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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Description of key information

Bioaccumulation factors of 10.7 and 20 were determined for o-cresol (OECD 305 E) and m-cresol (no guideline), respectively. Since all cresol isomers have low log Kow and BCF values they are judged to have a low bioaccumulation potential.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information


Butte(1987) determined the bioaccumulation factor (BCF) of o-cresol in zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio). In a flow-through test according to OECD guideline 305 E the fish were exposed to a concentration of 2.23 mg/L. Analysis of the test substance in water and fish was carried out using a gas chromatographic method. The BCF was determined by calculation from the kinetics of uptake and depuration phase of the test substance. A BCF of 10.7 was obtained. This value indicates that the substance has a low potential to accumulate in aquatic organisms.



Bioconcentration factors (BCF) in fish (Leuciscus idus melanotus) were determined with 14C-labelled m-cresol. The fish were exposed to a 0.05 mg/L solution of the tests compound. After a test period of 3 days radioactivity was measured in water medium and fish.BCF values of 20 were obtained (Freitag et al. 1985).



There is no reliable experimental data available on bioaccumulation of p-cresol. According to column 2 of REACH Annex IX bioaccumulation in aquatic species does not have to be tested if the substance has a low potential for bioaccumulation. Since p-cresol has an experimentally determined log Kow of 1.94 the substance is not expected to accumulate in aquatic organisms. Thus, testing is not required to assess the bioaccumulation behaviour of p-cresol.

Furthermore p-cresol is readily biodegraded in the environment that way there is no exposure to aquatic organisms. Based on exposure considerations p-cresol even is not released into the aquatic environment.