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Short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Description of key information

EC50 for invertebrates: no effects within water solubility

Key value for chemical safety assessment

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Hooftman (1991) presented a GLP study with Daphnia magna conducted according to EU method C.2 under static conditions for 47h. Tertiary buty alcohol was used as vehicle. No toxicty of stearic acid was observed at the highest nominal concentration tested. The EC50 is therefore >32 mg/L.

The publication from Curtis (1970) with Artemia salina in saltwater resulted an LC50 of >20 mg/L for stearic acid. However, only limited data is provided and the study was rated reliability 4.

Since the results from the above mentioned studies are either obtained by using a vehicle or based on insufficient information, in addition read across is done to the shorter-chain fatty acid palmitic acid (C16), which is a member of the fatty acids category, and a weight of evidence approach is applied. This limit test with Daphnia magna was provided by the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan conducted by a not named author (2000). The study was conducted with 98.7% pure palmitic acid according to the "Circular on Japanese Test Methods of new chemical substances, Daphnia acute toxicity test" according to GLP. In this static test the EC50 (48h) was found to be >4.8 mg/L.

The read across to palmitic acid (C16) supports the results by Hooftman (1991) and Curtis (1970), in that there is no short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates by stearic acid within the water solubility of 0.597 mg/L.