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Diss Factsheets

Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Administrative data

Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

The lowest observed 48h-EC50 for freshwater invertebrates is 230 mg/L. This conclusion is in line with the OECD SIDS (2001) in which an endpoint of > 100 mg/L is reported for daphnids.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Fresh water invertebrates

Fresh water invertebrates
Effect concentration:
230 mg/L

Additional information

The following two studies are considered to be key studies.They have been assessed both by US EPA (1989) and the OECD SIDS (2001):

  • In the study by Knie et al. (1983), the effect of benzyl alcohol to daphnids was assessed in a 24 -hour static acute toxicity test according to the guideline DIN 38412, Teil 11. The EC0 and EC50 of the invertebrate Daphnia magna after 24 hours exposure was determined to be 300 mg/L and 400 mg/L, respectively.
  • In the second study by Bringmann & Kühn (1959a) the effect of benzyl alcohol to the invertebrate Daphnia magna was tested in a static acute toxicity test. The duration of the test was 48 h. The results showed distinctive damage of test cultures (>=50% of individuals are immobile) at concentrations of 360 mg/L.

In addition to these publications, the Japanese Ministry of Environment conducted a GLP-compliant acute toxicity test with Daphnia magna according to the OECD Guideline 202 (NITE 2009). The EC50 value was determined to be 230 mg/L after 48 hours exposure, which is the lowest 48h-EC50 value compared to the relevant publications cited above.

Thus, the study by the Ministry of Environment in Japan (NITE 2009) is determined to be the key study in the present dossier and the publications by Knie et al. (1983) and Bringmann & Kühn (1959a) are considered to be supporting studies.

Studies which are regarded as not relevant for the environmental hazard assessment:

The two remaining publications by Bringmann & Kühn (1982) and Trenel & Kühn (1982) on the toxicity of benzyl alcohol to daphnids are probably documenting the same test. The effect of benzyl alcohol toDaphnia magnawas determined in a 24-hour static acute toxicity test according to DIN38412 Teil 11. The EC50 (24h) of both studies of 55 mg/L is also reported in the OECD SIDS " Initial Assessment Report" on Benzoates (2001), but the endpoint was not used in the environmental hazard assessment of the OECD SIDS. Since this value was not considered in the OECD SIDS (2001) and since according to the Endpoint Specific Guidance (Chapter R.7B, Section, 24 hours values should only be considered in the absence of good quality 48 hour values, this endpoint is regarded as not relevant for the environmental hazard assessment of benzyl alcohol