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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Ecotoxicological information

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

Additional information

Acute toxicity

There are several data available on acute aquatic toxicity of the test item for a variety of freshwater algae, microorganisms, invertebrates and fish



Several publications are available which assessed the acute toxicity of the test item to different fresh- and saltwater fish species.

The acute effect values for freshwater species ranged from LC50 = 13.5 mg/L to 122.1 mg/L and were derived from different experimental set-ups and exposure times (48, 72 and 96 h). The effect value for Pimephales promelas (Geiger, 1990) with an LC50 (96 h) = 24.1 mg/L was selected for further assessment due to high relevance and reliability.

The test item showed a slightly higher toxicity to saltwater fish. the observed effect values ranged from 6.7 mg/L to 212 mg/L. The most sensitive saltwater species was Morone saxtalis with an LC50 (96 h) of 6.7 mg/L (Wellborn, 1969). This valuewas selected as key value for marine fish and was used for further assessment.

The test item is acutely harmful to freshwater fish based on several experimental results with different species and acute toxic to marine fish.


Aquatic invertebrates:

Several publications are available which assessed the acute toxicity of the test item to different aquatic fresh- and saltwater invertebrate species.

The most sensitive freshwater species was Daphnia pulex with an EC50 (48 h) of 5.8 mg/L (Tisler, 1997). Similar effect values were published for marine invertebrates. The most sensitive organism was Pinctada fucata martensii (1-year-olds) with a LC50(96 h) =5.3 mg/L. The test item is acutely toxic for marine and freshwater invertebrates (Takayanagi, 2000).



Several publications regarding the toxicity to algae are available. The most sensitive species was Desmodesmus subspicatus with an EC50 (72h) of 4.89 mg/L (Eisentraeger et al.,2003). The test item is acutely toxic to aquatic algae.

The most sensitive organisms in the acute studies were invertebrates and algae with similar effect values. Based on these values the test item is acutely toxic to aquatic organisms.


Chronic toxicity

There are only adequate experimental chronic data available for aquatic invertebrates. From a reliable experimental study with Daphnia magna the most sensitive endpoint was chosen for further assessment (SGS, 2008). Based on the age of first reproduction a NOEC of 1.04 mg/L was determined. No experimental chronic values are available for aquatic algae but statistical estimations based acute experimental data showed good correlation and an NOEC of 0.80 mg/L was estimated (Chen et al., 2009). This assumption is within the same range than the experimental achieved effect value for aquatic invertebrates.  No adequate chronic data with fish are available for assessment.  Only a prolonged acute study with Danio rerio is available. In this study an LC 50 of 6.9 mg/L was determined after 144 h.  Since algae and invertebrates showed a higher sensitivity in the acute values than fish a chronic study with fish will not reveal new findings with a high probability.




Formaldehyde is used as a disinfectant to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi. Studies on the toxicity of formaldehyde towards microorganisms in sewage treatment plants demonstrated that this substance was harmful to activated sludge with an EC50 (3h) of 19 mg/L (Klecka et al., 1985).  The EC10 (120 h) was 14.7 mg/L (Tisler, 1997). Depending on local conditions and existing concentrations, disturbances in the biodegradation process of activated sludge are possible


Toxicity to other aquatic organisms:

The toxiciity to tadopoles of different species was tested (Helms 1967). The most sensitive species was Rana papiens with an LC50 (72h) = 8.7 mg/L. The data are not required under REACh and therefore not used for further assessment. Nevertheless the effect values are within the same range as for other aqutic species and are not lower than the most sensitive species (Daphnia magna NOEC(21 d) = 1.04 mg/L)