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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable but failing 10-day window

Additional information

No specific and definitive biodegradation data were located for hydroxylammonium nitrate or any of the read-across substances i.e. hydroxylamine, hydroxylammonium chloride and hydroxylammonium sulphate. Biodegradation generally refers to the process by which organic material is degraded aerobically with oxygen, or anaerobically, without oxygen. Since hydroxylammonium nitrate is not an organic molecule and, according to the definition above, an assessment of the biodegradation of hydroxylammonium nitrate is not strictly relevant. However, for completeness a review of any potentially relevant data has been conducted. The EU RAR (2008) for hydroxylammonium sulphate reported on a Biochemical Oxygen Demand test for the substance which indicated no oxygen demand within 5 days. However, due to insufficient documentation the EU RAR considered that the test was not acceptable. The EU RAR also reported that in indicative studies using effluents of a waste water treatment plant the concentration of hydroxylamine decreased within 15 minutes of incubation from 1 mg/l to 0.56 mg/l. Finally EU RAR (2008) reported that measurements in the waste water treatment plant of BASF showed that hydroxylamine was detectable in the influents. However, the substance could not be analysed up to the limit of detection (20 μg/l) in the effluent of the waste water treatment plants indicating that elimination of the substance in this plant was > 90%. On the basis of the available data it would appear that hydroxylamine is expected to be degradable in screening tests for biodegradation in water.   Reference EU RAR (2008) European Union Risk Assessment Report for Bis(Hydroxylammonium)Sulphate. Report R308_0805_FINAL. Rapporteur Germany, May 2008.