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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Description of key information

In accordance with section 1 of Annex XI of the REACH Regulation, the study does not need to be conducted as in the aquatic environment sodium bicarbonate is dissociated into sodium and bicarbonate ions. Both ions originally exist in nature, and their concentrations in surface water are dependent on various factors, such as geological parameters, weathering and human activities. Therefore, there is a continuous source of both ions into the environment and both ions have been measured extensively in aquatic ecosystems. Furthermore, bicarbonate ions are provided in high concentrations in algae growth medium, in order to ensure a sufficient carbon source for the organisms. Sodium ions are also present in high concentrations in the growth medium as essential ions.

Indeed, two reliable studies (K 2) testing the increase of growth of algae with the addition of NaHCOare available.

Nunez et al. (2016) exposed two marine diatoms, Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Nannochloropsis salina, to a concentration range of 0.5 to 5 g/L of NaHCO3 for 1-12 days during their growth phase, to assess their optimal growth condition. Indeed, with increasing test item concentration algae’s growth rate increased. Thus, a NOEC of 5,000 mg/ L for inhibition effect was determined.

Differently, Zhou et al. (2016) exposed three marine red macroalgae, Gracilaria lemaneiformis, Gracilaria vermiculophylla and Gracilaria chouae, to a concentration range of 84 to 420 mg/L of NaHCO3 for 14 days to assess their optimal growth condition. Indeed, with increasing test item concentration algae’s growth rate increased up to the concentration of 420 mg/L (LOEC), when all the algae exhibited a significant grow rate inhibition compared with the control (NOEC 336 mg/L). Chl a, at the end of the experiment was also determined. A LOEC of 420 mg/L was determined for chlorophyll inhibition for G. lemaneiformis, G. vermiculophylla. G. chouae at the highest concentration tested showed a decrease but not significant decrease of Chl a compared with the control, thus a NOEC > 420 mg/L was determined.

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