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EC number: 202-163-5
CAS number: 92-52-4
Six studies have been allocated to this endpoint. Two studies were
conducted under the OECD 301 testing guideline for ready
biodegradability. The key study (Dow, 2016; Klimisch 1) was conducted
using the 301F manometric respirometry method, and demonstrated that
biphenyl can be classified as readily biodegradable. The results from a
supporting study by the 301C modified MITI test method, taken from the
Japanese biodegradation database (Japan Chemical Industry
Ecology-Toxicology and Information Center, 1992; Klimisch 2), also
indicate that biphenyl is readily biodegradable. The studies of Trehy et
al. (1994; Klimisch 2; 5-d BOD test), Saeger (1983; Klimisch 2; modified
SCAS test and Sturm test), and Mieure et al. (1976; Klimisch 4; modified
SCAS test) were not conclusive on ready biodegradability but supported
the results of the key study.
In a fully valid GLP-compliant study of the biodegradability of biphenyl
by the OECD 301F manometric respirometry test method (Dow, 2016;
Klimisch 1), 68% consumption of theoretical oxygen demand (ThOD) was
observed over 28 days, with the 60% threshold achieved within 10 days of
the onset of biodegradation, showing that biphenyl is readily
biodegradable. Additionally, the results of a
OECD 301C modified MITI test are documented in the Japanese
biodegradation database (Japan Chemical Industry Ecology-Toxicology and
Information Center, 1992; Klimisch 2). In this supporting study, 66% BOD
was observed after a 14-d incubation period, indicating that biphenyl is
readily biodegradable. Primary biodegradation was observed to be 84% and
91% using GC and UV-VIS spectroscopy, respectively. The results of the
aforementioned studies were supported by other screening tests, which
for several reasons, were not conclusive on ready biodegradability. The
first additional supporting study was the 5-day BOD test of Trehy et al.
(1994, Klimisch 2), reporting a 5-d BOD of 67.0% of the theoretical
oxygen demand. Although the results of a 5-d BOD test cannot be
considered conclusive, the results reported by Trehy et al. support the
findings of the studies based on the OECD 301 test guideline, that
biphenyl is readily biodegraded by non-acclimated microorganisms. The
study of Saeger (1983, Klimisch 2) reported the results of a CO2
evolution test (Sturm test) in which pre-adapted activated sludge
microorganisms were exposed to 20 mg/L biphenyl for 43 days. Ultimate
degradation by 88% after 43 days, and around 69% after 28 days, was
observed. Although the use of adapted inoculum precludes use of this
study in determining ready biodegradability, these results also support
the findings of the 301F and 301C tests. Finally, the results of the
SCAS tests reported by Saeger (1983, Klimisch 2) and Mieure et al.
(1976, Klimisch 4), indicated good primary biodegradability. The SCAS
test conducted by Mieure et al. (1976) yielded 94 and 81% primary
degradation after 35 days of exposure at initial concentrations of 3 and
13 mg/L, respectively. In the SCAS test conducted by Saeger (1983),
activated sludge microorganisms were exposed to a step-wise increase of
biphenyl concentrations from 1 mg/L up to 50 mg/L over 20 weeks. The
results of the test indicate > 95% primary biodegradation within 24 h up
to initial concentrations of 50 mg/L. The 5-d study of Freitag et al.
(1982), indicating 8.5% 14CO2 evolution using non-acclimated activated
sludge from a municipal waste water treatment plant, was considered not
reliable and did not add further add valuable information to that
obtained in the studies described above.
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