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Ecotoxicological Characterisation and Classification of Existing Chemicals

Examples from the ICCA HPV Initiative and comparison with other existing chemicals

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Abstract

Goal, Scope and Background

In 1998, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) launched a global initiative to investigate more than 1,000 HPV chemicals (High Production Volume, ≥ 1,000 t/a) within the refocused OECD HPV Chemicals Programme. Up to the OECD SIDS Initial Assessment Meeting in April 2004 (SIAM 18) 147 ICCA dossiers (ca. 230 CAS-No) have been assessed based on a harmonised data set. The environmental profile and an ecotoxicological characterisation of these chemicals are presented here. Data for acute aquatic toxicity were correlated among each other, as well as data for fish (LC50, LD50) and rodents (LD50). The data for acute aquatic toxicity are compared with other existing chemicals.

Methods

Data of the ICCA HPV chemicals from the OECD SIAM 11-18 are presented for: log Kow (as an indicator for bioaccumulation potential), biodegradation, acute aquatic toxicity and availability of long-term toxicity data. Correlation analysis was performed with log transformed data and a linear regression model was fitted to the data, if a significant correlation was found. Acute toxicity for fish and acute oral toxicity for rodents were correlated on a molar basis. Acute aquatic toxicity of the chemicals is compared with data from BUA reports 1-234 and a random EINECS sample (Knacker et al. 1995)

Results and Discussion

According to the dossier information 71 of the 147 ICCA chemicals are not ‘readily biodegradable’, 21 have a log Kow ≥ 3, and 44 are ‘toxic’ (LC/EC50 ≤ 10 mg/L) or ‘very toxic’ (LC/EC50 ≤ 1 mg/L) to aquatic organisms. For 77, only the base set (acute fish,Daphnia and algae) is available, for the rest at least one long-term test (fish orDaphnia) is available and three tests for a mere 14 others. Based on the data presented, the SIAM gives recommendations for Environment and Human Health. 22 chemicals have been identified as a ‘candidate for further work’ for Environment and 16 for Human Health. The highest correlation coefficient was obtained correlating fish andDaphnia (r2 = 0.79). LC50 (fish) is significantly correlated with LD50 (rodent), but data are widely scattered. The correlation is not improved after transforming LC50 (fish) to LD50 (fish), using BCF QSAR. Based on acute aquatic toxicity, 25.1% of the chemicals from the BUA reports 1-234 are classified as ‘very toxic’ (LC/EC50 ≤ 1 mg/L). This proportion is 2.5-fold higher than the ICCA HPV chemicals and 1.4-fold higher than the random EINECS sample

Conclusions

Correlation coefficients for aquatic toxicity data are rather uniform (0.57-0.79) compared with literature data, but also the best correlation was observed between fish andDaphnia. Because the scatter around the regression lines is still considerable, simple predictions of ecotoxicity between species are not possible. Correlation of LC50 (fish) and LD50 (rodent) indicates that toxicity is different. Surprisingly, the correlation of fish and rodent toxicity is not improved by transforming LC50 values to internal LD50s. The selection of ICCA chemicals by market significance (production volume) leads to a classification of toxicity, which is more comparable to a random sample of EINECS chemicals than to German BUA chemicals. The latter were chosen for concern (for Environment or Human Health)

Recommendations and Outlook

Of 147 dossiers assessed between SIAM 11-18, ca. 75% were sponsored by the three following countries: Germany (42), USA (37) and Japan (33). The current output is about 50 dossiers per year (70-100 CAS-No), but a trend for an increase of output is noticeable. Industry, national authorities, and OECD work on a further development to speed up the output. The number of chemicals with ‘low priority for further work’ and the work recommended for the ‘candidates’ (mainly exposure assessment) indicate that the data presented were adequate for an initial hazard assessment according to OECD requirements. From the ICCA HPV list (n = 880, state of 1999) 44% of the chemicals have data available to cover all SIDS endpoints for Environment and only 33% for Human Health (Allanou et al. 1999). This indicates the importance of the Initiative to provide information on existing chemicals. The authors agree with the expectation “...that the scientific information provided by this global initiative will be considered as an internationally accepted and harmonised basis for further steps of chemicals management.” (ICCA 2002 b).

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Correspondence to Oliver Licht or Arnd Weyers or Roland Nagel.

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Licht, O., Weyers, A. & Nagel, R. Ecotoxicological Characterisation and Classification of Existing Chemicals. Environ Sci & Pollut Res 11, 291 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02979641

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Keywords

  • Acute toxicity
  • chemicals regulation
  • ecotoxicology
  • existing chemicals
  • ICCA
  • high production volume
  • hazard assessment
  • OECD