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Environmental fate & pathways

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Soybean oil, epoxidised, ether with ethylene glycol is identified as a UVCB substance (substances of unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products or biological material), because it is derived from natural sources and contains multiple components.

As soybean oil, epoxidised, ether with ethylene glycol is composed of multiple complex components it is not possible to present exact values for any given environmental fate endpoint. As such, data that is considered to be representative and applicable has been obtained by reading across to similar substances and by QSAR estimations conducted for the most abundant component of soybean oil, epoxidised, ether with ethylene glycol which are considered to be most representative.

An OECD 301B ready biodegradability study is presented for the read-across substance (soybean oil, epoxidised). The read-across substance was shown to be readily biodegradable with 92% degradation by day 28. As such, the substance is likely to degrade rapidly in the environment and is not likely to persist. As the substance is readily biodegradable no further studies on biodegradation are considered necessary.

Due to the complex UVCB nature of the substance, a bioaccumulation study would not be appropriate for this substance. The substance has a high log Kow (>5.9), which would indicate a high potential for bioaccumulation However, due to the large molecular size of the components it is likely that the substance will have a much lower potential for bioaccumulation than indicated by the log Kow alone. This is supported by a QSAR conducted for a representative component (the most abundant component of the reaction mass) which had an estimated log BCF of 0.55 (see QSAR estimation attached)

Similarly, experimental means were not considered appropriate for determination of adsorption coefficient and so a QSAR estimation was made for a representative substance. The estimation indicates that the substance will have a very high affinity for adsorption to carbon, which likely represents the majority of components in the substance. As such, the substance is expected to display a propensity to strongly bond to sediment and soil in the environment.

Hydrolysis testing was not considered appropriate or necessary due to the complex nature of the substance and the fact that tests indicate that many components of the substance will be of low water solubility. Further to this, as the substance is readily biodegradable hydrolysis is considered unlikely to represent a significant degradation route in the environment.

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