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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Description of key information

The EC50 (72h) for 2-phenoxyethanol regarding effects on algal biomass was 443 mg/L, the corresponding EC10 (72h) was 159 mg/L. 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC50 for freshwater algae:
443 mg/L
EC10 or NOEC for freshwater algae:
159 mg/L

Additional information

In the first key study, an algal growth inhibition test was performed on the toxicity of 2-phenoxyethanol to the freshwater algae Scenedesmus subspicatus according to DIN 38412 Part 9 (BASF AG, 1989). The toxicity was determined in a static system at the nominal concentrations 0, 7.812, 15.625, 31.25, 62.5, 125, 250 and 500 mg a.i./L resulting in an EC50 for growth after 72 hours of > 500 mg/L and a NOEC of ≥ 500 mg/L.

Another key study examined the effects of 2-phenoxyethanol on biomass, growth rate and growth inhibition on Scenedesmus subspicatus according to EU method C.3 (Sasol Germany GmbH, 1994). The toxicity was determined in a static system at nominal concentrations of 0, 70, 120, 200, 360, 600 and 1000 mg/L resulting in an EC50 for biomass after 72 hours of 443 mg/L and an EC10 (72h) of 159 mg/L. The EC50 after 72 hours based on growth rate was 625 mg/L and the EC10 (72 h) was 333 mg/L. The NOEC (72h) based on growth rate was 70 mg/L.

A publication that documented a guideline limit study using Psuedokirchneriella subcapitata reported that no effects were seen at the single tested concentration of 130mg/l. This result is consistent with those reported above.