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Environmental fate & pathways

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Administrative data

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Based on the high water solubility, low vapour pressure and low octanol-water partition coefficient, peracetic acid is expected to partition almost exclusively to the aquatic compartment (99.95%). In air the half-life of peracetic acid is 22 minutes. The abiotic degradation of peracetic acid in water increases with temperature and pH. At a temperature of 25 °C and at pH of 4, 7 and 9, the degradation half-life value were 48, 48 and 3.6 hours respectively, assuming pseudo-first order kinetics and even lower when based on the First Order Multi-Compartment model.

Peracetic acid was readily biodegradable during a biodegradation test when an inhibition of the micro-organisms (biocidal effect) was prevented. Peracetic acid will be degraded in a sewage treatment plant if the influent concentration is not extremely high (e.g. > 100 ppm). If effluents generated during the production or use of peracetic acid are treated by a waste water treatment plant, no emission of peracetic acid to the aquatic environment is expected.