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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

The test material in Test flask A was readily biodegradable (93% degradation at d 27) but failed the 10-day window requirement according to the definitions of OECD Guideline 301E.  The test material in Test Flask B showed evidence of rapid biodegradability in an enhanced biodegradability test (74% degradation at d 42) after inoculation with acclimated test organisms from Test Flask A.  

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable but failing 10-day window

Additional information

A 28 day biodegradation test was performed on the test material, 2-ethyl-1,3-hexanediol at the Environmental Sciences Section Health and Environment Laboratories of Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York (Watson, 1989) according to the OECD Guideline 301E, EEC/Annex V Guideline C.3 and U.S. EPA/TSCA 40 CFR Section 796.3240.  The test inoculum used was a mixture of secondary effluent from domestic wastewater from the Van Lare Waste Treatment Plant, water from the Genesee River, and garden soil from Monroe County. The biodegradation of the test material was determined by measurement of the loss of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from the test chemical solution. The test material in Test Flask A was readily biodegradable (93% degradation at d 27) but failed the 10-day window requirement according to the definitions of OECD Guideline 301E. The test material in Test Flask B showed evidence of rapid biodegradability in an enhanced biodegradability test (74% degradation at d 42) after inoculation with acclimated test organisms from Test Flask A. 

A supporting study, the biodegradability predictions using BIOWIN v4.10 (a validated QSAR model), predicted that the substance had an ultimate degradation timeframe of weeks and was readily degradable based on both the MITI linear model prediction and MITI non-linear model prediction.

Therefore, it is likely that biodegradation in the environment will be generally rapid and complete, although the timeframe may vary depending upon the microbial species present.