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Keywords:

  • QSAR;
  • Soil ecotoxicity;
  • Bioavailability;
  • Solid-phase microextraction;
  • Folsomia candida

Abstract

To meet the goals of Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) as formulated by the European Commission, fast and resource-effective tools are needed to predict the toxicity of compounds in the environment. We developed quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) for the toxicity of nine chlorinated benzenes to the soil-dwelling collembolan Folsomia candida in natural LUFA2.2 (Landwirtschaftliche Untersuchungs und Forschungsanstalt [LUFA]) standard soil and in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development artificial soil. Toxicity endpoints used were the effect concentrations causing 10% (EC10) and 50% (EC50) reduction in the reproduction of the test organism over 28 d, while lethal effects on survival (LC50) were used for comparisons with earlier studies. Chlorobenzene toxicity was based on concentrations in interstitial water as estimated using nominal concentrations in soil and literature soil–water partition coefficients. Additionally, for LUFA2.2 soil the estimated concentrations in interstitial water were experimentally determined by solid-phase microextraction measurements. Measured and estimated concentrations showed the same general trend, but significant differences were observed. With the exception of hexachlorobenzene, estimated EC10 and EC50 values were all negatively correlated with their logKow and QSARs were developed. However, no correlation for the LC50 could be derived and 1,2,4,5-tetrachlorobenzene and hexachlorobenzene had no effect on adult survival at all. The derived QSARs may contribute to the development of better ecotoxicity-based models serving the REACH program. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012; 31: 1136–1142. © 2012 SETAC