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Long-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

No reliable information on the long-term toxicity of hydrogen peroxide to fish is available. However, a prolonged toxicity test in fish is deemed not necessary.

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Additional information

Hydrogen peroxide has a short half-life in natural waters due to the activity of micro-organisms, and therefore long-term exposure of aquatic biota, i.a. invertebrates to hydrogen peroxide originating from anthropogenic sources is considered rather improbable. Furthermore, hydrogen peroxide is continuously formed in the environment and is ubiquitous in fresh- and seawater at natural background concentrations from some micrograms to some tens of microgram per litre. Accordingly, fish can be considered evolutionary adapted to hydrogen peroxide in this range of concentrations. In consideration of these points, a prolonged toxicity test in fish is deemed not necessary.

A long-term test is available from public literature addressing potential carcinogenic effects of hydrogen peroxide on fish (Kelly et al. 1992). During the 8-month test period, rainbow trout were exposed to hydrogen peroxide via the diet at nominal levels of 600 or 3000 ppm. However, dosing via the diet is not considered appropriate because hydrogen peroxide does not persist in food but would be rapidly degraded before the food is eaten by the fish. Therefore, the study is not considered valid. Furthermore, dietary uptake is not a relevant exposure route.