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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to fish

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Description of key information

With high probability acutely not harmful to fish.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

The short-term toxicity of 2-diethylaminoethanol to fish was investigated in a study according to guideline DIN 38412, part 15. Basically, the tests were conducted with non-neutralized test solutions; in addition, the acute toxicity was tested with neutralized medium at the highest nominal test concentration of 1000 mg/L (BASF AG, 1987). Based on nominal test concentrations, the 96-h LC50 was determined for non-neutralized test solutions as geometrical mean value to be 147 mg/L; the 96-h LC50 for neutralized the solutions was determined to be > 1000 mg/L, as no adverse effects could be observed at the highest concentration tested.


The nominal concentrations were 0 (control), 100, 215, 464, and 1000 mg/l; they were not analytically verified, but are assumed to be stable due to the the low n-octanol/water partition coefficient (log Kow = 0.21), the high water solubility (WS = 1.0E+06 mg/L at 23 °C), the moderate vapour pressure (VP = 2 hPa, at 22.4 °C) and the low Henry´s law constant (HLC, uncharged: 3.17E-04 Pa*m³/mol) of the chemical. Furthermore, the substance was found to be stable during a test on short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates according to OECD 202 (Atofina, 1993).


In addition, a further test on short-term toxicity to fish according to APHA (1980) standard methods for the examination of water and waste water which are similar to OECD 203 testing guideline showed an acceptable recovery of the test item in the neutralized test solutions. Based on nominal concentrations, the 96-h LC50 was 1780 mg/L (Geiger et al., 1986). 


With regard to the LC50, the effect values show a significantly higher toxicity using non-neutralized test solutions; therefore, the observed toxicity is partly due to the pH induced by the substance. For risk assessment the effect data for the neutralized test medium should be used, since the quantities of 2-diethylaminoethanol that would be found in natural waters are not likely to affect the pH to a relevant extend. It is likely that the EC50 value from the test without neutralization overestimates the potential toxicity of the target item.


Based on the data for neutralized test solutions (96-h LC50 > 1000 mg/L), the substance is assessed to be with high probability not harmful to fish.