Registration Dossier

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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.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

Environmental fate & pathways

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

The bioconcentrations in aquatic organisms was estimated according to a QSAR model.

Additional information

Data on formaldehyde


One recent study on marine fish is available in which tissue formaldehyde levels after exposure to formaldehyde were investigated. Elevated formaldehyde levels in muscle tissue (by 0.8 µg/g wet weight) were found only directly after a one-hour treatment at 185 mg/L, but not after a 24-hour or longer depuration period. Assuming that one hour was sufficient to reach steady-state conditions a BCF of 4 x 10-6 was calculated, however, reliability of that value has to remain questionable. The study was conducted to investigate formaldehyde concentrations in fish after typical antiparasitical treatments in aquaculture, but aimed not at the determination of a BCF for formaldehyde.

Two older studies are cited in WHO (2002) and OECD (2002), in which no elevated formaldehyde contents were found after a one or three–hour treatments at 121 mg/L in marine and freshwater fish tissue, and after 24 hours of treatment (50 and 150 mg/L) in marine shrimp tissue. Shrimp tail muscle was found to produce small amounts of formaldehyde during postmortem decomposition.

Additional information on logPow as well as the estimated BCFfish and biomagnification factor for fish-eating predators support the experimental findings that formaldehyde does not bioconcentrate in aquatic biota.

There is no study available on accumulation of formaldehyde in terrestrial organisms. Therefore, the BCF for earthworms was estimated according a QSAR model described in EU Technical Guidance Document on Risk Assessment (EC 2003). As the value is very low, bioaccumulation potential is not expected for terrestrial organisms.