Registration Dossier

Environmental fate & pathways

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

Additional information

EDTA is mainly produced and used as acid and sodium salt (Na4EDTA). In lower amounts, other salts or metal complexes are produced [EU Risk Assessment 2004].

Each category member has an identical backbone structure which is substituted with four carboxylic groups that result in a similar chemical reactivity. The available data indicate that all members of the category are likely to share comparable physicochemical and environmental properties.

For the hazard assessment several studies have been performed using EDTA acid, Na4 EDTA, Na2H2 EDTA or CaNa2EDTA. The several EDTA species have been used as read-across for the complete category,for justification for read-across see IUCLID 5, Chapter 13.

A large number of degradation tests are available for EDTA. In most cases the acid or the Na salts were used as test substances. Results from OECD guideline tests indicate that EDTA is not readily biodegradable [e. g. Gerike & Fischer, 1979 and BASF AG, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002]. It was shown that under special conditions like slightly alkaline pH or adaptation the biodegradability of EDTA is considerably improved. EDTA is biodegradable under enhanced test conditions using preadapted activated sludge. Therefore it can be concluded that EDTA is ultimately biodegradable under such conditions.

There would be no emission into the atmosphere pointing out the very low vapour pressure of the substance. Thus photodegradation in air, will not play an important role in the degradation process of EDTA in the environment. EDTA is resistant to hydrolysis, neither strong acids nor alkalis cause any degradation. However photodegradation in natural water was observed. In addition, EDTA does not significantly accumulate in organism and due to Due to the ionic structure under environmental relevant pH conditions, no adsorption onto the organic fraction of soil or sediments is expected (EU Risk assessment, 2004).