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Description of key information

Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd., zinc salts:

Data are not available for the toxicity of Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd., zinc salts to aquatic microorganisms. Thus, read-across to structural analogue substances, i.e. zinc salts of fatty acids with equal or shorter alkyl chain length (fatty acids, C16-18, zinc salts; C12 zinc dilaurate) is applied.


Two studies on the toxicity of the structural analogue Fatty acids, C16-18, zinc salts to microorganisms demonstrated, that the toxicity of Fatty acids, C16-18, zinc salts to bacteria is far above the water solubility limit of around 1 mg/L (TÜV, 1992; Berger, 1995). A similar conclusion was made in the EU RAR on the structural analogue Zinc distearate (CAS-No.: 557-05-1 & 91051-01-3 EINECS-No.: 209-151-9 & 293-049-4) Part 1 - Environment (Final report R074_0805_env, May 2008) as follows: "The two available tests with bacteria resulted in NOEC values of 1000 mg zinc distearate/L (Berger, 1995b: Pseudomonas putida) and 1560 mg zinc distearate/L (TÜV, 1992: Microtoxtest according to DIN 38412, part 34). In the latter study an EC20 of 6250 mg zinc distearate /L was calculated, with the remark that an EC50 could not be derived because of the low effect response. These nominal concentrations are at least 3 orders of magnitude higher than the water solubility limit for zinc distearate (around 1 mg/L)." Fatty acids, C16 -18, zinc salts are readily biodegradable (93% in 28 days, TÜV, 1992; 71% in 28d, Rudolf, 2003) and are not expected to persist in the environment. Thus, Fatty acids, C16-18, zinc salts are expected to have a low potential for toxicity to aquatic microorganisms. A similar biodegradability and low potential for toxicity to aquatic microorganisms, is assumed for fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd., zinc salts.


Nevertheless, conservative read across to the assessment entities soluble zinc substances and C14-18 fatty acids is applied, since zinc cations and fatty acid anions determine the fate and toxicity in the environment. Since C14-18-satd. and C16-18-unsatd. fatty acids are biodegradable and have a low potential for ecotoxicity, the hazard assessment of Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18-unsatd, zinc salt is based on zinc ions. Please refer to the endpoint summary of the respective assessment entity for further details.


Fatty acid anions (C14-18-satd. and C16-18-unsatd.):

Fatty acids as contained in plant and animal tissue are a natural component of aquatic systems, are rapidly degraded and non-bioaccumulative and have a low potential for toxicity to aquatic microorganisms.



A NOEC of 0.1 mg Zn/L is reported for nitrification inhibition.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information