Journal of environmental monitoring : JEM

Toxicity of propargylic alcohols on green alga--Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata.

PMID 22105539


The present study evaluates the toxicity of 34 propargylic alcohols, including primary, primary homo-, secondary, and tertiary alcohols, based on their effects on phytoplankton. A closed-system algal toxicity test was applied because the closed-system technique presents more realistic concentration-response relationships for the above compounds than the conventional batch tests. The green alga, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, was the test organism and final yield and growth rate were chosen as the test endpoints. Among all the propargylic alcohols tested, 1-pentyn-3-ol is the most toxic compound with its EC50 equal to 0.50 mg L(-1), which can be classified as a "R50" compound (very toxic to aquatic organisms, EC50/LC50 < 1 mg L(-1)), following the current practice for classification of chemicals in the European Union (EU). There are several other compounds including 2-decyn-1-ol, 3-decyn-1-ol, 1-hexyn-3-ol, 3-butyn-2-ol, and 3-hexyne-2,5-diol, which deserve more attention for their possible adverse impact on the aquatic environment, because these alcohols can be classified as "R51" compounds (toxic to aquatic organisms, EC50/LC50 between 1 and 10 mg L(-1)). Compared to the base-line toxicity relationship (narcosis QSAR) derived previously, tertiary propargylic alcohols can be identified as nonpolar narcotic chemicals, while secondary alcohols and primary alcohols with low molecular weight generally exhibit obvious excess toxicity in relation to the base-line toxicity. Finally, quantitative structure-activity relationships were established for deriving a preliminary estimation of the toxicity of other propargylic alcohols.

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3-Decyn-1-ol, 97%