Hydroquinone when added to the aquarium water was found to be about a hundred times more toxic than phenol, to goldfish (and to Daphnia magna), but is only about twice as toxic when injected into fish or mammals. Tertiarybutyl catechol shows a similar high toxicity in the aquarium, while the toxicity of catechol, resorcinol, and pyrogallol approaches more closely that of phenol.

As the substances of high aquarium toxicity are known to inhibit many oxidative and polymerizing autocatalytic "chain reactions," rank correlations were tabulated between the recorded inhibitory potency of various substances in these processes, and their aquarium toxicity for goldfish.

The correlation between aquarium fish toxicity and electric oxidation potential (P 0.09) is more than suggestive, and becomes still more so if explainable discrepancies are excluded. Antioxidant fat stabilizers show suggestive correlation with fish toxicity (0.20), and better with electric oxidation potential (0.10). The photographic reduction potential gives suggestive correlation with fish toxicity (0.20) and somewhat better with the oxidation potential (0.15). The gasoline induction period correlation is more than suggestive with the oxidation potential (0.099), but rather poor for fish toxicity (0.265). The rubber anti-aging potency gives only poor correlation (0.39) with fish toxicity. The reasons for these divergencies are not clear; they may perhaps be connected with the solvent properties of the substrate. As an example, Lea (p. 175) cites that 0.01 per cent of maleic acid prevents rancidity of fats, but is rendered ineffective by the presence of water.

Taken by themselves, no one of the P values is entirely convincing of the relationships stressed in this paper. However, the consistent finding of relatively small values of P lends considerable weight to the hypothesis that these chemicals act in a related manner; and that the chemical activity of a substance may furnish useful suggestions of its biologic potency, perhaps more so than the chemical constitution as such. The aquarium toxicity, for goldfish is a convenient means of classifying the biologic potency.

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