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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

In several test, performed within 28 days, a degradation of 77 to 99 % was

determined for Paraffin oils, sulfochlorinated, saponified; and hence the substance is considered to be "Readily Biodegradable".

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable
Type of water:
freshwater

Additional information

Surfactant concentration in flowing water

Data on the ecotoxicity, on biodegradation and on the physicochemical behaviour are useful for describing the ecologically relevant substance-inherent risk potential. However, for evaluating the actual risk to humans and the environment, measured or calculated substance concentrations in the environment are necessary. Reliable surfactant monitoring data, which originated from continuous sampling for many days, were not available up to 1992, however. The reaseon for this is that, with the exception of LAS, no analytical methods for surfactant existed in 1992 which were suited for quantitatively measuring these substances in the trace range in waste waters, sewage sludge, surface waters or water body sediments (Schöberl et al., 1994). In the past four years, comprehensive surfactant monitoring programs, mainly on sewage treatment plants, have been conducted in various European countries by the surfactant- and detergent manufacturers in conjunction with state institutions. The results were published e.g. by Waters and Feijtel (1995), Matthijs et al. (1996), Schöberl et al. (1994, 1996) and by Schöberl (1995). Principle interest was first directed to the concentrations of linear alkyl benzylsulfonates (LAS), because this anionic surfactant quantitatively represented the most important dtergent and cleanser raw material. After these studies, the elemination of linear alkyl benzylsulfonates (LAS), alkyl polyetheylene glycol ethers (AEx), alkyl ether sulfates (AExS), alkyl sulfates (AS) and soaps were studies comparatively in waste water treatment plants in the Netherlands (Matthijs et al., 1996).