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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Description of key information

LL50 (48 h) = 452.84 mg test item/L (nominal, WAF)

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Since no studies investigating the short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates of sorbitan C16-18 (even numbered) fatty acid esters, ethoxylated (1-6.5 moles ethoxylated) are available, in accordance to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 Annex XI, 1.5 read across was conducted to structurally related substances sorbitan stearate – C18 (CAS 1338-41-6) and sorbitan laurate – C12 (CAS 1338-39-2). 

In the first read across study short-term toxicity of the sorbitan stearate (CAS 1338-41-6) to Daphnia magna was tested. The study was performed under static conditions according to the Circular on Test Methods of New Chemical Substances, Japan (MoE, 2006). The test organism was exposed to nominal test concentrations of 100, 180, 320, 560 and 1000 mg test item/L for 48 h. No immobilisation was observed at any of the test concentrations and the EL50 was found to be > 1000 mg/L (nominal). The nominal concentration was used to express biological toxicity results as the mean measured concentration of 27.8 mg/L (corresponding to 1000 mg/L nominal) is far above the solubility of the substance and the values is therefore questionable.

A further read across study to the short-term toxicity of sorbitan laurate (CAS 1338-39-2) to marine invertebrates is available. The study was performed according to the ISO proposal (1990) for 14669 (1999) water quality-determination of acute lethal toxicity to marine copepods (Hudson, 1999). The marine test organism Acartia tonsa was exposed to the test substance in a static system for 48 h, at nominal test concentrations of 32, 100, 320, 1000, 3200 mg/L. The test solutions were prepared as water accommodated fractions (WAF), but the presence of undissolved material cannot be excluded at such high loadings. An LL50 of 452.84 mg/L (nominal, WAF) was derived.

Based on the above described results of the structurally related read-across substances (in accordance to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 Annex XI, 1.5), which are characterized by a similar ecotoxicological profile,the same result is expected when testing the substancesorbitan C16-18 (even numbered) fatty acid esters, ethoxylated (1-6.5 moles ethoxylated) on aquatic invertebrates.