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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Readily Biodegradable in Closed-Bottle test.  Inherent (ultimate) biodegradability also demonstrated in OECD 302A (SCAS) test.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

Biodegradation is expected to be the dominant process affecting fate of this substance in the environment. Several biodegradation screening tests of inherent or ready biodegradability have indicated little or no biodegradation of the substance. However, evidence from these studies suggests that results were confounded by toxicity/inhibition of the microbial inocula by the relatively high concentrations of diethylenetriamine tested. In one closed-bottle test where the ratio of test substance to inoculum concentration was low, 87% biodegradation was observed after 21 days, using an un-acclimated inoculum. Therefore, the substance can be classified as "readily biodegradable". In this and other studies, evidence suggests that a relatively long acclimation period may be required for previously unexposed inocula to attain the ability to degrade the substance. An inherent biodegradability (OECD 302A, SCAS test) has shown the substance to have potential for inherent ultimate biodegradability, giving 80 - 90% removal of the applied 20 mg/L DOC as diethylenetriamine, after an approximately 23-day lag period. Studies on bio-treatability of high salinity wastewater associated with ethyleneamine production also indicate essentially complete biodegradation of diethylenetriamine during activated sludge wastewater treatment. These results for simulated wastewater treatment conditions are indicative of a "readily biodegradable" substance.