Bis (diethylthiocarbamyl) disulfide in freshwater and marine water

​​​Toxicant default guideline values for protecting aquatic ecosystems

October 2000

Extracted from Section 8.3.7 ‘Deta​iled descriptions of chemicals'​ of the ANZECC & ARMCANZ (2000) guidelines.

The default guideline values (previously known as ‘trigger values’) and associated information in this technical brief should be used in accordance with the detailed guidance provided in the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality.

Description of chemical

This is also known as tetraethylthiuram disulfide or disulfiram. It is a medicinal drug used as an alcohol deterrent with formula C10H20N2S4 and molecular weight of 296 and water solubility of 20 mg/L. It is also used as a rubber accelerator, vulcaniser, as a fungicide and a seed disinfectant (Merck Index 1983).

Freshwater toxicology

Fish: one species, 96-hour LC50, 320 µg/L.

Crustacean: one species, 48-hour LC50, 120 µg/L.

Algae: one species, 96-hour EC50 (growth), 1800 µg/L.


A freshwater low reliability trigger value of 1 µg/L was calculated for this compound using an assessment factor (AF) of 100. In the absence of marine data, this was adopted as a marine low reliability trigger value. These figures should only be used as indicative interim working levels.


ANZECC & ARMCANZ 2000. Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality, Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, Canberra.

Merck Index 1983. 10th ed. Merck Co Inc, Rahway, New Jersey.