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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Ecotoxicological information

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

Additional information

Trifluoroacetic acid anhydride (TFAH) reacts violently with water and is instantaneously degraded in trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) which is the relevant substance for risk assessment and classification & labelling purposes.

Acute data of various reliability, some based on international guidelines, are available for three trophic levels: Algae, Invertebrates and Fish and are summarised in the table below. In aqueous solution, the pH of the substance is naturally low and for testing on organisms either the sodium salt (NaTFA) or pH adjustment were required.

Among all the species tested, a toxic effect (growth inhibition) was found only for the algae Selenastrum capricornutum. Three tests were performed on this species. However one of the studies was further disregarded because a higher pH observed in the control was probably responsible for lower toxicty (one order of magnitude difference) compared to the two others. Based on the geometric mean of the two remaining tests, an ErC50 of 8.5 mg/L was calculated.

Six other freshwater algae and three marine algae were tested and no toxicity was found on none of the species at the highest concentrations tested.

One acute study and one chronic study (reproduction test) are available on Daphnia magna to assess the toxicity of TFA on invertebrates. No short term nor long term toxicty was observed for Daphnia magna. The EC50 (48h) was greater than or equal to the highest concentration tested of 999 mg TFA/L and a chronic daphnid 21 days reproduction test performed up to a maximal concentration of 25 mg/L of TFA. While this value is taken as the NOEC for invertebrates it is not a true NOEC as no effect concentration was statistically calculated.

One acute study is available on Danio rerio and no toxicity was observed at the highest concentrations tested. Therefore, an LC50 (96h) > 999 mg/L TFA was derived for the fish.

Table: Acute and chronic toxicity of TFA on aquatic species


EC50/LC50 (mg/L)

NOEC (mg/L)


Reference in IUCLID 5


Aquatic algae


Selenastrum capricornutum

Growth rate 72h:11.4(TFA)

Growth rate72h*:0.10(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V2 1995 GROE

Selenastrum capricornutum

Growth rate 72h:6.4(TFA)

Growth rate72h*:0.42(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V2 1996 THIE

Selenastrum capricornutum

Growth rate 72h:133(TFA)

Growth rate 72h:0.30(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V2 1992 GROE

Scenedesmus subspicatus

Growth rate 72h:> 99.9(TFA)

Growth rate72h*:99.9(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V2 1995 BERE

Chlorella vulgaris

Growth rate 72h:> 999(TFA)

Growth rate 72h:999(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V1 1993 BERE

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Growth rate 72h:> 99.9(TFA)

Growth rate 72h:99.9(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V1 1996 BERE GROE

Microcystis aeruginosa

Growth rate 144h:> 97(TFA)

Growth rate 144h:97(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V2 1996 BERE 3

Navicula pelliculosa

Growth rate 96h:1997(TFA)

Growth rate 96h:499(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V2 1994 SMYT 1

Anabaena flos-aquae

Growth rate 120h:> 1997(TFA)

Growth rate 120h:499(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V1 1994 SMYT 3

Marine water

Dunaliella tertiolecta

Growth rate 72h:> 103(TFA)

Growth rate 72h:<103(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V1 1996 BERE 1

Phaeodactylum tricornutum

Growth rate 72h:> 97(TFA)

Growth rate 72h:97(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V1 1996 BERE 2

Skeletonema costatum

Growth rate 96h:> 1997(TFA)

Growth rate 96h:1997(TFA)


6.1.5 Alga tox., V1 1994 SMYT 2

Aquatic invertebrates

Daphnia magna

48h:> 999(TFA)



ST aq. Inv., V1 1992 GROE


Brachydanio rerio

96h:> 999(TFA)

96h:≥ 999(TFA)


ST fish, V1 1992 GROE


Aquatic invertebrates

Daphnia magna

21d:> 25(TFA)

21d:≥ 25(TFA)


LT aq. Inv., V1 2010 KUHL

* Recalculated values

Moreover, one key study is available to evaluated the influence of NaTFA on the activated sludge respiration rate. In this study, the 3 hours EC10, EC20 and EC50 could not be quantified because up to the highest nominal test concentration (1000 mg NaTFA/L, corresponding to 832 mg TFA/L) less than 10% inhibition was noted. Nevertheless, the 3-hour EC20 and EC50 are clearly higher than 832 mg TFA/L under the present test conditions. The NOEC/EC10 may be established above 832 mg TFA/L.