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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

Algal studies have been reported by Clarke (1991) but these studies were not performed according to GLP or standard guidelines. In these studies three green algae, Chlamydomonas eugametos, Chlorella emersonii and Scenedesmus quadricauda and three cyanobacteria, Anabaena variabilis, Anabaena A4 and Synechococcus leopoliensis were used. The algae were incubated in microtitre plates (300 μL). Analytical measurements were not available. Reported EC50 values ranged between 8-160 mg/L but these high values are not reliable. Hydrogen peroxide probably degraded because of the duration of the test period (between 140 and 240 hours). A significant recovery of the algal growth was seen in most cases during the test, which indicates a lack of exposure at the end of the test. Because the aquatic toxicity of sodium percarbonate can be explained by that of hydrogen peroxide, a reference is made to the reliable data on the toxicity of hydrogen peroxide to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

The following justification text was copied from the OECD SIDS dossier (OECD 2006), section 4.1, page 23:

"An algal study with Chlorella vulgaris has been conducted with hydrogen peroxide under standard test conditions (Degussa, 1991). The EC50 and NOEC of this study were 2.5 and 0.1 mg/L, respectively. Based on the study of Degussa (1991) predicted EC50 and NOEC values for a study with C. vulgaris and sodium percarbonate are 7.7 and 0.3 mg/L, respectively. Although a standard and valid guideline study is not available for algae, the toxicity of sodium percarbonate for algae can be predicted from an algal test with hydrogen peroxide. For this reason there is no need to do a standard algal toxicity test with sodium percarbonate."

The algal studies carried out by Clarke (1991) indicate higher NOEC values, but as the experiments are considered as not reliable these higher values are not taken into consideration in the derivation of a PNEC.