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Environmental fate & pathways


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Description of key information

According to structural properties, hydrolysis is not expected/probable.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

According to REACH Annex VIII a study on hydrolysis is not necessary if the compound is readily biodegradable. Formaldehyde is classified to be ready biodegradable.

Formaldehyde undergoes, essentially complete hydration to yield the gem-diol, methylene glycol. Equilibrium almost totally favours the glycol; less than 0.04% by weight of unhydrated formaldehyde is found in highly concentrated solutions (WHO, 2002; Environment Canada, 2001). Furthermore, the substance is readily biodegradable. Therefore, no hydrolysis testing is required for registration under REACH.