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EC number: 202-049-5
CAS number: 91-20-3
In several batch experiments using soil systems, degradation of naphthalene occurred efficiently under aerobic conditions: following an acclimatisation period/lag phase ranging from 2-12 days, degradation was accomplished within 10 days.
In none of the three reports, which were
taken into account, a half-life value has been assessed, but it can be
concluded that naphthalene is readily biodegradable under aerobic test
In the Environment Addendum of December 2007
to the EU Risk Assessment of naphthalene (UK 2007), a very
conservative half-life of 300 days in soil has been reported (based on
model calculations of Mackay et al. 1992).
This not well founded conclusion should not
be taken for granted for a potentially easily degradable substance like
naphthalene, even though evaluable long-term elimination data are
lacking. (compare: Biodegradation in water-sediment systems).
By weight of evidence, it can be concluded
that naphthalene is easily/inherently degradable without signs of
The limiting factor is anoxic/anaerobic
conditions which also may occur in soil, but potential naphthalene
degraders are ubiquitous in soil.
UK 2007: Environment
Addendum of December 2007 to the EU Risk Assessment of naphthalene,
final approved version. UK Environment Agency, Chemicals Assessment Unit
Mackay D, Shiu WY, and Ma KC 1992: Illustrated
Handbook of Physical–Chemical Properties and Environmental Fate of
Organic Chemicals. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL.
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