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Ecotoxicological information

Sediment toxicity

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Description of key information

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

No experimental data evaluating the toxicity to sediment organisms is available for the category PFAE fumarates. Since all memebers of the category are rapidly biodegradable, chronic exposure of sediment organisms is unlikely. In addition, available data indicate, that members of the PFAE fumarates are not bioaccumulative and not toxic to aquatic organisms up to the limit of water solubility. Based on the available information, toxicity to sediment organisms is not expected to be of concern.

Intrinsic properties and fate/ exposure

All members of the PFAE fumarate category are either readily biodegradable or readily biodegradable but failing the 10-window. According to the Guidance on information requirements and chemical safety assessment, Chapter R.7b, readily biodegradable substances can be expected to undergo rapid and ultimate degradation in most environments, including biological Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) (ECHA, 2012b). Therefore, after passing through conventional STPs, only low concentrations of these substances are likely to be (if at all) released into the environment.

Aquatic ecotoxicity data

The PFAE fumarates is a robust category with sufficient experimental data for the aquatic toxicity. Short-term aquatic toxicity data is available for all trophic levels. Long-term data is available for aquatic algae. Based on the experimental data, all category members exhibit no effects to aquatic organisms up to the limit of water solubility.

Metabolisms/Bioaccumulation

After absorption, members of the PFAE fumarate category are expected to be enzymatically hydrolysed in vivo by the ubiquitary enzyme carboxylesterase, yielding the corresponding alcohols and fumaric acid. QSAR estimations using BCFBAF v3.0 support the expected rapid biotransformation of this substance with BCF/BAF values of <= 10 L/kg, respectively (Arnot-Gobas estimation including biotransformation, upper trophic).

The metabolism of the hydrolysis products: alcohol (e.g. Dodecanol) and dicarboxylic acid (i.e. fumaric acid) is well established and not of concern in terms of bioaccumulation (for further information see chapter 5.3 of the technical dossier).

Conclusion

Due to its biodegradability, extensive degradation of all members of the PFAE fumarate category in conventional STPs will take place and only low concentrations are expected to be released (if at all) into the environment. After uptake by sediment species, extensive and fast biotransformation of these substances by carboxylesterases into butenedioic acid and the corresponding alcohol is expected. The supporting BCF/BAF values estimated with the BCFBAF v3.01 program, Arnot-Gobas, including biotransformation, upper trophic, also indicate bioaccumulation potential. Therefore, all members of the PFAE fumarate category are unlikely to pose a risk for sediment organisms in general and testing is thus omitted.