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Environmental fate & pathways

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Six biodegradation screening studies in water (either ready and inherent, in aerobic and anaerobic conditions) are available on guaiacol.

Concerning the ready biodegradability in water, one study (MITI, 1989) has been selected as key study since performed according to OECD test guideline (301C) by the Japanese Competent Authorities. In this study, the biodegradation of guaiacol was followed during 28 days, at an initial concentration of 100 mg/L using a mixed, non adapted inoculum (30 mg/L). After 28 days, the measured percentage of biodegradation was 90 % (based on Biological Oxygen Demand) and 97% (based on Total Organic Carbon removal). Guaiacol is therefore considered as readily biodegradable.

Palla & Gard (1987) studied the inherent biodegradability of effluent containing guaiacol following the OECD guideline 302B. Based on the DOC removal, they found 95.5% of effluent biodegradability after 4 days, and 96.4% after 28 days.

Guaiacol has been demonstrated to be biodegradable in anaerobic conditions also (Sierra-Alvarez, 1990; Boyd, 1983).

Alexander & Lustigman (1966) studied biodegradation of substituted benzenes by soil microflora. Based on loss of UV absorbancy, they found that guaiacol was degraded by soil microorganisms in 4 days.