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Long-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

From the available test data in combination with QSAR calculations it can be concluded, that the members of the ethylene category shows a very low long-term toxicity to fish.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC10, LC10 or NOEC for freshwater fish:
15 380 mg/L

Additional information

Within the category of 'ethylene glycol and higher glycols'data on long-term effects to fish are available for ethylene glycol (CAS-No.: 107-21-1) [Pillard, 1995] and triethylene glycol (CAS-No.: 112-27-6) [Montgomery et al., 1985]. 

The study with ethylene glycol was conducted according to the EPA guideline 600/4-89/001, with larvae of the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). The fish larvae were exposed to ethylene glycol for 7 days under semi static conditions. The test substance concentration was analytically quantified and the effects on larval survival and growth were observed daily. Based on the weight of the test organisms the determined NOEC (7d) is reported with 15380 mg/L ethylene glycol (nominal).

The second early life stage test was conducted with triethylene glycol according to the standard of ASTM (E-47.01, Draft No. 3, 1980 - Standard for Toxicity Tests With the Early Life Stages of Fisheries). In this study survival, hatching and growth (weight) of embryos from the saltwater species Menidia peninsulae were monitored. The test organisms were exposed under flow-through conditions for 28 days. Statistically significant differences were found in weight and survival at the highest test concentrations (230 and 1500 mg/L, measured). Nevertheless, since the survival of the embryos was significantly different from the control at 230 mg/L but not at 1500 mg/L, the effect observed was not concentration dependent. Hence, it have to be expected that the effect in the 230 mg/L treatment may not be caused by toxicity of the test item.

For each category member the expected long-term toxicity to fish was additionally calculated with the QSAR EpiWin-Program ECOSAR v1.11. Based on the results of the estimations a very low chronic toxicity has to be expected for all category members. The calculated fish 30-d chronic value (ChV) for ethylene glycol (CAS-No.: 107-21-1) is 2629 mg/L [BASF SE, 2013].