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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

The lethal loading, LL50(96 h), of wash oil (composite sample No. 05) was found to be 79 mg/L in a semi-static test system with freshwater. 
No data for acute toxicity in saltwater is available for the oil as a total.
The lowest 96h-LC50 for the marker substance acenaphthene in freshwater was 0.58 mg/L while the saltwater 96h-LC50 is 3.1 mg/L.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

LC50 for freshwater fish:
79 mg/L

Additional information

Data on short-term toxicity to fish are available for creosote oil, acenaphthene fraction itself as well as for individual wash oil components. Acenaphthene was selected as marker substance for the environmental assessment of wash oil (see Chapter 7.1.). Hence data for wash oil and for acenaphthene are presented.

The acute toxicity of wash oil Composite sample (CS) No. 05 in freshwater (79 mg/L; Aniol et al., 2009a) relates to the nominal concentration added to the test system (loading). The corresponding Water-Accommodated Fraction (WAF) was about 5 mg/L (measured as TOC), i.e. accounting for approximately 6 % of the amount added.

Fish short-term toxicity of acenaphthene in freshwater (continuous flow-system) was determined using several fish species (Holcombe et al., 1983). The lowest LC50 has been found for Salmo trutta (brown trout). The analytical 96h-LC50 was 0.58 mg/L. For other fish species, 96h-LC50 were found to be between 0.67 mg/L (Oncorhynchus mykiss - rainbow trout) and 1.72 mg/L (Ictalurus punctatus - channel catfish) (data not shown in the table above).

For marine fish (Cyprinodon variegatus - sheepshead minnow), the 96h-LC50 has been determined in a flow-through system to be 3.1 mg/L (measured concentration, Ward et al., 1981a).

It is pointed out that short-term toxicity of the wash oil constituent acenaphthene is much higher than the acute fish toxicity of wash oil itself (loading as well as WAF concentration). In addition, short-term toxicity of acenaphthene to marine fish is lower than toxicity to freshwater fish (LC50: 3.1 mg/L for salt water compared to 1.72 mg/L - highest LC50 in freshwater).