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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.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

Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water and sediment: simulation tests

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Administrative data

Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

This class of substance is unstable under environmental and biological conditions and will readily hydrolyse to alcohols and sulphure dioxide / carbon dioxide with intermediary formation of carbon disulphide.  This is described in a number of reasearch papers and was confirmed though analysis of reaction products under synthetic gastric conditions. 

This is summarised in the attached report (which also serves to justify use of read-across data).

A number of biodegradationstudies have been performed on xanthates and the key degradation product carbon disulphide. Care is needed in the interpretation of the data as there will be a combination of biotic and abiotic processes.

Either way, there is clear evidence that the substance will not persist in the environment and will form metabolites that are themselves biodegradable or hydrolytically/photolytically unstable.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Solid xanthates decompose exposed to moisture in air, releasing carbon disulfide(CAS# 75-15-0), an alcohol and alkali hydroxide.

Hydrolysis is a significant factor in determining the environmental fate of xanthates.

In neutral or mildly alkaline water solution, sodium ethyl xanthate decomposes to ethyl alcohol, carbon disulfide, sodium carbonate and sodium trihiocarbonate.