Registration Dossier

Data platform availability banner - registered substances factsheets

Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Ecotoxicological information

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

Additional information

The aquatic toxicity of fatty acids has been evaluated in studies on fish, daphnids and algae as well as microorganisms. Most of the studies were conducted with fatty acid homologues. Most tests are available for the soluble fatty acids octanoic acid C8 (CAS 124 -078 -2), azelaic acid C9 (CAS 123 -99 -9), decanoic acid C10 (CAS 334 -48 -5) and lauric acid C12 (CAS 143 -07 -7). In addition some studies were conducted with the insoluble pure homologues myristic acid C14 (CAS 544 -63 -8), palmitic acid C16 (CAS 57 -10 -3) and stearic acid C18 (CAS 57 -11 -4) and certain mixtures of the fatty acid category.

Regarding the composition of the C8 -16 fatty acid mixture (CAS 85631 -26 -1), the main components (fatty acid homologues with content >10%) are:


- C12: 55 - 70%

- C14: < 25%


The evaluation of the risk of the considered fatty acid mixture to aquatic organisms was mainly based on studies available for these main components. A detailed justification for the grouping of chemicals and read-across is provided in the Category Justification (see section 13 of the technical dossier).

Regarding the acute toxicity of fatty acids to aquatic organisms, lauric acid (C12: CAS 143-07-7) was the most toxic component of the mixture C8-16 fatty acids (CAS 85631-26-1) as it is the most soluble homologue contained in the mixture. Regarding the acute toxicity, aquatic invertebrates are most sensitive to lauric acid, followed by fish. For algae no effects up to the limit of water solubility is observed.


Chronic fish toxicity data with C8 – 16 fatty acid mixture (CAS 85631-26-1) are not available. Therefore, data from a surrogate substance, sodium laurate (CAS 629-25-4, C12), were taken into account. From this test it was concluded, that long-term effects on fish up to the limit of water solubility are not expected for the mixture C8 -16 fatty acids. The chronic toxicity on aquatic invertebrates was assessed based on studies conducted with decanoic acid (CAS 334-48-5) and palmitic acid (CAS 57-11-4). The study with palmitic acid did not show any effects on aquatic invertebrates. The study with the more water soluble decanoic acid (CAS 334-48-5) was performed within (an ongoing) a test programme in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute IME (FhG) in Schmallenberg/Germany. Also in this test no immobilisation occurred throughout the test, neither the mean cumulative offspring was affected by the test substance. A NOELR of >= 1.3 mg/L (measured, TWA) was determined, which corresponds to a nominal loading of 5 mg/L. An additional study on chronic invertebrate toxicity of lauric acid, which was designed to overcome methodological deficiencies and revise the environmental hazard, is still ongoing.

Within the fatty acids category, studies describing the toxicity of these substances on microorganisms like Pseudomonas putida are available. For the mixture C8 -16, fatty acids read across data from 3 reliable studies on C8, C12, and C14 chain lengths were used. All read across data showed that no toxicity of the substance to microorganisms is expected.