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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

The acute toxicity of melamine to fish is low.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Five studies, most of them old, with different reliabilities and with 4 different species of fish are available (Goodrich 1984, Vaessen 1982, Pagga 1979, Nite 2010, Jansen 1978). A weight of evidence approach was applied. The best described study with the rainbow trout (Goodrich 1984) was selected as the lead study amongst the others. The report of each of the 5 studies point to the same result: the acute toxicity of melamine to fish is low. The LC50s are in the range of >500 to >4600 mg/L.

The lead study reports a LC50 of >3000 mg/L (which can not be entered in the field "Key parameter" above, as the ">"-sign is not accepted there).

Further 2 publications are available. Reimschuessel et al. 2008 reported on the kidney damage after feeding melamine to various species of fish. No crystals were detected in any fish kidneys from control fish or fish to which melamine was administered. Melamine residues in kidneys ranged from 31 to 400 mg/kg of tissue. Pirarat 2012 published pathological effects to walking catfish after feeding melamine for 2 weeks. The catfish developed darkening of the skin as early as 3 days post feeding. None of the catfish died during the 2-week experiment. Melamine-related crystals were not detected in fish.