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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

The ready biodegradability of heptan-1-ol was evaluated in a study (Gancet, 2001) performed in accordance with OECD testing guideline 301 F and GLP requirements. The maximum level of biodegradation was 84 % in 28 days. Therefore, according to these results, heptanol is considered as readily biodegradable.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

Public data were available with regards to the biodegradation potential of heptan-1 -ol. However, these information can not be considered as sufficient in order to definitively state due to their time duration. A test show 30% of theoretical BOD was expended in 5 days and 28.9% of theoretical BOD was expended in 1 day using 500 ppm of heptan-1-oland an activated sludge inoculum (Dore et al., 1975). During another study (Gerhold & Malaney, 1966) it was shown that at the end of 24h, the oxydation of heptan-1 -ol was equivalent to 28.9 % of the Theoretical Oxygen Demand. Even if due to time duration it is not possible to state with regards to the ready biodegradability of the tested compound, this result helped in order to chose the most suitable biodegradation test method and come to reinforce the conclusion of the new experiment.

As a consequence a new test was performed (Gancet, 2011). The purpose of this study was to assess the ready biodegradability of the test item according to the OECD guideline 301 F “Ready biodegradability: Manometric Respirometry Test”.

According to the OECD guideline 301, the pass level for ready biodegradability is 60 % of Theoretical Oxygen Demand (ThOD). This level has to be reached in a 10-d window within the 28-d period of the test. The 10-d window begins when the degree of biodegradation has reached 10 % of ThOD and must end before day 28 of the test.

Under the test conditions, the percentage of biodegradation of heptan-1 -ol reached 84 %of the ThOD at the end of the test (28 days). There was no latency phase and at the end of 10 days window, the degradation level of the item was 65 %.

According to OECD guideline 301, heptan-1 -ol is readily biodegradable.