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Short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Description of key information

48h-EC50 = 5.55 mg/L (freshwater) for Ceriodaphnia dubia (similar to OECD 202)

48h-LC50 = 3.15 mg/L (nominal concentration, marine water) for Artemia salina (acute toxicity test)

Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC50/LC50 for freshwater invertebrates:
5.55 mg/L
EC50/LC50 for marine water invertebrates:
3.15 mg/L

Additional information

Numerous studies are available investigating the acute toxicity of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) to freshwater and marine invertebrates (see table 1), since SDS is an economically important surfactant and was frequently used as reference substance in toxicity tests. The data set is comprised of several publications with acceptable quality and validity focusing on standard and non-standard species as well as one study report investigating the acute toxicity to the standard species Ceriodaphnia dubia (Lauth and Dyer 1996). The non-GLP study was performed according to an internal SOP, which is equivalent to conditions as described in OECD guideline 202. Daphnids were exposed in a flow-through system to six test concentrations (+ control) in the range of 0.38 to 101 mg/L. Mortality of daphnids was evaluated every 24 hours throughout the 48h test period. The 48h-LC50 value is determined to be 5.5 mg/L (4.28 – 7.2 mg/L). It is uncertain as to whether the LC50 is based on nominal or measured concentrations; however, the analytical verification of the test substance concentration for chronic tests also given in the publication by Dyer et al. (1997) indicate that the nominal concentrations are adequately maintained using the specific flow-through method developed. This study is considered to be the most reliable study since it was performed under flow-through conditions which enabled stable test substance concentrations and is well documented as the study was performed for regulatory purposes. Although this effect value is not the lowest observed in the data set it was used for hazard assessment since (i) this study is rated as the most comprehensive and reliable one and (ii) the remaining data set is biased because several effect values are existing in the literature for many additional (standard) species tested but always the lowest obtained value per species is listed and no averaging was performed. This was done because the data set is primarily presented to statistically assess the general susceptibility of aquatic invertebrates to SDS in comparison to fish and algae using a conservative approach. To use the effect value from Lauth and Dyer (1996) is considered to be acceptable for hazard assessment since classification and labeling as well as PNEC derivation is not based on fish acute toxicity and since this value adequately represents the toxicity (= toxic) of SDS to aquatic invertebrates (see table 1).

Based on the profound data set it can be concluded that in general marine species are equally susceptible to SDS than freshwater species Two commonly used test species used for assessing the toxicity of chemicals in the marine environment (Artemia salina and Americamysis bahia) indicate a comparable toxicity as observed for the freshwater species. For Artemia salina Zillioux et al. (1973) determined a 48h-LC50 of 3.15 mg/L. The 72h-LC50 for Americamysis bahia was determined to be 3.8 mg/L (Tatem et al. 1985).

Table 1: Acute toxicity of SDS to different freshwater and marine invertebrates. Publications showing the lowest obtained effect values for a single species are listed.

Species Exposure time EC/LC50 [mg/L] marine/freshwater Reference
Pseudosida ramosa 48h 11.10 fw Freitas and Rocha 2012
Ceriodaphnia dubia 48h 5.55 fw Lauth and Dyer 1996
Daphnia magna 48h 1.80 fw Bishop and Perry 1981
Daphnia obtusa 48h 9.80 fw Rossini and Ronco 1996
Brachionus calyciflorus 48h 1.20 fw Radix et al. 1999
Daphnia pulex 48h 5.34 fw Martinez-Jeronimo and Munoz- Mejia 2007
Gammarus pulex 96h 4.10 fw Bluzat et al. 1976
Chaoborus sp. 96h 14.40 fw Bluzat et al. 1976
Lymnea stagnalis 96h 7.00 fw Bluzat et al. 1976
Daphnia ambigua 48h 2.44 fw Harmon et al. 2003
Cypris subglobosa 48h 2.05 fw Khangorot & Das 2009
Acartia lilljeborgi 48h 1.90 m Nipper et al. 1993
Temora stylifera 48h 2.63 m Nipper et al. 1993
Artemia parthenogenetica 96h 12.20 m Nunes et al. 2005
Moina mongolica 72h 3.50 m Zheng et al. 2006
Siriella armata 96h 8.47 m Perez and Beiras 2010
Tiburonella viscana  48h 3.41 m Melo and Nipper 2007
Simocephalus mixtus 48h 4.50 m Martinez-Jeronimo and Munoz-Mejia 2007
Corophium orientale 96h 8.70 m Picone et al. 2008
Nitocra spinipes 96h 14.40 m Tarkpea et al. 1986
Neomysis americana 96h 7.24 m

Roberts et al. 1982

Tigriopus fulvus 96h 7.42 m Mariani et al. 2006
Artemia salina 48h 3.15 m Zillioux et al. 1973
Americamysis bahia
(Mysidopsis bahia)
72h 3.80 m Tatem et al. 1985
Allorchestes compressa 96h 3.60 m Gulec et al. 1997
Mysidopsis juniae 96h 2.30 m Nipper et al. 1993