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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

Key study was performed with ZrO2 on Danio rerio during 96 hours according to OECD guideline 203. Results displayed a LL50 and a NOELR > 100 mg/L of ZrO2. In terms of zirconium element, this correspond to a NOELR (96h) > 74 mg Zr/L. 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Fresh water fish

Fresh water fish
Effect concentration:
74 mg/L

Additional information

Three studies have been identified for short-term toxicity to fish based on read-across from zirconium compounds. The key study selected is a study performed with zirconium dioxide (ZrO2). ZrO2 is a suitable substance to study the effect of Zr in water as Zr undergoes complexation to form hydrated forms of ZrO2, as indicated in the environmental fate section.

The 96 hours exposure of Danio rerio to ZrO2 displayed a LL50 and a NOELR of > 100 mgZrO2/L which corresponds in terms of Zr element a concentration of > 74.03 mg/L.

The second study identified for fish toxicity, was performed with zirconium tetrachloride. In water, ZrCl4 decomposes rapidly into HCl and ZrOCl2 which then precipitates into ZrO2 under environmental conditions. The authors did not neutralized water solution and therefore a pH-induced effect was observed at high concentration. However, the pH-induced effect was inexistent at 20 mgZr/L (pH = 6.0). Therefore LC50 for this study was at least > 20 mg Zr/L.

Unfortunately, the third study performed with zirconium dichloride oxide (ZrOCl2) on Heteropneustes fossilis and Clarius sp. was disregarded because very few information was available for the fish toxicity test. Nevertheless, no effect was observed at a loading rate of 100 mg ZrOCl2/L (i.e 51 mg Zr/L).