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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Toluene is biodegradable in several standard biodegradability tests using sewage sludge inocula (Price et al., 1974; Bridie et al., 1979). The degradation rate is faster when adapted microorganisms are used.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

Although the studies available do not follow current standard guidelines they are sufficient to demonstrate that toluene is readily biodegraded by both non-adapted and adapted sewage sludge inocula. These two studies were also used as part of a weight of evidence that toluene is readily biodegradable in the EU RAR for toluene (2003).