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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to microorganisms

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Description of key information

Testing of the toxicity of 2-phenoxyethanol to microorganisms yielded an EC10(30 min) of 248 mg/L regarding activated sludge respiration inhibition.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

EC10 or NOEC for microorganisms:
248 mg/L

Additional information

The inhibiting effect of 2-phenoxyethanol (purity > 99.9 area-%) on oxygen consumption of activated sludge was investigated in an activated sludge respiration inhibition test according to OECD guideline 209 (1993), Annex to EEC Directive 88/302/EEC (1987), ISO Standard 8192-1986 (E, Method B) and EPA OPPTS 850.6800 (1996) at following concentrations: 0, 248, 496 and 1000 mg/L (BASF AG, 2002). After an incubation time of 30 min, the concentration of dissolved oxygen was measured at test start and after 6 min. Effect concentrations (EC20, EC50, EC80) were obtained from graphical interpolation, resulting in EC20, EC50and EC80 values of 620 mg/L, > 1000 mg/L and > 1000 mg/L, respectively. Also by graphical interpolation, an EC10 of 248 mg/L could be derived (not reported in the study).

Another key study investigated the toxicity of 2-phenoxyethanol to the bacterium Pseudomonas putida in a bacterial growth inhibition test according to DIN guideline 38412 Part 8 (Sasol Germany GmbH, 1994), with nominal concentrations of 0, 187.5, 375, 750, 1500, 3000 and 6000 mg/L. After 16 h, an EC10 of 410 mg/L and an EC50 of 1494 mg/L was determined.

In a third key study, the toxicity of 2-phenoxyethanol to the bacterium Pseudomonas putida was determined in a bacterial growth inhibition test according to DIN guideline 38412 Part 8, draft (BASF AG, 1989). Growth inhibition was measured at nominal concentrations of 0, 78.13, 156.25, 312.5, 625, 1250, 2500 and 5000 mg/L after 17 hours of incubation, resulting in an EC10 of 318.9 mg/L, an EC50 of 883.3 mg/L and an EC90 of 2129.5 mg/L.

Further, a supporting study examined growth inhibition effects on Pseudomonas putida and aerobic microorganisms with resulting EC50 value of 1650 mg/L. Another study evaluated reduced light output of Photobacterium phosphoreum with an resulting EC50 after 5 minutes of 32.7 mg/L.