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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.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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Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

In contact with water ethylene oxide will hydrolyse slowly.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Conway and co-workers studied the hydrolysis of ethylene oxide (1983) in sterilized distilled water, in natural river water and salt water. At neutral pH values (7.4) and at 25 °C a half-life of ethylene oxide in distilled water of 12.2 days was determined. In natural river water the half-life was 14.9 d and in 3% salt water the half-life was about 9 d. Ethylene oxide hydrolyses to ethylene glycol.

According to Regulation (EC) 1907/2006, Annex VIII, column 2, the study does not need to be conducted if the substance is readily biodegradable.