Registration Dossier

Environmental fate & pathways

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

Additional information

Ethyl acetate will react with photochemically-produced hydroxyl radicals. Clean atmosphere half-life is 8.3 days and moderately-polluted atmosphere half-life can be estimated as around 2.1 days (both values based on a 12 hour sunlit day). A pseduo-first order rate constant suggested that H-atom abstraction takes place at the alkoxy end of the molecule.

Ethyl acetate is effectively resistant to hydrolysis under neutral and acid conditions but that under increasingly basic conditions, hydrolysis increasingly occurs. At pH9, the half life for hydrolysis is 7.5 days compared to 2 years or longer at pH 7 and below.

When ethyl acetate was assessed at a number of concentrations using a non-adapted domestic sewage innoculum in a freshwater medium, rapid degradation was observed. Based on the results of this study, it meets the criteria to be classified as readily biodegradable. Biodegradation was also assessed using an innoculum prepared from natural salt water and boosted with non-adapted domestic sewage innoculum in an artificial salt water medium. Degradation to a level of 60%over the 20 day experimental period was observed and degradation of 47% reached within 5 days. Other studies also confirm that ethyl acetate is readily biodegradable. Biodegradation of ethyl acetate has also been studied in continuous flow activated sludge reactors. Biodegradability over 6 days was evaluated by ultimate BOD analysis compared to TOC and COD values. The ultimate treatment efficiency for ethyl acetate was 99.9% removal; 93% by biodegradation and 7% stripped (volatilized) from the wastewater. Hydraulic retention time in the reactor was 8 hours.  Degradation was also studied in a guideline simulated degradation study for which only the results are available; ethyl acetate showed 100% degradation based on a mean retention time of 3 hours in the reactor.

The substance has a low potential for bioaccumulation (log Kow3).

Distribution modelling suggests that environmental concentrations of ethyl acetate are likely to be very low. Based on emissions modelled using a typical use pattern and default emission factors either from the EU TGD or derived by expert assessment, regional water concentrations are predicted to be less than 32ug/l, soil less than 1.5ug/kg and air concentrations less than 3ppb under extreme worse case assumptions.