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Environmental fate & pathways

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Read-across approach

In the assessment of the environmental fate and pathways of Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd., barium salts, a read-across approach from data for barium is followed. This read-across strategy is based upon the assumption that i) upon release to the environment and dissolution in aqueous media, Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd., barium salts will dissociate and only be present in its dissociated form, i.e. as barium cation and C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd. carboxylate anions and ii) toxicity is mainly caused by the liberated barium cations.

Upon dissolution in water, it is indeed predicted that metal carboxylates dissociate completely into the metal cation and the organic anion at environmentally relevant conditions. No information is available on the stability constants of Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd., barium salts, but predictions of stability of other barium carboxylates (Ba propionate, Ba valerate and Ba isovalerate) in a standard ISO 6341 medium (2 mMCaCl2, 0.5 mM MgSO4, 0.77 mM NaHCO3 and 0.077 mM KCl, pH 6 and 8) clearly show that monodentate ligands such as carboxylic acids have no potential for complexing barium ions in solution (< 1 1% of total metal concentration complexed at 0.001 mM Ba; Visual minteq. Version 3.0, update of 18 October 2012. http://www2.lwr.kth.se/English/OurSoftware/vminteq/index.html).

Upon dissolution and dissociation of Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd., barium salts into Ba2+ and C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd. carboxylate anions, both constituent ions will each show its proper (bio)degradation, bioaccumulation and partitioning behaviour in the environment, as reported for the corresponding metal ion and carboxylic acid (barium and fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd.). The environmental fate and behaviour for the metal and organic moieties is predicted to be clearly different from each other, resulting in a different relative distribution over the environmental compartments (water, air, sediment and soil).

The substance fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd. is however not considered in the effects assessment for its barium salts because:

  • The substance fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd. is not classified as dangerous under the EU CLP regulation (EC 1272/2008) and is no PBT or vPvB substances.
  • The substance fatty acid, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd. has a low exposure potential to the environment since it can be considered as readily biodegradable under aerobic conditions (EPI Suite 4.0, BIOWIN v4.10) and has a low solubility in water (< 1 mg/L)
  • The acute toxicity to fish is low and no toxicity is expected at the solubility limit (Onitsuka et al., 1989, Chemosphere 18: 1621-1631).
  • Fatty acids are generally not considered to represent a risk to the environment, which is reflected in their exemption from the obligation to register under REACH according to REACH Annex V, section 9 (Regulation (EC) No 987/2008).