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Environmental fate & pathways

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Additional information

Apart from industrial production, it has to be underlined that heptan-1-ol is a natural product found in plants, meats, fruits, vegetables and even in the air exhaled by healthy, unexposed people.


When released to water

If released into water, heptan-1-ol is not expected to adsorb to suspended solids and sediments due to its low potential of adsorption (log Kow = 2.2; Gancet, 2009). Volatilization from water surfaces is expected to be a significant fate process based upon the Henry’s Law constant for this compound. Estimated volatilization half-lives for a model river and model lake are 2.2 days and 20 days, respectively. In contrast, hydrolysis is not expected to be an important environmental fate process since this compound lacks functional groups that hydrolyze under environmental conditions. The hydrolysis as a function of pH of the test item n-heptanol was assessed according to the OECD guideline 111. The preliminary test showed that the item was stable at pH 4, 7 and 9 at 50 +1- 0.5 °C. No decomposition products could be detected by the analysis and less than 10% was hydrolyzed after five days for each of the three buffers. Consequently, heptan-1-ol can be considered as stable under the tested conditions (pH = 4, 7 and 9).


The ready biodegradability of heptan-1-ol was evaluated in a study (Gancet, 2011) performed in accordance with OECD testing guideline 301 F and GLP requirements. According to these results, heptanol is considered as readily biodegradable.


When released to soil/sediments

Heptan-1-ol is characterized by a low potential of adsorption based on its log Kow value of 2.2 (Gancet, 2009). Consequently, it is expected to have a high degree of mobility in soil and sediment compartments. In accordance with column 2 of REACH Annex IX, the adsorption/desorption screening test does not need to be conducted as the substance can be expected to have a low potential for adsorption based on its intrinsic properties (log Kow = 2.2). Nevertheless, an experimental study is available. This study confirms that heptan-1-ol will not adsorb on soil and sediment particulate matters. The log Koc value was estimated at 1.66.

Besides, it has been demonstrated that heptan-1-ol is readily biodegradable. Consequently, soil and sediment compartments are not considered target compartments for heptan-1-ol. Thus, no further tests are proposed.


Heptan1-1-ol is expected to be mobile in soil and sediments and its identified target compartment will be the atmospheric compartment, due to volatilization from water.