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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Terepthalic acid has been tested for ready biodegradability by two respirometric methods where the degradation "pass" level that conventionally represents complete mineralisation is 60%.  In a GLP-compliant (Klimisch 1) study based on CO2 evolution (Lebertz, 1991a), 85.2% and 82.6% degradation occurred within 14 days at concentrations of 10 and 20 mg TPA/L, respectively and the 60% pass level was exceeded within 5 days.  Recovery of CO2 provides a direct and unambiguous indication of the mineralisation of the test substance.  
Confirmatory data (Klimisch 2) are provided by a study performed in fulfilment of the requirements of the Chemical Substances Control Law of Japan (CITI, 1976). In this study, 74.7% degradation of TPA dosed at 100 mg/L was recorded in 14 days by the principal indicator of mineralisation based on oxygen uptake measurements. HPLC and UV-VIS spectrometric analyses showed 99.3% and 100% loss of the parent substance, respecively, during the 14-d incubation.
These results show that terephthalic acid is readily biodegradable.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

Terephthalic acid is readily biodegradable and may therefore be expected to undergo rapid and complete mineralisation (transformation to terminal oxidation products without forming stable metabolites) in aerobic compartments of aquatic and terrestrial environments. Extensive biodegradation may also be expected to occur during the aerobic phase of biological waste-water treatment processes.

Terephthalic acid is not persistent (not P).