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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Description of key information

Chromium is highly insoluble as demonstrate in the T/D test as a consequence: chromium (III) produces soluble (bio)available ionic and other chromium-bearing species in environmental media is limited. The insolubility of chromium (III) is expected to determine its behavior, its fate in the environment, and subsequently its ecotoxicity potency.


In accordance with ECHA’s Guidance on IR & CSA, Appendix R.7.13-2 (2008), the substance can be evaluated by comparing the dissolved chromium (III) ion level resulting from the T/D at a loading rate of:

- 100 mg/L after 24-h, 7-days (for acute toxicity) or

- 1 mg/L after 28-days (for chronic toxicity)

with the lowest chronic effect concentration as determined for the (soluble) chromium (III) ion.

The lowest reliable acute and chronic effect concentrations determined for the (soluble) chromium (III) ion are a 72 h ErC50 > 148.1 µg Cr (III) /L and a 72 h ErC10 of 2 µg Cr (III) /L observed in a growth inhibition test for the effects of chromium (III) hydroxide sulphate (more soluble form) on freshwater algae Desmodesmus subspicatus (Neuhahn, 2010). Dissolved chromium concentrations of <0.01 µg/L in the T/D after 7 and 28-Days  at pH 6 (i.e. the pH that maximizes the dissolution) are significantly lower than the lowest reliable acute effect concentration derived for algae (i.e. EC50 > 0.148.1 mg Cr (III) /L) and the lowest reliable chronic effect concentration derived for algae (i.e. ErC10 of 2.0 µg Cr (III) /L).  Hence, chromium (III) is not sufficiently soluble in environmental media to cause chronic toxicity to algae / cyanobacteria at the level of the lowest chronic effect concentration (expressed as the NOEC).


According to this data, no toxicity on algae / cyanobacteria is expected.


makes its ecotoxicity very unlikely and also the testing of the environmental degradation and ecotoxicity mainly scientifically unjustified.  The lack of endpoint data from metallic chromium does not allow the derivation of PNECs.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

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