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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.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

Diss Factsheets

Administrative data

Description of key information

Although no specific carcinogenicity study is available on fatty acid methyl esters, the scientific weight of the evidence suggests that members of the SCAE Me category do not cause carcinogenic effects. This expert judgement takes account of the absence of genotoxicity and structural alerts for genotoxicity and carcinogenicity for all members of SCAE Me category as well as their overall low toxicity in repeated dose toxicity studies.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Carcinogenicity: via oral route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Carcinogenicity: via inhalation route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Carcinogenicity: via dermal route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Justification for classification or non-classification

According to Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 "General Requirements for Generation of Information on Intrinsic Properties of substances", information on intrinsic properties of substances may be generated by means other than tests e.g. from information from structurally related substances (grouping or read-across), provided that conditions set out in Annex XI are met.

Annex XI, "General rules for adaptation of this standard testing regime set out in Annexes VII to X” states that “substances whose physicochemical, toxicological and ecotoxicological properties are likely to be similar or follow a regular pattern as a result of structural similarity may be considered as a group, or ‘category’ of substances. This avoids the need to test every substance for every endpoint".

Since the group concept is applied to the members of the SCAE Me category, data will be generated from representative reference substance(s) within the category to avoid unnecessary animal testing. Additionally, once the group concept is applied, substances will be classified and labeled on this basis.

Based on expert judgement, a testing proposal for a carcinogenicity study within the Short Chain Aliphatic Methyl Esters category is not scientifically justified. The conclusion with regard to classification and labelling is "data lacking".

Additional information

Justification for grouping of substances and read-across

The short chain methyl esters category (SCAE Me) covers fatty acid esters of methanol. The category contains both mono-constituent substances, with fatty acid C-chain lengths ranging from C6 to C18 and UVCB substances, composed of single methyl esters in variable proportions. 

The available data allows for an accurate hazard and risk assessment of the category and the category concept is applied for the assessment of environmental fate, environmental and human health hazards. Thus where applicable, environmental and human health effects are predicted from adequate and reliable data for source substance(s) within the group by interpolation to the target substances in the group (read-across approach) applying the group concept in accordance with Annex XI, Item 1.5, of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006. In particular, for each specific endpoint the source substance(s) structurally closest to the target substance is/are chosen for read-across, with due regard to the requirements of adequacy and reliability of the available data. Structural similarities and similarities in properties and/or activities of the source and target substance are the basis of read-across.

A detailed justification for the grouping of chemicals and read-across is provided in the technical dossier (see IUCLID Sections 7.1 and 13) and within Chapter 5.1 of the CSR.

For all the members within the Short Chain Aliphatic Methyl Esters (SCAE Me) category there are no carcinogenicity studies available.

According to the Reach regulation (1907/2006/EC), a carcinogenicity study may be proposed by the registrant or may be required by the Agency in accordance with Articles 40 or 41 if the substance has a widespread dispersive use or there is evidence of frequent or long-term human exposure, and the substance is classified as mutagen category 3 or there is evidence from repeated dose studies that the substance is able to induce hyperplasia and/or pre-neoplastic lesions.

There is no evidence that Short Chain Aliphatic Methyl Esters cause carcinogenicity by a direct genotoxic mechanism, as the results of all genotoxicity studies were negative. Furthermore, in all available repeated dose toxicity studies and developmental studies, no evidence for hyperplasia or preneoplastic lesions was seen.

Thus, a proposal for a carcinogenicity study is scientifically neither required nor justified.