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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in soil

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Description of key information

In accordance with column 2 of REACH Annex IX, the study for biodegradation in soil does not need to be conducted since acetate is readily biodegradable.

However, two studies serve as supportive information and were ranked “reliable 3” since they did not follow specific guidelines. Both studies indicate that acetate rapidly degrades under aerobic conditions but may be relatively stable under anaerobic conditions.

Van Beelen and Fleuren-Kemilä (1993) investigated the mineralization of 14C-acetate in bottles with a 1:1 mixture of a sandy soil and sterile-filtered groundwater for 43 hours at 10 °C. A DT50 of 24 min was determined and at the test end, 1.5 % of 14C-acetate was present in the water phase, while 18 % was identified as 14C-CO2.

Küsel and Drake (1995) investigated the formation of acetate in soil (Geisberger Forst, Ah horizon, Germany) under anaerobic conditions at 15 °C in darkness for 37 days at different percentages of its water holding capacity (WHC). Adjustment to 35, 54, 84 and 105 % of WHC caused acetate concentrations of 613, 1057, 1309 and 1435 mg acetate/kg soil dw, respectively, showing a clear trend of acetate formation increasing with moisture. However, acetate rapidly degraded under aerobic conditions even after extensive periods of anaerobic soil incubation.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Half-life in soil:
24 min
at the temperature of:
10 °C

Additional information