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The alkyl ether sulfates grouped within the AES category show similar structural, physico-chemical, environmental and toxicological properties. The approach of grouping different AES for the evaluation of their effects on human health and the environment was also made by the Danish EPA [1] and HERA [2], supporting the read across approach between structurally related AES.


The aquatic toxicity of the alkyl ether sulfates has been evaluated in studies on fish, invertebrates and algae as well as microorganisms. In most of the given studies AES were tested as sodium salts. As the kation counterpart of the AES anions is not expected to influence the ecotoxicological profile of the substance, read-across is possible between all comparable mixtures independent from the kation (e. g. sodium, magnesium, ammonium, MIPA; for details see category justification). Based on the available experimental data it is assumed that with increasing chain lengths also the toxicity increases.

The acute toxicity to aquatic invertebrates was covered by a read-across from substance AES (C8-10, 1-2.5EO) Na. The determined EC50(48 h) value was 91 mg a.i./L for Daphnia magna.

To cover the acute toxicity on fish a read-across from AES (12-14, 1-2.5EO) Na (CAS 68891-38-3) was performed as a worst case approach. The LC50 (96 h) value reported in this read-across study was 7.1 mg a.i./L for fish.

Long-term toxicity data for aquatic invertebrates and a toxicity test on freshwater algae are available for the target substance AES (C8-10, 1-2.5EO) NH4 (CAS 68891-29-2). The chronic toxicity to Daphnia magna was tested in a GLP guideline study according to OECD 211. Based on the reproduction of D. magna a NOEC (21 d) of 5.3 mg a.i./L (measured, TWA) was determined. The toxicity to algae was tested in a GLP guideline study according to OECD 201 with Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. The determined NOErC (72 h) was 31.25 mg a.i./L (nominal) and the corresponding ErC50 value was > 100 mg a.i./L (nominal).

[1] Danish EPA - Environmental and Health Assessment of Substances in Household Detergents and Cosmetic Detergent Products (2001). Environmental Project No. 615, pp. 24-28

[2] HERA - Human & Environmental Risk Assessment on ingredients of European household cleaning products (2004). Alcohol Ethoxysulphates (AES).