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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in soil

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Description of key information

MEA-LAS dissociates in water to its constituents MEA and LAS. LAS is readily biodegradable in soil, as detailed below, and therefore MEA-LAS is also expected to be readily biodegradable in this environmental compartment.

Study 1 (C10-13 LAS):

The disappearance of C10 -13 LAS, sodium salt from sludge-amended soils was investigated from 51 fields on 24 farms in the Thames Water Authority (United Kingdom). Sludge was applied by subsurface injection or surface spreading. Sampling was conducted for up to 122 days. In fields not recently spread with sludge, the concentrations of LAS found in the sludge amended soil were generally less than 1 mg/kg. In fields recently spread, the concentrations in soil were in the range of < 0.2 to 20 mg/kg, representing losses of LAS between 70 and 99% of the estimated total cumulative load. The authors conclude that overall the data indicate that an adequate safety margin exists between the concentrations of LAS in sludge-amended soils and those likely to affect the growth of crop plants. Half-lives compare well with those for ultimate degradation in lab soil tests (with 14C-evolution), indicating that the degradation of LAS does not lead to the formation of significant levels of breakdown intermediates in soil (Holt, 1989).

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Half-life in soil:
22 d

Additional information