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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Environmental fate & pathways

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

Additional information


Dialdehydes such as glyoxal are stable against hydrolysis at pH 4 -9 (WoE for Hydrolysis, 2018).

In air, glyoxal is expected to be rapidly photodegraded by OH-radicals with a half-life of 1.4 d (Plum, 1983; ECT, 2008).

Photodegradation processes in water are of low relevance (BASF, 2007).


Ready tests: Glyoxal is readily biodegradable according to OECD criteria (BASF, 1996; NITE, 2008; Gerike & Gode, 1990; BASF, 2009).

Water sediment simulation test (OECD TG 303A): The test substance was degraded by more than 80 % related to DOC. The results gave no hint on adsorption or other abiotic elimination processes; therefore the test substance can be regarded as biodegradable in this test (BASF, 1996).

Anaerobic Biodegredation: Under anaerobic test conditions, the test substance is poorly biodegradable according to OECD criteria (BASF, 2009; Project No. 40G0496/013035). Total gasified carbon was degraded by 10 - 20% after an expousure period of 62 days, measured by the biogas production.

Biodegradation in soil: The test substance was degraded by 72% related to CO2 (ISO 11622). The test substance can be regarded as biodegradable in this test (BASF SE, 2009; Project No. 18G0496/013031).


Based on a measured log Pow of -1.15 (23 °C, pH 7), the BCF was calculated to be 2.155. Significant accumulation in organisms is not to be expected.

Transport and distribution

The Koc of glyoxal was measured to be 2.1 (log Koc = 0.32) (BASF, 1996). This indicates no significant potential for adsorption to soils or sediments.

The Henry's Law Constant of glyoxal at ambient temperature (15-25 °C) is = 3.38E-04 Pa*m³*mol-1 (Betterton & Hoffmann, 1988). This indicates that the compound will not evaporate into the atmosphere.

Following the Mackay Level I calculations, glyoxal will preferentially distribute into the water (ECT, 2008).