Poly(acrylonitrile-co-butadiene-co-styrene) in freshwater and marine water

​​​Toxicant default guideline values for protecting aquatic ecosystems

October 2000

Extracted from Section 8.3.7 ‘Detailed 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

Poly(acrylonitrile-co-butadiene-co-styrene) (CAS 9003-56-9) is a copolymer for production of acrylic fibres.

Aquatic toxicology

Freshwater fish: eight species, 48 to 96-hour LC50, 9300 to 37,000 µg/L.

Freshwater crustaceans: one species, 48-hour LC50, 7600 to 11,000 µg/L. Chronic NOEC for D. magna 14 to 21-day mortality of 2000 µg/L and reproduction of 500 µg/L, giving an ACR of 20 for this study, although the overall acute-to-chronic ratio (ACR) was 10.

Freshwater molluscs: one species, 96-hour LC50, 34,200 µg/L.

Freshwater platyhelminthes: one species, 96-hour LC50, 7000 to 10,000 µg/L.

Marine fish: two species, figures reported as LD50s and not accepted.

Marine crustacean: one species, Artemia salina, 96-hour LC50, 3400 µg/L.

Marine molluscs: five species, 96-hour LC50, 3000 to 20,000 µg/L.

Marine annelids: one species, 48-hour LC50, 2000 to 67,500 µg/L.

Marine hydra: one species, 96-hour LC50, 13,300 µg/L.

Marine diatoms: two species, 48-hour LC50, 3200 to 3400 µg/L.

An overall ACR of 10 was calculated.


A freshwater moderate reliability trigger value of 530 μg/L was derived using the statistical distribution method with 95% protection and an ACR of 10.

Although the 95% protection level is just slightly above the lowest D. magna NOEC, the geometric mean for this species is higher and the 95% figure is considered sufficiently protective for most slightly to moderately disturbed systems.

A marine moderate reliability trigger value of 250 µg/L was derived using the statistical distribution method with 95% protection.


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.