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Environmental fate & pathways

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The alkyl ether sulfates grouped within the AES category show similar structural, physico-chemical, environmental and toxicological properties. The approach of grouping different AES for the evaluation of their effects on human health and the environment was also made by the Danish EPA [1] and HERA [2], supporting a read-across approach between structurally related AES.

In case of abiotic degradation, hydrolysis is not an important process for alkyl ether sulfates due to the chemical structure of these substances.

All members of the category alkyl ether sulfates are readily biodegradable which is proved by many studies available for certain mixtures. For AES (C8 -10, 1 -2.5EO) Na one study which reports the ready biodegradability of that mixture is available.

Due to the ready biodegradability of alkyl ether sulfates, it is unlikely that the substances persist in the environment.

Furthermore, the results of different waste water simulation tests which were conducted according to the OECD Guideline 314 show that alkyl ether sulfates are not persistent in water and are ultimately removed under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

 

[1] Danish EPA - Environmental and Health Assessment of Substances in Household Detergents and Cosmetic Detergent Products (2001). Environmental Project No. 615, pp. 24-28

[2] HERA - Human & Environmental Risk Assessment on ingredients of European household cleaning products (2004).Alcohol Ethoxysulphates (AES).