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Calcium lactate fully dissociates into Ca2+ ions and lactate. The ecotoxicology of calcium lactate can be understood in terms of the ecotoxicology of calcium chloride and lactic acid.

Fish

Calcium chloride:

Several studies on acute toxicity to fish have been reported. The lowest 96-hour LC50 value of 4630 mg/L is from a study with fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) conducted under EPA guideline. Furthermore, there are two studies with bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) from Cairns and Scheier (1959) and Trama (1954) and a study with mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) from Wallen et al. (1957) in which 96-hour LC50¬ values between 9500 and 13400 mg/L were determined.

Lactic acid:

Three short term toxicity studies with lactic acid with fish are available. The 96-hour LC50 value of 130 mg/L for lactic acid was determined in a static exposure system with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). However, it should be noted that all observed effects are due to the low pH induced by high concentrations of lactic acid, and will completely disappear at lower concentrations. This is also evident from available aquatic toxicity studies with sodium lactate, which has a daphnia LC50 of > 6 g/L and (acute) NOEC of 6 g/L (compare with daphnia LC50 for lactic acid of 130 mg/L).

Calcium lactate:

The molar ratio to convert from lactic acid by weight to sodium lactate by weight is 1.21, which gives an estimate for the 96h-LC50 for fish of 157 mg/L. Given that effects of lactic acid can be attributed to pH effects and the neutral pH of calcium lactate solutions, the derived LC50 should be regarded as an extreme overestimation of the toxicity of calcium lactate.

Invertebrates

No adverse effects of sodium lactate were observed in a short-term toxicity test with the fresh-water crustacean Daphnia magna at concentration up to 6000 mg/L which is used for read-across to calcium lactate. Sodium lactate and calcium lactate fully dissociate to lactate and Na+ or Ca2+. Sodium and calcium ions are natural present in water and both are essential nutrients to Daphnia. The ecotoxicological effects of sodium- or calcium lactate in the environment can be understood in terms of the ecotoxicological effect of lactate. Based on the absence of effect for sodium lactate at concentrations 60 times the limit concentration (100 mg/L) it is considered safe to conclude that no effects for calcium lactate occur at the limit concentration either.

Algae

For calcium chloride, there is one study with fresh water algae, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (as Selenastrum capricornutum), which was conducted according to OECD guideline 201. The 72-hour EC50 and EC20 obtained on the basis of growth rate from the study were >4000 mg/L (>36.0M) and 2700 mg/L, respectively.

For lactic acid the ErC50 was 3500 mg/L (38.9 M) ; the NOEC was 1900 mg/L. The molar ratio to convert from lactic acid by weight to calcium lactate by weight is 1.21 resulting in an estimated ErC50 for sodium lactate of 3500 x 1.21 = 4235 mg/L and NOEC of 1900 x 1.21 = 2300 mg/L.

 

Calcium lactate is practically nontoxic to algae.

Overall:

No adverse effects of calcium chloride have been observed in the acute aquatic toxicity studies with fish, daphnids and algae at the highest recommended test concentrations of 100 mg/L. For lactic acid, no adverse effects have been observed in the acute aquatic toxicity studies with daphnids and algae at the highest recommended test concentrations of 100 mg/L; for fish slight effects observed for lactic acid at concentrations of 100 mg/L are considered not relevant since all observed effects are due to the low pH induced by high concentrations of lactic acid (pH<5 at 100 mg/L), and will completely disappear at lower concentrations. Calcium lactate does not lower the pH of test water and therefore it is concluded that no adverse effects of calcium lactate will occur at the highest recommended test concentration of 100 mg/L. No hazard has been identified and derivation of a PNEC is not considered necessary.