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Environmental fate & pathways

Field studies

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field studies
Type of information:
other: published data
Adequacy of study:
weight of evidence
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
study well documented, meets generally accepted scientific principles, acceptable for assessment

Data source

Referenceopen allclose all

Reference Type:
The concentrations and fate of linear alkylbenzene sulphonate in sludge amended soils.
Holt, M.S., Matthijs, E. and Waters, J.
Bibliographic source:
Wat. Res. 23:749-759.
Reference Type:
Fate of LAS in sludge amended soils.
Waters, J., Holt, M.S., Matthijs, E.
Bibliographic source:
Tenside Surfactants Detergents 26(2):129-135.

Materials and methods

Test guideline
no guideline followed
Principles of method if other than guideline:
The disappearance of LAS from sludge-amended soils was investigated from 51 fields on 24 farms in the Thames Water Authority, U.K. Annual sludge
spreading averaged 6 ton/ha. Application of sludge was made by subsurface injection, surface spreading onto arable land with or without ploughing, or
surface spreading onto pasture land. Regular sampling was conducted for up to 122 days. LAS concentrations in the soil were analyzed with HPLC.
GLP compliance:
not specified
Type of measurement:
Field trial

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
Benzenesulfonic acid, C10-13-alkyl derivs., sodium salts
EC Number:
EC Name:
Benzenesulfonic acid, C10-13-alkyl derivs., sodium salts
Cas Number:
sodium 4-undecylbenzenesulfonate
Test material form:
solid: compact
Details on test material:
Commercial LAS as present in primary sludge or anaerobically digested sludge from WWTPs in the United Kingdom.

Results and discussion

Any other information on results incl. tables

In fields not recently spread with sludge, the concentrations of LAS found in the sludge amended soil were generally less than 1 mg/kg. This represents an estimated loss of LAS from soil of >98%.

In fields recently spread, the concentrations in soil are in the range of <0.2 to 20 mg/kg, representing losses of LAS between 70 and 99% of the estimated total cumulative load.

The authors conclude that overall the data indicate that an adequate safety margin exists between the concentrations of LAS in sludge-amended soils and those likely to affect the growth of crop plants.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Half-lives compare well with those for ultimate degradation in lab soil tests (with 14-C-evolution), indicating that the degradation of LAS does not
lead to the formation of significant levels of break-down intermediates in soil.
The homologue distribution of LAS in soil suggests that removal represents biodegradation rather than leaching.