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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Description of key information

Predicted log BCF of 0.5 = 3.2 L/kg wet weight 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

The bioaccumulation in aquatic species study required in REACH guidance, Annex IX (Section 9.3.2) does not need to be conducted as the substance and its hydrolysis products have low potential for bioaccumulation with a partition coefficient of less than zero (log Kow < 0).

However, since the test substance dissociates in aqueous solution to the metal ion (Na+) and citrate ( (H7C6O7-), a read across of the estimated BCF value of citric acid is justified. An estimated BCF of 3.2 L/kg (log BCF = 0.5) was obtained for citric acid using BCFBAF program which forms part of the Syracuse EPIWEB suite. The estimated value is well below the cut off value of BCF ≥ 500 that is considered to indicate potential for bioaccumulation; the result indicates that citric acid is not expected to bioaccumulate.

Citrate is found in all eukaryotic cells as an intermediate of the TCA cycle, which is part of the basic metabolic pathway that generates useable energy from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Citric acid is formed and broken down in the course of this cycle at very high rates. The weight of evidence of the low estimated BCF, biodegradability and role in cell metabolism indicate that citric acid is extremely unlikely to bioaccumulate and testing is not considered necessary for this endpoint.