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The SPME and Microtox results for the WAFs of the grease samples at 1000 mg/L loading rate are as follows:
C - Polyurea thickener 2 in base oil
Both sets of screening data confirm that there is no apparent toxicity associated with any of the samples at the 1000 mg/L loading rate. The SPME-GC data summarised above, supported by the chromatograms, confirm that the total peak area counts are all extremely low and equivalent to background readings associated with a control sample (i.e. a WAF without any test sample added).
The screening ecotoxicity data (using SPME-GC and the in vitro Microtox assay), confirm a lack of toxicity of the greases.
Leaching studies have been undertaken on thickeners in base oils to provide additional support to the grease thickener testing strategy. Information generated during the screening studies is of relevance and value to the risk assessment of a wide range of grease thickeners and for assessing the potential bioaccessibility of grease and other lubricant components. The approach for the polyurea thickeners was to use a solid-phase microextraction (SPME) method combined with gas chromatography (GC) to assess the bioaccessibility of polyurea thickeners in water accommodated fractions (WAFs) (i.e. the leaching of the thickener from base grease into water). Ecotoxicity screening studies were conducted in order to determine whether there was any toxicity associated with the grease samples. The toxicity of WAFs was monitored using an in vitro Microtox assay, a biosensor-based measurement system. The screening ecotoxicity data (using SPME-GC and the in vitro Microtox assay), confirm a lack of toxicity of the greases.
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