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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

The test substance, lauric acid, is readily biodegradable.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

Two biodegradability tests available for lauric acid, demonstrate that the substance is readily biodegradable.Richterich and Mühlenberg (2001) conducted a closed bottle test according to OECD 301D. Under the test conditions 86% of the test substance was degraded at a substance concentration of 2 mg/L and 62% at 5 mg/L, respectively. The criterion for ready biodegradability, the 10-day window, was met.
In the short summary of Geisel and Berger (1998), the biodegradability was tested according to EU Method C.4 –E. The test also showed lauric acid to be readily biodegradable (85% within 30d at 2 mg/L of test substance and > 55% at 5 mg/L of test substance, passing 10-day window). The substance, lauric acid, is thus not expected to persist in the environment.
This judgment is consistent with the hazard assessment presented in the OECD SIDS (2009) for the category “Aliphatic Acids Category” where aliphatic fatty acids with a carbon chain length in the range of C8 – C22 were judged to be readily biodegradable.