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Ecotoxicological information

Long-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

Relevant and reliable data used for the determination of a PNEC for the freshwater and marine environments were retrieved for 13 different species:Aeolosomasp.(oligochaete),Daphnia magna(cladoceran),Hyalella azteca(isopod),Lymnaea stagnalis(snail),Ceriodaphnia dubia(cladoceran),Chironomus tentans(midge),Brachionus calyciflorus(rotifer),Mytilus edulis(mussel),Mysidopsis bahia(mysid),Neanthes arenaceodentata(marine annelid),Dendraster excentricus(sand dollar),Stronglyocentrotus purpuratus(sea urchin), andCrassostreasp. (pacific oyster). Tests followed international accepted guidance and were based on measured levels of dissolved cobalt as cobalt dichloride. Values ranged from 1.4 to 6314 µg Co/L for the freshwater species and 206 to 2763 µg Co/L for the marine species.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Fresh water invertebrates

Fresh water invertebrates
Effect concentration:
7.55 µg/L

Marine water invertebrates

Marine water invertebrates
Effect concentration:
206 µg/L

Additional information



From the database of chronic cobalt toxicity to freshwater invertebrates, 84 individualEC10or NOEC values for 7 different individual species were reported. The NOEC/L(E)C10 ranged from 1.4 µg/L to 45 µg/L forCeriodaphnia dubiaexposed to a range of water types (CDI 2010i).



From the database of chronic cobalt toxicity to marine invertebrates, 13 NOEC or EC10 values are reported for 2 species. The NOEC/L(E)C10 values range from 206 µg Co/L for reproductive effects with the marine annelid, Neanthes arenaceodentata (CDI 2010j) to 2763 µg Co/L for the developmental endpoint with the oyster, Crassostrea sp (CDI 2010e). 

The table below represents the EC10 values of high quality studies used for the derivation of HC5 and aquatic marine PNEC


Table X. High quality studies used for derivation of the HC5and aquatic marine PNEC

Key Study

Selected values for the most sensitive endpoints used for derivation of the aquatic marine HC5



Value (µg Co/L)

Lehman, 2010

Mysidopsis bahia (mysid)

neonatal total young


CDI, 2010j

Neanthes arenaceodentata (marine annelid)



CDI, 2010d

Mytillus sp.


proportion normal


CDI, 2010f

Dendraster excentricus

(sand dollar)

proportion normal


CDI, 2010g

Stronglyocentrotus purpuratus

(sea urchin)

proportion normal


CDI, 2010e

Crassostrea sp

(pacific oyster)

proportion normal


Efforts have been ongoing to characterize the influence of fresh water quality parameters on the toxicity of cobalt to the cladoceran, Ceriodaphnia dubia. Because water quality parameters (e.g., hardness, pH, dissolved organic carbon, etc.) have effects on the bioavailability and subsequent toxicity of metals to aquatic organisms, Biotic Ligand Models (BLMs) have been developed for certain organisms. NOEC/EC10 values for Ceriodaphnia dubia were used to develop these models.