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Acute toxicity of hydrogen cyanide to freshwater fishes


Acute toxicity of hydrogen cyanide was determined at various temperatures from 4° to 30°C and oxygen concentrations of 3.36 to 9.26 mg/L on different life history stages of five species of fish: fathead minnow,Pimephales promelas Refinesque; bluegill,Lepomis macrochirus Rafinesque yellow perch,Perca flavescens (Mitchill); brook trout,Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchill); and rainbow trout,Salmo gairdneri Richardson. Median lethal threshold concentrations and 96-hr LC50's were established by flow-through type bioassays. Acute toxicity varied from 57μg/L for juvenile rainbow trout to 191μg/L for field stocks of juvenile fathead minnows. Juvenile fish were more sensitive at lower temperatures and at oxygen levels below 5 mg/L. For most species juveniles were most sensitive and eggs more resistant.

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Paper No. 9954, Scientific Journal Series,Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Research supported by theU.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory, Duluth, Minnesota, under Grant No. R802914.

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Smith, L.L., Broderius, S.J., Oseid, D.M. et al. Acute toxicity of hydrogen cyanide to freshwater fishes. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 7, 325–337 (1978).

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  • Rainbow Trout
  • Acute Toxicity
  • Freshwater Fish
  • Threshold Concentration
  • Juvenile Fish