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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Biodegradation: Inherently biodegradable

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
inherently biodegradable

Additional information

In reported tests of ready biodegradability biodegradability in water, the substance was found to have low biodegradability.

However, tests with a structural analogue of the substance, a trimellitate ester with mixed C8 -C10 side chains, showed significant biodegradation and, while not readily biodegradable, this analogue can be considered to be inherently biodegradable. The differences observed in tests on the two substances may be a result of methodology, particularly important when testing “difficult” substances – in this case, substances with low water solubility.

Modelling of possible biodegradation pathways indicate that aerobic degradation is likely, the first steps in this being hydrolysis to trimellitic acid and the corresponding alcohol, both of which have been shown to be readily biodegradable.