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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

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Environmental fate & pathways

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The substances of the alkyl ether sulfates (AES) category are anionic surfactants with a pKa < 2. The substances are fully dissociated under environmentally relevant conditions (pH 4-9). Their environmental fate is mainly driven by the anionic compound; the hydrophobic aliphatic ethoxylated (ethoxylation degree: <2.5) chain with a hydrophilic polar sulfate group.

Alkyl ether sulfates are readily biodegradable under aerobic conditions. The degradation process proceeds vie different degradation products and results in an ultimate degradation of the substances under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Abiotic degradation by hydrolysis is no relevant degradation pathway for alkyl ether sulfates. The available QSAR calculations and experimental data demonstrate a potential for adsorption for the alkyl ether sulfates, which increases with increasing chain length and level of ethoxylation. Bioaccumulation of the alkyl ether sulfates is not likely. The substances are expected to be rapidly biotransformed and eliminated.


Danish EPA - Environmental and Health Assessment of Substances in Household Detergents and Cosmetic Detergent Products (2001). Environmental Project No. 615, pp. 24-28

HERA - Human & Environmental Risk Assessment on ingredients of European household cleaning products (2004).Alcohol Ethoxysulphates (AES).