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Environmental fate & pathways

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Data on formaldehyde


There is no study available on adsorption of formaldehyde in soils and sediments. Therefore, the Koc was estimated according a QSAR model described in EU Technical Guidance Document on Risk Assessment (EC 2003). Based on a log Pow of 0.35 and the QSAR for non-hydrophobics, the Koc is calculated to be 15.9 L/kg. Therefore, formaldehyde is expected to exhibit only a weak adsorption in soils and sediments.

Additionally, a calculation of the fugacity model (Level 1) according to Mackay (1991), using the “unit world” given in Jørgensen & Bendoricchio (2001), demonstrates that formaldehyde is preferentially distributed to the hydrosphere (98.7%). Distribution into other environmental compartments is of secondary importance.

In conclusion, the available data on distribution in the environment is sufficient for the risk assessment. Adsorption of relevant amounts of formaldehyde on soils and sediments is not expected and the hydrosphere is the target compartment.