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Sediment toxicity

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The behavior of sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide are expected to be similar to hydrogen cyanide, which is not strongly partitioned into the sediments or suspended adsorbents, primarily due to its high solubility in water (Callahan et al, 1979).  Cyanides are relatively mobile in the soil environment (Alesii and Fuller, 1976), indicating that adsorption to sediment is unlikely to be significant in most aquatic environments (ECETOC JACC No. 53 Report, Vol. I., Section 4.3.2, p. 82).  Therefore, sediment toxicity was evaluated on the basis of a chronic sediment-water chironomid toxicity test using spiked water.  No significant effects were observed in the study, and therefore the NOEC was determined to be ≥ 1.65 ug/L (based on geomean measured concentration of the highest test concentration).  At one significant figure, the NOEC of ≥ 1.65 ug/L is equivalent to the chronic HC5 of 2 ug/L from the species sensitivity distribution for aquatic organisms (freshwater and marine).  Therefore, the PNEC values for freshwater and marine sediments were each derived based on long-term toxicity data for aquatic organisms (chronic HC5 = 2 ug/L), using the equilibrium partitioning method (EPM). 

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