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Long-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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In water, the tetrahydrofuran - boron trifluoride complex rapidly decomposes to form tetrahydrofuran and boron trifluoride dihydrate. The latter reacts further to boric acid and fluoroboric acid, which finally hydrolyses to yield hydrofluoric acid/ fluoride ions (BUA, 2005). The assessment of long-term toxicity is therefore based on the products of hydrolysis.

Tetrahydrofuran is not readily biodegradable, but it is not classified as dangerous to the environment and is expected to have low potential for bioaccumulation (log Kow 0.45). Therefore, in accordance with column 2 of REACH Annex IX, the long term testing on invertebrates does not need to be conducted.

The data available for long-term toxicity of boron to aquatic invertebrates is reviewed in the EU Risk Assessment Report for boron. Hooftman et al (2000a) report a NOEC for growth and reproduction of 10 mg-B/L in the only study that fully complied with standard guidelines. Other values (14 to 21 day tests) for Daphnia magna growth and reproduction range from 6 to 27 mg-B/L.

Maier and Knight (1981) report a chronic NOEC for Chironomus decorus of 10 mg-B/L in a 4 -day test of the 4th instar stage.

Older studies report NOEC values for emergence of mosquito species range from 4.4 to 18 mg-B/L (Fay, 1959), although these studies are probably too old to be used in derivation of a PNEC or SSD.