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Environmental fate & pathways

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Biodegradation is not applicable to metals/inorganic substances. Tests are not to be conducted if the substance is inorganic (Column 2 of Annex VII of REACH regulation).

As a surrogate approach for assessing "degradability", the concept of "removal from the water column" has been developed to assess whether or not a respective metal ion would remain present in the water column upon addition (and thus be able to exert a chronic effect) or would be rapidly removed from the water column. In this concept, "rapid removal" (defined as >70% removal within 28 days) can be considered as equivalent to "rapid degradation". For zinc in water, information is available on the removal of zinc from the water column (IUCLID section 5.6.). The removal from the water column was modelled referring to the EUSES model parameters and different conditions of pH. Zinc is removed by > 70% under the reference conditions for the EU regional waters (EUSES) (see IUCLID section 5.6.: "removal from the water column", studies by Mutch Associates LLC, 2010 a,b). Consequently, zinc is considered as equivalent to being "rapidly degradable" in the context of classification for chronic aquatic effects.