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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

B-TEGME of 88% analytical purity was submitted to a DOC Die-Away Test according to OECD 301 A, ISO 7827 and 92/69 EEC (BASF 1999). The OECD 301 A test was selected appropriately according to relevant physical-chemical properties of the test substance. The study was conducted under GLP, EN 45001 and ISO 9002. It was valid according to the validity criteria of the test guidelines. The results show, that B-TEGME is readily biodegradable.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Four studies are available to address this endpoint. The key study (BASF 1999) is a valid study and was conducted with 88% pure B-TEGME, under GLP, and according to OECD 301A. It demonstrated that B-TEGME is readily biodegradable.

Shell 1999 used a mixture of Methyl Borated Esters as test material, which contained 22% B-TEGME, to conduct a valid GLP OECD 302 A study. The purpose was to investigate the inherent biodegradability of the test material. The results indicate that the test material was inherently biodegradable: 95% of the test material was degraded within 3 days after treatment. This supports the result of the key study.

Shell 1986 used a DOT 4 brake fluid to conduct ready biodegradation testing. This brake fluid is a mixture of Methyl and Butyl Borated Esters and contains 3% additives. B-TEGME contributes 17% to this brake fluid. The study was conducted non-GLP, with reference to internal SOPs. Two different test designs were used to assess ready biodegradation, i.e. the Closed Bottle Test and the Modified Sturm Test. Both tests fulfilled the validity criteria with respect to performance of the reference substance. The results show biodegradation within 28 days, however at low extent: Depending on the study design, average 8 and 24% of the test material were degraded, respectively. It is reported that degradation was still proceeding steadily at the end of the Modified Sturm Test. Degradation observed in these two tests may reflect partial or complete degradation of a number of components of brake fluid DOT4.