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Ecotoxicological information

Short-term toxicity to aquatic invertebrates

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Description of key information

EC50 (48 h), ethylene glycol diformate  > 100 mg/L for Daphnia magna (nominal; OECD 202), corresponding to 101.7-125.4 mg/L 1,2,3-propanetriol, mono- and diformates. 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Fresh water invertebrates

Fresh water invertebrates
Effect concentration:
101.7 mg/L

Additional information

One experimental study investigating the short-term toxicity of ethylene diformate (CAS 629-15-2) to aquatic invertebrates is available (Vryenhoef, 2012). The study was performed according to OECD guideline 202 under GLP conditions using the water flea Daphnia magna. A range-finding study with three concentrations up to 100 mg/L did not result in any immobility after 48 h. Thus, a confirmatory limit test with 100 mg/L was performed under static conditions. The substance was found to hydrolyse in test medium with an approximate half-life of 11 h. The analytical measurement with gas chromatography (GC) revealed a decline in test item concentration. Therefore, the possible effects of the parent substance and of the hydrolysis products were tested in this study. After an exposure of 48 h, an EC50 of > 100 mg/L and a NOEC of ≥ 100 mg/L resulted. Given that complete hydrolysis of the parent test item did not occur, and that toxicity cannot be attributed to the parent test item, the degradation product, or a mixture of the two, it was considered appropriate to calculate the results based on nominal parent test item concentrations only. Based on the result of this test, it is not expected that ethylene diformate and its hydrolysis products will exhibit acute toxic effects to aquatic invertebrates.

The result for ethylene glycol diformate is used for the assessment of the substance 1,2,3-propanetriol, mono- and diformates in a read-across approach (for details and justification please refer to the read-across report).

The EC50 of ≥ 100 mg/L ethylene glycol diformate (M= 118.1 g/mole) corresponds to 101.7-125.4 mg/L 1,2,3-propanetriol, mono- and diformates (M = 120.1-148.11 g/mole).

In addition, available data on sodium formate are used as supporting information for the following reasons:

1,2,3-propanetriol, mono- and diformates is used as an acidity regulator in textile treatment baths. Due to rapid hydrolysis release of this substance to wastewater (and further to the environment) is essentially zero. The substance is added to treatment baths of basic pH, and consequently shifts the pH to neutral or slightly acidic values. In the technical process (textile treatment) the substance reacts completely, yielding glycerol and formic acid/formate. The relevant breakdown product to be considered in the risk assessment hence is formic acid in dissociation equilibrium with formate. Glycerol is of no environmental concern and does not require to be assessed. Also the formate ion is not environmentally hazardous as demonstrated by the acute 48-h EC50 for Daphnia magna was close to 5200 mg/L. In the relevant pH range (approximately neutral) the equilibrium is shifted towards the free formate. Use of data on sodium formate is therefore justified.