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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

OECD 302C (Modified MITI (II) test): 74% degradation in 28 days

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
inherently biodegradable

Additional information

An OECD 302C (Modified MITI (II)) test was performed with the test substance with a concentration of 30 mg cholesterol/L. The biodegradation of the test substance was followed by BOD measurements. Cholesterol was found to biodegrade for 67% in 14 days and 74% in 28 days, thus showing inherent biodegradability.

Additionally, a study was performed to examine the transformation products of radiolabelled cholesterol during simulated laboratory-based aerobic sewage treatment (semi-continuous activated sludge (SCAS) and die away (DA) methods) using 14C-cholesterols radiolabelled at positions 4 or 26. Mineralisation of cholesterol was determined to be 49% in 92 hr, consistent with A-ring rupture (rather than aromatisation) and beta-oxidation of the alkyl side chain as major transformation routes. Another publication showed the biodegradation of a substance similar to cholesterol ( 7-ketocholesterol) by different types of microorganisms. The test results showed that extensive mineralization of the substance took place within a short timeframe (14 -43% in 12.5 days).