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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Description of key information

freshwater short-term:
The good quality short-term data that were available for all Cd-substances were considered together, since the toxicity of the Cd++ ion is key to this analysis.
Data were available on 1 species. The lowest short-term EC50 is observed on Selenastrum capricornutum: 18 µg Cd/l (single measured value). The EC50 values on this species ranged between 18 and 120 µg Cd/l.
marine waters: Data on 2 algae species available. Species NOECs values are of 18.3 µg Cd/L for the micro-algae Chaetoceros compressum and of 63 µg Cd/L for the macro-algae Ulva pertusa.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC50/LC50 for freshwater algae:
0.018 mg/L

Additional information

The good quality data that were available for all Cd-substances were considered together, since the toxicity of the Cd++ ion is key to this analysis.

freshwater short-term:

Data were available on 1 species. The lowest short-term EC50 is observed on Selenastrum caprocornutum: 18 µg Cd/l (single measured value). This value is used as the reference value for short-term toxicity to aquatic organisms, used for classification. The EC50 values on this species ranged between 18 and 120 µg Cd/l. Results were obtained at neutral/high pH where toxicity is expected to be highest.

Long-term toxicity: 8 reliable studies were considered for algae on 6 differents species. The NOECs, ranging from 0.85 to 31 µg/l Cd dissolved) were conbined to the other chronic data in the SSD to determine HC5 and further the PNEC.

Marine toxicity:

Relevant and reliable chronic toxicity data were found for one species of micro-algae (family Chaetocerotacae) and one species of macro-algae (family Ulvacae). Those two species are not among the most sensitive endpoints in the species sensitivity distribution (SSD) but they are situated in the first half of the fraction affected (NOEC range: 18.3 -63 µg Cd/L).

Algae species NOECs were combined together with other marine chronic data in the SSD to give the HC5 from which the PNEC is derived.