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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to soil macroorganisms except arthropods

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Description of key information

As no effects up to the limit of the water solubility of Fatty Acid Glycerides were observed in aquatic toxicity tests and the water solubility of the substances is very low (< 1 mg/L), no robust PNEC soil based on the equilibrium partitioning method can be derived for the purposes of a soil screening assessment (Guidance on information requirements and chemical safety assessment, R7c, pg. 121, ECHA May 2008).
No hazard to terrestrial organisms is expected for the category members Fatty Acid Glycerides.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

No tests with soil organisms are available for the category members Fatty Acid Glycerides (mono-, di-, and tri-esters of fatty acids with glycerol), but due to their properties a hazard to soil organisms is assumed to be low: Fatty Acid Glycerides are readily biodegradable and thus not expected to persist in soil. Furthermore acute and chronic study results show that Fatty Acid Glycerides have only a low toxicity for mammals and aquatic organisms. For humans Fatty Acid Glycerides constitute a large part of the fat content within the diet. They participate in normal physiological processes and are thus inherently harmless. Their common metabolic fate involves stepwise hydrolysis to the fatty acids and glycerol. Fatty acids and glycerol feed into physiological pathways like the citric acid cycle, sugar synthesis and lipid synthesis. Furthermore mono- and diglycerides have an amphiphilic character and can be part of biological membranes or act as emulsifier and thus, are naturally present in all living organism. Fatty Acid Glycerides can be used as energy source by organisms. They are synthesised by plants and stored in the fatty tissue. Also in microorganisms inclusion of fat droplets is common. Fungi store triglycerides in vacuoles.

Thus, as glycerides are constituents of terrestrial macro and micro-organisms, as well as naturally produced by plants, toxic effects caused by Fatty Acid Glycerides are implausible.

Aerial deposition of Fatty Acid Glycerides is negligible as their vapour pressure is < 6x10-9 Pa and exposure via irrigation can be ruled out due to the low water solubility of the category members (< 1 mg/L).

Hence, considering the lack of indirect exposure via sludge, their ready biodegradability and the most likely harmlessness of Fatty Acid Glycerides for terrestrial organisms, no hazard to terrestrial organisms is expected and the generation of soil toxicity data is not required.