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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Description of key information

Quaternary ammonium compounds, di-C16-18 (even numbered) -alkyldimethyl, chlorides  was demonstrated to be non bioaccumulative.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

BCF (aquatic species):
13 L/kg ww

Additional information

Lepomis macrochirus was exposed to14C-DTDMAC for 49 days in a continuous flow-through system in river water and laboratory water with mean concentrations in the test period of 18 μg/L and 16 μg/L respectively (no solvent carrier, Lewis & Wee, 1983). The river water was sampled at Town River, Massachusetts, and contained 2-84 mg/L suspended solids, 0.04-0.59 mg/L (methylene blue active substances) MBAS and 10-15 mg/L disulfine blue active substances (DBAS) (pH = 6.4-7.7; total hardness = 14-38 mg/L CaCO3). In river water, BCFs of 13 L/kg in the whole body and 94 in the inedible tissue (viscera) were estimated based on measured concentrations. When laboratory water was used, the respective BCFs were 32 and 256 L/kg. In both waters DTDMAC did not concentrate to a significant degree in edible tissue (BCF of the fillets < 5 L/kg). In a depuration phase in well water 93% of the accumulated radioactivity was eliminated from the inedible tissues after 14 days.

Overall, these results demonstrated that testing cationic surfactants under more realistic conditions (in river water) give lower bioavailibility compared to studies using laboratory water.

Based on these test data, it can be concluded that Quaternary ammonium compounds, di-C16-18 (even numbered) -alkyldimethyl, chlorides is not bioconcentrating in fish.