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Short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Description of key information

Acute daphnia immobilisation: NOEC - 4.3 mg/L 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC50/LC50 for freshwater invertebrates:
4.3 mg/L

Additional information

The phthalate esters are1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acids with side chain esters ranging in carbon chain length from C1 to C13.The US EPA High Production Volume (HPV) chemical challenge program has proposed grouping phthalate esters into a single category, divided into 3 sub-categories, this based on the structural similarities of the substances and theirphysicochemical and toxicological properties. These sub-categories are: low molecular weight phthalates, transitional phthalates, and high molecular weight phthalates. The high molecular weight phthalates are defined as being produced from alcohols with straight-chain carbon backbones of >C7 or a ring structure. These include varying mixed isomers of linear and branched diheptyl, dioctyl, dinonyl, didecyl, diundecyl and ditridecyl phthalate. All exhibit low solublity in water and are regarded as being too insoluble to exhibit acute or chronic toxicity. Read-across from closely related phthalates thus appears reasonable and this is supported by the data, below:

Acute immobilisation to Daphnia of the substance, a phthalate ester with C9 –C11 chain length, has been investigated over a 48 hour exposure period using methods in accordance with EU test guidelines. Solubilising / dispersion agents were used to increase water solubility of the substance. The NOEC was 500 mg/L, greatly in excess of the water solubility of the substance. A second test with the substance resulted in a NOEC of 0.18 mg/L.

Investigations with a phthalate ester with C11 chain length resulted in a NOEC of 0.02 mg/L.

Acute immobilisation to Daphnia of a phthalate ester with C8 -C10 chain length with daphnids exposed to the substance in a water accommodated fraction (measured concentration 4.3 mg/L) resulted in no toxicity being observed.

Acute immobilisation to Daphnia of a phthalate ester with C6 -C10 chain length with daphnids exposed to the substance in a water accommodated fraction (measured concentration 1.7 mg/L) resulted in no toxicity being observed.