Little Pro on 2016-03-23
Aquatic toxicity is defined as the study of the effects of a chemical substance to aquatic species which is usually determined on organisms representing the three trophic levels, i.e. vertebrates (fish), invertebrates (crustaceans as Daphnia) and plants (algae). In this article, we will summarize how study results are given (LC50, NOEC) and provide acute and chronic aquatic toxicity classification criteria.
Acute aquatic toxicity data and chronic aquatic toxicity data are essential for determining the environmental hazard classification of a chemical substance under GHS. Dangerous goods regulations also require this data to determine if a material is a marine pollutant or not.
The picture below summarizes acute and chronic aquatic toxicity classification criteria. Lower LC50/EC50/NOEC indicates higher toxicity. Please note that degradation and bio-concentration shall also be taken into account.
Under REACH, EC50/LC50/NOECs obtained via aquatic toxicity studies will be divided by various assessment factors (according to the table below) to calculate Predicted No Effect concentrations(PNEC) for the aquatic environment. The Predicted No Effect Concentration or PNEC is the concentration of a substance in any environment below which adverse effects will most likely not occur during long term or short term exposure. PNECs will then be compared to predicted environmental concentration (PEC) to determine if risk is controlled or not.
All testing guidelines above can be accessed here.
You have learned the definition of aquatic toxicity (acute and chronic), tested species, testing guidelines, dose descriptors (LC50, EC50, NOEC, etc), GHS classfication criteria for aquatic toxicity and how they are used for environmental risk assessment.
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