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EC number: 231-146-5
CAS number: 7440-36-0
The lowest valid value for acute toxicity to freshwater fish is 14.4 mg
Sb/L for Pimephales promelas (Brooke et al. 1986).
The lowest valid value for acute toxicity to marine fish is 6.9 mg Sb/L
for Pargus major (Takayanagi, 2001).
Three acute toxicity studies with freshwater
fish species that are considered valid are available (Kimball, 1978;
Brooke et al., 1986; TAI, 1990).
In the study by Kimball (1978), 8 week-old
juvenile fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) were exposed to
trivalent antimony (SbCl3) in a flow-through system,
performed in duplicates with six concentrations (range: 1.0 - 27.6 mg
Sb/L) and a control, with each group comprising 10 fish. The tests were
performed with hard well water. The resulting LC50s for the 4
and 8 d exposures were 21.9 and 20.2 mg Sb/L, respectively.
In the study by Brooke et al. (1986) juvenile
rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were exposed in a static test
design to trivalent antimony (SbCl3) for 4 days, and the LC50
was determined. The tests were performed in duplicates with two
concentrations (11.4 and 25.7 mg Sb/L) and a control, with each group
comprising 10 fish. The mortality in the highest of the two dose groups
was 45 %, so no LC50 could be determined other than
”greater-than” values. This study also contained the results of static
tests performed onPimephales promelas, which resulted in LC50
values of 20.8 mg Sb/L, 17.4 mg Sb/L, and 14.4 mg Sb/L for the time
periods 24 h, 48 h, and 96 h, respectively. No dose-response
relationship was reported, but
these results are considered reliable for the following reasons: the
used methodology is well described, the antimony concentrations were
measured, the water characteristics remained within the tolerance limits
of the test species, and the estimated LC50 values were
within the range of the test concentrations used. The effect values
presented in this study were in line with those reported by Kimball
(1978) using the same fish species.
In the study by TAI (1990) juvenile Ictalurus
punctatus were exposed to trivalent antimony (SbCl3) in a
static test design for 4 days, using moderately-hard reconstituted
culture water as test medium. The tests were performed in duplicates
with five measured concentrations (nominal concentrations within
brackets) of 8.5 (15.6), 15.4 (31.25), 19.8 (62.6), 24.6 (125), and 21.2
(250) mg Sb/L, and a control with 0 mg Sb/L (measured concentration),
with each group comprising 10 fish. The resulting LC50 was
24.6 ± 2.6 mg Sb/L.
The reason that Curtis and Ward (1981) is
considered unreliable, even though it included analytical monitoring of
the test concentrations, is that the reported effect concentration is
not considered to represent a dissolved antimony concentration. This
conclusion is based on the fact that (i) the reported “greater than”
concentration far exceeds the water solubility of diantimony trioxide,
(ii) the concentrations used are not presented, (iii) the test
substances in the study were added either directly or in the form of a
stock solution in deionized water and the solutions were briefly stirred
with a glass rod before a water sample was removed for analysis (i. e.
there was no initial pretreatment of the diantimony trioxide to ensure
that it was properly dissolved before it was added to the test
solution), (iv) initially water samples were not filtered before
analysis; filtering through 0.45 µm filters before analysis was
performed at a later stage (but it is unclear when and for which
chemicals), and (v) it is specifically mentioned that the results of the
analysis primarily were used for information about the physicochemical
behaviour of the toxicants rather than for computing LC50s
(which casts some doubt on whether the nominal or measured
concentrations were used).
The reasons why the results reported by Doe
et al. (1987) for Oncorhyncus mykiss are considered to be
unreliable, even though the exposure concentration was measured, are
that there is no information presented on (i) the number of
concentrations and which concentrations were used, (ii) the
dose-response curves (no raw data are reported), (iii) the number of
replicates (if any), and (iv) the statistics that were used to calculate
the LC50 values. The reported acute levels for the fish O.latipes
(Nam et al, 2009) are not considered reliable for the hazard assessment
of antimony and antimony compounds as the test was conducted with
antimony potassium tartrate. Dissolved antimony forms a complex with
tartrate, and therefore only a part of the total amount of antimony will
be present as “free” antimony; the exact concentration of free antimony
can only be estimated via speciation modeling. The reported LC50
values therefore represent the toxicity of the dissolved Sb-tartrate
complex at equilibrium, and not the toxicity of the Sb-ion.
USEPA (1988) reports results from Spehar
(1987) for an acute study with Lepomis macrochirus with measured
exposure values. Although we have not been able to obtain a copy of
Spehar (1987) the value reported is higher than that from Brooke et al.
(1986); hence the data are not critical for the hazard assessment.
Only a single study on the acute toxicity to
marine fish was considered valid (Takayanagi, 2001).
In the study by Takayanagi (2001) 3 month-old Pargus
major were exposed to trivalent (SbCl3) or pentavalent
antimony (SbCl5 or K[Sb(OH)6]) under static
conditions with a control and an unknown number of concentrations
(range: SbCl3: 7.8-25.7 mg Sb/L; SbCl5: 0.40-1.06
mg Sb/L; K[Sb(OH)6]: 2.8 -10.3 mg Sb/L), with each group
comprising eight fish. The tests were performed using natural seawater,
with a salinity of 33.7 ppt, passed through sand and activated-charcoal
filters. Each aquarium was aerated. The pH was determined daily and the
reported ranges were 4.9-7.8, 7.8-8.1, and 7.8-8.1, for SbCl3,
SbCl5, and K[Sb(OH)6], respectively. For the SbCl3
test, a decrease in the pH of the test solution was observed. Therefore,
a low pH seawater was prepared with HCl for use as control for the SbCl3
test in order to assess pH effects. All test fish survived in the
HCl-adjusted seawater, and therefore pH was considered to be a
negligible factor, and the mortality found in the SbCl3dilution
waters was considered to have been caused by the SbCl3. The
concentrations of antimony were measured at the beginning and end of the
experiments using the hydride-generation atomic absorption method. The
resulting EC50 values for 24 h, 48 h, 72 h, and 96 h exposure
were 15.5, 15.5, 15.2, 12.4; 0.93, 0.93, 0.93, 0.93; and 6.9, 6.9, 6.9,
6.9, for SbCl3, SbCl5, and K[Sb(OH)6],
respectively (all concentrations in mg Sb/L). However, the results from
using the pentavalent SbCl5 appear to be questionable and
will therefore not be used.
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