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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to soil macroorganisms except arthropods

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Description of key information

Two acute toxicity studies towards the earthworm Eisenia fetida are available.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Short-term EC50 or LC50 for soil macroorganisms:
846 mg/kg soil dw

Additional information

Adequate and reliable data on the acute toxicity towards soil macroorganisms (Eisenia fetida) are available for C8-18 and C18 unsatd. AAPB (Coco AAPB) as well as for the closely related source substance C8-18 AAPB.

A justification for read-across is given below.


The acute toxicity of C8-18 AAPB towards the earthworm Eisenia fetida was investigated in a study conducted according to OECD Guideline 207 (Earthworm, Acute Toxicity Tests) and EU Method C.8 (Toxicity for Earthworms: Artificial Soil Test). At total 40 animals per concentration step were exposed to nominal concentrations of 0 (control), 63, 125, 250, 500, and 1000 mg product/kg dry soil for 14 d. No mortality and no effects on body weight were observed even in the highest concentration tested (14 d LC0 ≥ 1000 mg product/kg dry soil; 14 d LC0 ≥ 380 mg a. i /kg dry soil assuming an active matter content of 38 %). Moreover, no abnormal behaviour of the test organisms or other symptoms of toxicity were recorded in worms at any of the test treatments.


A second study, conducted as limit test, the acute toxicity of Coco AAPB towards Eisenia fetida was investigated according to EU Method C.8 (Toxicity for Earthworms: Artificial Soil Test). 40 Animals were exposed to 1000 mg/kg dry residue of test material (sole concentration tested) over a 14-d period. The 14 d LC0was determined to be ≥ 1000 mg dry residue/kg soil dry weight (corresponding to ≥ 846 mg active matter/kg soil dry weight and ≥ 2857 mg product/kg soil dry weight.



As there were no effects observed in both studies, it is justified to use the LC0 of 846 mg a.i./kg soil dw for chemical safety assessment. The obtained results were considered to be valid for the AAPBs.


Justification for read-across

For details on substance identity and detailed (eco)toxicological profiles, please refer also to the general justification for read-across attached as pdf document to IUCLID section 13.


This read-across approach is justified based on structural similarities. All AAPBs contain the same functional groups. Thus a common mode of action can be assumed.

The only deviation within this group of substances is a minor variety in their fatty acid moiety (chain length and degree of unsaturation), which is not expected to have a relevant impact on intrinsic ecotoxicological properties.


a. Structural similarity and functional groups

Alkylamidopropyl betaines (AAPBs) are – with the exception of C12 AAPB - UVCB substances (Substances of Unknown or Variable composition, Complex reaction products or Biological materials), which are defined as reaction products of natural fatty acids or oils with dimethylaminopropylamine and further reaction with sodium monochloroacetate. AAPBs are amphoteric surfactants, which are characterized by both acidic and alkaline properties.


Their general structure is:



R = fatty acid moiety


The fatty acids have a mixed, slightly varying composition with an even numbered chain length from C8 to C18. Unsaturated C18 may be included. Consequently, the AAPBs differ by their carbon chain length distribution and the degree of unsaturation in the fatty acid moiety. However, Lauramidopropyl betaine (C12 fatty acid derivate) is the major ingredient of all AAPBs covered by this justification as listed in table 1 “Substance identities” of the general justification for read-across.


The substances under evaluation share structural similarities with common functional groups (quaternary amines, amide bonds and carboxymethyl groups), and fatty acid chains with differences in chain length and degree of saturation.


b. Differences

Differences in ecotoxicity of the AAPBs could potentially arise from the following facts:

-Different amounts of different carbon chain lengths (carbon chain length distribution):

Higher amounts of higher chain lengths and corresponding lower amounts of lower chain length could result in a rising average lipophilicity. However, the main component for all AAPBs is C12 AAPB. Relevant effects on ecotoxicity are not to be expected.

- Different amounts of unsaturated fatty ester moieties:

Effects may be expected for e.g. physical state, but are not considered to be of relevance for ecotoxicity.


Comparison of toxicity datato soil macroorganisms



Source substance

Target substance


C8-18 AAPB

C8-18 and C18 unsatd. AAPB

Toxicity to soil macroorganisms except arthropods

key_Toxicity to soil macroorganisms except arthropods.97862-59-4_9.4.1_Acute Earthworm_Unilever-A23-KAW030412_OECD 207

key study


EU Method C.8 (Toxicity for Earthworms: Artificial Soil Test), Eisenia fetida, laboratory study,
short-term toxicity

14 d LC0 >= 1000 mg/kg soil dw, test mat.
(nominal) based on: mortality
14 d LC0 >= 380 mg/kg soil dw,
act. ingr. (nominal) based on: mortality


Reliability: 1 (reliable without restriction), GLP

key Toxicity to soil macroorganisms except arthropods: 61789-40-0_9.4.1_Hüls_1995_EEC 88-302 C8


key study


EU Method C.8 (Toxicity for Earthworms: Artificial Soil Test), Eisenia fetida, laboratory study,
short-term toxicity

14 d LC0 >= 846 mg/kg soil dw,
act. ingr. (nominal) based on: mortality


Reliability: 2 (reliable with restrictions), GLP


No effects were observed in both studies. The 14 d LC0 was >/=846 mg a.i./kg soil dw(nominal).


Quality of the experimental data of the analogues:

The available data are adequate and sufficiently reliable to justify the read-across approach.

The studies were performed according to EU Method C.8 and were reliable or reliable with restrictions (RL1-2, GLP).

The test materials used in the respective studies represent the source substance as described in the hypothesis in terms of substance identity and minor constituents.

Overall, the study results are adequate for the purpose of classification and labelling and risk assessment.



Based on structural similarities of the target and source substances as presented above and in more detail in the general justification for read across, it can be concluded that the available data from the source substance C8-18 AAPB are also valid for the target substance C8-18 and C18 unsatd. AAPB.

The 14 d LC0 of AAPBs to the earthworm Eisenia fetida was >/=846 mg a.i./kg soil dw(nominal).