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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: terrestrial

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Description of key information

Key value for chemical safety assessment

BCF (terrestrial species):

Additional information

Terrestrial bioaccumulation

Two reliable studies are available on bioaccumulation of DEHP in terrestrial plants. Cai et al. (2008) studied the uptake of 5 polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons and 2 phthalic acid esters (including DEHP) in radish (Raphanus sativus). Radish were seeded in soil free of contamination and in soil amended with 1, 2 or 4 % of sewage sludge containing a mix of all these organic contaminants. Sludge contained 4.4 mg/kg dw of DEHP. Plants were grown during 64 days before harvest. Measurements of DEHP in substrate and roots and shoots lead to BCF estimations. In all cases BCF values where < 1. Therefore under the test conditions applied, DEHP did not bioaccumulate in radish. No new studies were identified for bioaccumulation in earthworms since the previous EU-RAR (2008). In their study, Peterson et al. studied the behaviour of DEHP during fertilization process and potential effect on plant by 3 different methods under field and greenhouse conditions (cf Section 5.2.4 in IUCLID)

The first experiment was a 3-year field study. The soils were amended once a year during 3 years with sewage sludges (SS), compost or manure containing DEHP. Assuming no biodegradation occurred the total amount input at the end of the study was 0.238, 0.092, 0.290 and 0.04 mg/kg in SShigh SSlow, compost and Manure trials respectively. Crops rotation over the duration of the test was performed with spring barley (1989), oat (1990) and spring barley (1991). On the 3rdyear, the crop harvest was analysed for their contaminant. Soil fertility, micro-arthropod population were also checked.

After 3 years, soil fauna showed no discernible differences between the two sludge treatment but densities were increased in compost and manure treatment. No grain samples showed DEHP, while green parts of the plants contained between 0.065 and 0.787 mg/kg of DEHP. No relationship of this content was seen with the amount of DEHP in the different treatment applied, therefore it was concluded that this amount mainly derived from atmospheric deposition.

In the third experiment of the same study (pot experiment with amended soil (SShigh) and soil spiked with DEHP at 55 mg/kg) seedling of oilseed rape was studied during 30 days. Plant uptake and soil concentrations were checked. No uptake was observed.

In conclusion, considering the results observed, a reasonable worst case BCF of 1 for terrestrial species is used in the present assessment.

Value used for CSA:Terrestrial BCF: 1 (L/kg ww or dimensionless)