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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Under test conditions no biodegradation observed

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
under test conditions no biodegradation observed

Additional information

Several studies on the biodegradability in water of several members of the stilbene fluorescent whitening agents category are availabe (CAS 16470-24-9 and 16090-02-1). The substances were neither readily nor inherently biodegradable in the available studies:

CAS 16090-02-1:

Although there is no data available concerning ready biodegradability, the substance is very unlikely to be readily biodegradable. Three "weight of evidence" studies point to the fact that the test substance is not inherently biodegradable either. A modified MITI (II)-test indicates that the test substance is not inherently biodegradable under its test conditions. Furthermore there was marginal oxygen consumption in a BOD5-test that substantiates the suspicion of non-biodegradability. Finally the data of a Zahn-Wellens test indicates that the test substance was presumably not biodegraded. Instead, a major amount (ca. 90 %) of the DOC was likely to be adsorbed to the activated sludge. The assumption of non-biodegradability of the test substance is also substantiated by a dissertation in which the environmental fate and behavior of the test substance was investigated.

CAS 16470-24-9:

In a ready biodegradability test according to OECD guideline 301A a DOC removal of 1.2 % was observed (CIBA - GEIGY 1992). Hence, the substance is not readily biodegradable. Three BOD5 tests, in which no oxygen consumption was measured, confirm the non-biodegradability of the test substance (CIBA - GEIGY 1991/1996). Additional information is given from two Zahn Wellens tests (OECD 302B). After 28 days a biodegradation of 24 % was determined. Hence, the test substance is partly eliminable from water (CIBA - GEIGY 1992/1997).

Therefore, reading across, the substance is considered non-biodegradable.