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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

Brooke (1993a) presented results for the preferred species, Daphnia magna, of 48hr LC50 (survival) = 0.085 mg/L nonylphenol.  Test was performed according to ASTM 1991 E729-88a Standard guide for conducting acute toxicity tests with fishes, macroinvertebrates, and amphibians.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Fresh water invertebrates

Fresh water invertebrates
Effect concentration:
0.085 mg/L

Marine water invertebrates

Marine water invertebrates
Effect concentration:
0.051 mg/L

Additional information

Several aquatic studies with nonylphenol short-term exposure of 48 and 96 hours to aquatic invertebrates were found reliable. The reliable data included the preferred test species Daphnia magna and four other freshwater taxa with reported L(E)C50endpoints based on survival, immobility, and molting frequency, plus six marine taxa with L(E)C50 concentrations based on survival. The range of L(E)C50concentrations for freshwater organism exposure (48-hr) was 0.02 mg nonylphenol.L for Ceriodaphnia cornuta (Hong et al., 2007) to 0.47 mg nonylphenol/L for Ceriodaphnia dubia (Ankley et al., 1993) for survival and immobility, and up to 0.596 mg nonylphenol/L for loss of equilibrium after 96 hr exposure to Ophiogomphus sp. (Brooke 1993a).  The L(E)C50values reported for the preferred test species Daphnia magna ranged from a single report of 0.085 mg nonylphenol/L based on survival (Brooke 1993) to nearly equal values of 0.13 to 0.19 mg nonylphenol/L based on immobility reported in four other studies (Hϋls 1992, Hirano et al., 2007, Comber et al., 1993, and Brennan et al., 2006). The range of effects on survival for marine species ranged from a 48 hr LC(E)50concentration of 0.03 mg nonylphenol/L for Mulinia lateralis to 0.2 mg nonylphenol/L at 96 hr exposure to Dyspanopeus sayi (Lussier et al., 2000). 


Key studies selected for aquatic invertebrate exposure to nonylphenol were Hϋls (1992) and Brooke (1993a). Both studies provided toxicity information for the preferred species Daphnia magna, with Brooke (1993a) showing the lower end of the concentration range for survival (0.085 mg nonylphenol/L) and Hϋls (1992) reporting a value of 0.14 mg nonylphenol/L for immobility that was consistent with the findings of Hirano et al., (2004),Comber et al., (1993), andBrennan et al., (2006). In the interpretation of the results reported byHirano et al., (2004),Comber et al., (1993), and Brennan et al., (2006) the use of the term survival versus immobility as test endpoints could not be distinguished and were considered an equivalent determination of lethality. Results reported by Hong et al. (2007) implicate Ceriodaphnia cornuta (48 hr survival LC50of 0.02 mg nonylphenol/L) may be more sensitive to nonylphenol exposure than the preferred test species Daphnia magna, but it was difficult to confirm as there were no other reliable data available for C. cornutaas an individual taxon.  However, test results for Ceriodaphnia dubia exposure to nonylphenol (Isidori et al., 2006 and Ankley et al., 1990) do not implicate the Ceriodaphnia genus to be more sensitive than Daphnia magna.  Results of the Lussier et al., (2000) study conicide with results of Hirano et al., (2004) and Ward and Boeri (1990) suggest marine invertebrates may generally be more sensitive to the toxic effects of nonylphenol than freshwater invertebrates.