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Environmental fate & pathways

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Propylene oxide reacts with hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere. The rate of this reaction has been determined by a number of investigators. As a reasonable worst-case the longest half-life, 32 days (EU RAR, 2002), will be used in the assessment.

Several studies are available on the hydrolysis of propylene oxide. Meylan et al. (1986) determined hydrolysis kinetics of propylene oxide based on various experimentally determined values.At 25°C the calculated half-life of propylene oxide is 12.9 days in freshwater and 2.4 days in seawater . Due to a specific reaction with chloride ions, the hydrolysis rate in seawater is higher.