Predictability of chronic toxicity from acute toxicity of chemicals in fish and aquatic invertebrates



The relationship of the acute LC50 of chemicals to their chronic toxicity for aquatic animals can be expressed as the acute chronic ratio (ACR). Based on ACR data accumulated from the literature, the size ranges of ACRs for various chemicals were determined for different species. The relationship and significance of the size of the ACR for various species, LC50 values, bioconcentration factors, classes of chemicals and their uses and mode of toxic action are given. Eighty-six percent of the LC50 acute toxicity data were less than two orders of magnitude different from the chronic toxicity no-effect concentration for the same chemicals and species. Among the industrial organic chemicals (i.e., excluding pesticides and metals) the average ACR for four species of organisms was 12. Ninety-three percent of these ACR values were 25 or below. Industrial organic chemicals have a higher percentage of ACR values below 25 do than pesticides and heavy metals. These data offer a statistical basis for the prediction of chronic toxicity from acute toxicity.