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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water and sediment: simulation tests

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Description of key information

Under aerobic conditions acrylic acid showed to be readily biodegradable in sandy loam soil type. Acrylic acid was also determined to be readily biodegradable in freshwater, therefore, no further simulation test in water or sediment are considered necessary.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

There are no simulation tests in surface water and sediment available for acrylic acid. A well-documented and reliable test on biodegradation in soil, performed according to U.S. EPA Pesticide Assessment Guidelines, Subdivision N, § 162-1 is available (BAMM 1992). From the test design, the test can be rated as a simulation test in soil.


The metabolism of [14C]-acrylic acid (radiochemical purity 96 % by HPLC) in a Milton sandy loam soil from Somersham, Cambridgeshire, U.K. has been studied under aerobic conditions for up to 28 days after treatment. Soil samples were incubated in darkness at 25 °C. The test substance was applied to the soil at a rate of 100 mg/kg dw.

Under aerobic conditions acrylic acid was rapidly metabolised, after 3 days no acrylic acid was detected in soil extracts. The half-life for acrylic acid under these conditions was estimated to be less than 1 day. Carbon dioxide evolution accounted for 72.9 % of applied radioactivity by Day 3 and a total of 81.1 % over the 28-day study period.


From the presented simulation test in soil it can be concluded that acrylic acid is readily biodegradable in this soil type (sandy loam).


Based on all available data (ready biodegradation in OECD TG screening tests), also taking into account the low adsorption potential of acrylic acid to soil and sediment, rapid biodegradation in sediment and surface water under environmental conditions can be expected.