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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

Several studies on the biodegradability of benzyl alcohol under aerobic and anaerobic conditions are available. All studies indicate a fast biodegradation of benzylalcohol under the conditions of the tests. Two studies on ready biodegradability are defined as key studies for the present dossier:

  • The biodegradation potential of benzyl alcohol was evaluated in a MITI - test (1992) in accordance with the OECD 301 ("Ready biodegradability: modified MITI test (I)"). The test duration was 14 days and the initial test substance concentration was 100 mg/L. The degradation was calculated by BOD. The results of the test showed that benzyl alcohol degrades 92-96 % after 14 days.
  • The biodegradation of benzyl alcohol was assessed by Trenel (1982) in a "DOC Die-Away Test" in accordance with the OECD Guideline 301A. A measured volume of mineral medium containing a known concentration of the test substance, was inoculated with effluent water of a treatment plant unit receiving predominantly domestic sewage. The carbon content in the inoculum is neglibible. The test duration was 21 days. The removal of organic carbon was assessed by DOC-Analytic. The results of the test showed a degradation of 95 -97 % after 21 days, which indicates that benzyl alcohol is readily biodegradable.

Considering the results of the test it is concluded that benzyl alcohol is readily biodegradable.