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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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biodegradation in water: screening test, other
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
Study period:
May - June 2014
1 (reliable without restriction)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
guideline study
according to guideline
OECD Guideline 306 (Biodegradability in Seawater)
Version / remarks:
Closed Bottle Method (1992)
GLP compliance:
yes (incl. QA statement)
Specific details on test material used for the study:
Reported as: Acidgen FG3
Oxygen conditions:
Inoculum or test system:
natural water: marine
Details on inoculum:
The method employs no separate bacterial inoculum, and relies upon populations of bacteria which occur naturally in seawater.

The raw seawater was supplied by a submersible pump from a depth of two meters below low water spring tide level situated on Sutherland’s pier on the west side of Flotta in Scapa Flow, Orkney, Scotland.
Duration of test (contact time):
ca. 28 d
Parameter followed for biodegradation estimation:
O2 consumption
Details on study design:
Measurement: Luminescent dissolved oxygen at 7 day intervals
Incubation temperature of bottle: 20 °C ± 3 °C
Duration: 28 days
Replication: Test material, oxygen blank, reference: 3 per timepoint, minimum of 2 per timepoint for data processing
Medium: Natural seawater
Test material: soluble in medium
Reference substance:
benzoic acid, sodium salt
Key result
% degradation (test mat. analysis)
Sampling time:
28 d
Details on results:
Reached a maximum degradation of 63% on day 21 of the 28 day study.
Key result
ca. 1.093 other: mgO2/mg
Results with reference substance:
Reference material, sodium benzoate, degraded by more than 60% in the first 14 days, indicating that the seawater used in the test contained a satisfactory population of viable bacteria.

Sodium benzoate: Criteria >= 60% biodegradation in 14 days: Result: 73

Microbial count on day 0: 10 to 1000 CFUs per mL: Result: 17500

Oxygen consumption blank: ≤30% of oxygen after 28 days: Result: 12

Measurement temperature: 20 °C ± 1 °C: Result: 20.2 - 20.8

There was no inhibition to seawater bacteria.

Validity criteria fulfilled:
Interpretation of results:
inherently biodegradable
According to the biodegradation data Acidgen FG3 biodegraded by 55% on day 28.
Executive summary:

According to the biodegradation data Acidgen FG3 biodegraded by 55% on day 28.

Description of key information

The marine biodegradability of the test substance was assessed following the closed bottle method described in OECD 306 according to GLP. The test was conducted in accordance with the study plan and met all relevant validity criteria.

According to the biodegradation data the test substance biodegraded by 55% on day 28 with a maximum biodegradation of 63% on day 21 of the 28 day study. The inhibition to seawater bacteria on day 28 of the test was -7%.

As the ThOD removal was >20%, this is indicative of a potential for primary biodegradation in the marine environment.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
inherently biodegradable
Type of water:
marine water

Additional information