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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Biodegradation: 68.8% of DOC within 3 days and 98.4 % of DOC  within 28 days (sealed vessel test)

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

One reliable key study is available for this endpoint (KING J.M.H., 1996). In this study, the evaluation of the biodegradability of Methyl salicylate was conducted in accordance with the draft Ecotoxicology Section Standard Operating Procedure N° 158 01 (Operation of the Sealed Vessel Test). The sealed vessel test is a CO2 production test based on OECD Guideline 301 B (Ready Biodegradability: CO2 Evolution Test).

Secondary effluent from an unacclimatized activated sludge plant at URL North was used as inoculum. The samples were incubated for 28 days at 20°C. Analysis of both the headspace and the liquid medium for CO2/DIC was performed on day numbers: 3, 8, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, and 28 and the extent of biodegration determined. The test substance was degraded to 68.8, 89.3 and 98.4% after 3, 8 and 28 days respectively.

Although it was not possible to check the validity criteria due to lack of data, based on the results reported, Methyl salicylate should be considered as readily biodegradable. Indeed, 68.8% of biodegradation occurred within 3 days only, and therefore the 10-days window was met.