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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

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Diss Factsheets

Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Administrative data

Link to relevant study record(s)

bioaccumulation in aquatic species, other
Data waiving:
study scientifically not necessary / other information available
Justification for data waiving:
the study does not need to be conducted because the substance has a low potential for bioaccumulation based on log Kow <=3

Description of key information

Accumulation in aquatic organisms is not to be expected.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

BCF (aquatic species):
0.396 dimensionless

Additional information

Based on the log Kow (0.35, Hansch et al., 1995) the test item has a low potential to accumulate in organisms. Therefore, no experimental study needs to be conducted. This is supported by the calculation of the BCF as described in the TGD of EChA. According to TGD (EC 2003, part II, chapter 3, p. 126) a BCFfish for substances with a log Kow < 6 can be calculated using the following QSAR developed by Veith et al. (1979):

log BCFfish = 0.85 · log Pow – 0.7
Applying the experimentally derived log Kow for the test item of 0.35 (Hansch et al., 1995) results in:
log BCFfish (test item) = 0.85 · 0.35 – 0.7
log BCFfish (test item) = – 0.403
BCFfish (test item) = 0.396
Default values can be used for deriving a BMF according to TGD (EC 2003, part II, chapter 3, p. 127).
Applying the experimentally derived log Kow for the test item of 0.35 (Hansch et al. 1995) and the BCFfish estimated above results in
BMF (test item) = 1.
Due to the result, the test item is not expected to accumulate in biota.
Additionally, experimental studies from different scientific reliable publications show no significant concentrations of the test item in fish or invertebrates.

One study on marine fish species (Paralichthys olivaceus and Sebastes schlegeli) investigated the residues of the test item in edible fish tissues (muscle) after typical anti-parasitical treatments in aquaculture (Jung et al., 2001). Elevated test item levels in muscle tissue (by 0.8 µg/g wet weight) were found only directly after a one-hour treatment at 185 mg/L, but not after a 24-hour or longer depuration period. The results indicate that there is no bioaccumulation in fish.

In another publication several fresh water fish species were exposed to 111 mg/L of the test item for 1-3 h under static conditions in natural fresh water (Sills, 1979). After exposure five fish of each species were taken for residual exposure (0 h after withdrawal from the test solution) the other test organisms were placed in fresh water. Five fish of each species were analyzed 1 and 24 hours after withdrawal from the test item. Up to the detection limit of 5 µg/g fish tissue the test item was not found in the muscles, liver or blood plasma of the test organisms. Therefore, the BCF was calculated to be <1. These findings underline the low potential of the test item to accumulate in fish.

Beside different fish species the accumulation of the test item was although investigated in the marine species Peanaeus stylirostris (blue shrimp) was exposed to a concentration of 18.5 and 55.5 ppm test item and a control in a static set-up for 24 h with natural sea water (salinity 4 %) (Hose, 1980). In three separate laboratory experiments, two size classes of shrimp (from 5 -7 g and 20 g market size shrimp) were exposed. Unpeeled shrimp tails were used in the assays. No extractable residues of the test item could be detected when analyzed immediately after treatment. However, during longer post-mortem storage up to 72 hours, significant amounts of extractable formaldehyde were produced biologically due to tissue decomposition. Therefore, the BCF was determined to be < 1

In conclusion, the low log Kow and the supporting the experimental data from the present publications indicate that the test item does not bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms. Consequently, secondary poisoning due to food-chain accumulation can be excluded. Therefore, a test on aquatic bioconcentration of formaldehyde is scientifically not justified.