Registration Dossier

Environmental fate & pathways

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

All members of the category alcohol ethoxylates are readily biodegradable which is proved by several studies available for the certain mixtures. Hence, the substances will be ultimately degraded under environmental conditions. The potential of alcohol ethoxylates to persist in the environment is thus not given.

Additional information

Alcohol ethoxylates are readily biodegradable under aerobic conditions and also anaerobically biodegradable (HERA, 2009). The main mechanism of primary biodegradation for the linear and essentially linear AE is the central cleavage of the molecule, leading to the formation of long chain alcohol and polyethylene glycol (HERA, 2009; Marcomini et al., 2000a; Marcomini et al., 2000b).

References:

HERA - Human & Environmental Risk Assessment on ingredients of European household cleaning products (2009). Alcohol Ethoxylates. Version 2.0, September, 2009

Marcomini, A., Zanette, M., Pojana, G., Suter, M. (2000a). Behavior of Aliphatic Alcohol Polyethoxylates and their Metabolites under Standardized Aerobic Biodegradation Conditions. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 19, 549–554.

Marcomini, A., Pojana, G., Carrer, C., Cavalli, L., Cassani, L., Lazzarin, M. (2000b) Aerobic Biodegradation of Monobranched Aliphatic Alcohol Polyethoxylates. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 19, 555-560.