-6) at nominal concentrations of 1 and 1000 mg/L. The NOELs for other lubricant base oils HVI 60, XHVI 4.0, and HVI 65 were ≥ 1000 mg/L based on reproduction. The NOEL for LVIN 38 was ≥1 mg/L based on reproduction (Shell, 1994); this substance was retested across a wider range of nominal concentrations and a NOEL of 10 mg/L was determined (as described above in Shell, 1995).

Supporting data estimated from the PETROTOX computer model show no acute toxicity of highly refined base oil to aquatic invertebrates at or below its maximum attainable water solubility (Redman et al. 2010b). These predictions support the applied read across.