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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.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

All of the substances in the calcium salts of monocarboxylic acids C14-C22 category are considered to be readily biodegradable.

The substances in the calcium salts of monocarboxylic acids C14 -C22 category consist of a calcium cation and an organic fatty acid anions. The substances in the category meet the criteria for readily biodegradability though the biodegradation of the substances is relevant only to the organic section. Fatty acids biodegrade readily and completely according to the β-oxidation pathway including three major steps (activation in the cytosol, transport into mitochondria, β-Oxidation until the entire C-chain is cleaved into acetyl CoA units. The final breakdown products of the substances are carbon dioxide and water from the fatty acid anion and calcium from the cation. Thus, stable degradation products are not being formed in the environment. According to column 2 of REACH Annex VII, the ready biodegradability study of the calcium cation does not need to be conducted as the substance is inorganic. Readily biodegradability has also been demonstrated for fatty acid salts with other cations, such as sodium, potassium or lithium.


Proprietary data have been read across from lithium behenate showing ready biodegradability (Harlan 2013). Calcium stearate is shown to be readily biodegradable in a published study (ECETOC 1986) and a proprietary study (TUV Bayern 1992). Calcium 12-hydroxystearate is considered to be readily biodegradable based on data from a proprietary study (Laboratoire d’Analyses de Fluides 2007) and a published review (API 2008). Data from a summary in a review document indicate that calcium tallowate is considered to be biodegradable (HERA 2003). Although no data are available for the biodegradation potential of calcium myristate, Mizuki (2010) has shown that a mixture of ~60% sodium oleate (C18) and ~40% potassium laurate (C12) is readily biodegradable, indicating that shorter carbon chain length fatty acid salts are expected to have the same properties as those of longer chain substances.

This experimental data on category members and data on other metal salts of fatty acids in the same carbon number range have been read across within the category. Therefore, all of the substances in the calcium salts of monocarboxylic acids C14-C22 category are considered to be readily biodegradable.