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Ecotoxicological information

Endpoint summary

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Description of key information

Additional information

Justification for the analogue approach (read-across)

The target substance Propyleneglycol dioleate (CAS 105-62-4) represents a UVCB substance comprised of diesters of an aliphatic diol (propyleneglycol (PG)) chemically linked to two molecules of oleic acid (C18´, mono unsaturated).

Fatty acid esters are generally produced by chemical reaction of an alcohol (e.g. propyleneglycol) with an organic acid (e.g. oleic acid) in the presence of an acid catalyst (Radzi et al., 2005). The esterification reaction is started by a transfer of a proton from the acid catalyst to the acid to form an alkyloxonium ion. The acid is protonated on its carbonyl oxygen followed by a nucleophilic addition of a molecule of the alcohol to a carbonyl carbon of acid. An intermediate product is formed. This intermediate product loses a water molecule and a proton to give an ester (Liu et al, 2006; Lilja et al., 2005; Gubicza et al., 2000; Zhao, 2000).

The key points that the analogue substances share are:

 

(1) common functional groups: the substances are characterized by ester bond(s) between an aliphatic diol (ethylene glycol (EG), propylene glycol (PG) or 1,3-butyleneglycol (1,3-BG)) and one or two carboxylic fatty acid chains. The fatty acid chains comprise carbon chain lengths ranging from C6 to C18, mainly saturated but also mono unsaturated C16 and C18. 

 

(2) common precursors and the likelihood of common breakdown products via biological processes, which result in structurally similar chemicals: glycol esters are expected to be initially metabolized via enzymatic hydrolysis in the corresponding free fatty acids and the free glycol alcohols such as ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. The hydrolysis represents the first chemical step in the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) pathways expected to be similarly followed by all glycol esters. The hydrolysis is catalyzed by classes of enzymes known as carboxylesterases or esterases (Heymann, 1980). Ethylene and propylene glycol are rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and subsequently undergo rapid biotransformation in liver and kidney (ATSDR, 1997; ICPS, 2001; WHO, 2002; ATSDR, 2010). Propylene glycol will be further metabolized in liver by alcohol dehydrogenase to lactic acid and pyruvic acid which are endogenous substances naturally occurring in mammals (Miller & Bazzano, 1965, Ritchie, 1927). Ethylene glycol is first metabolised by alcohol dehydrogenase to glycoaldehyde, which is then further oxidized successively to glycolic acid, glyoxylic acid, oxalic acids by mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase and cytosolic aldehyde oxidase (ATSDR, 2010; WHO, 2002). The anabolism of fatty acids occurs in the cytosol, where fatty acids esterified into cellular lipids that are the most important storage form of fatty acids (Stryer, 1994). The catabolism of fatty acids occurs in the cellular organelles, mitochondria and peroxisomes via a completely different set of enzymes. The process is termed ß-oxidation and involves the sequential cleavage of two-carbon units, released as acetyl-CoA through a cyclic series of reaction catalyzed by several distinct enzyme activities rather than a multienzyme complex (Tocher, 2003).

(3) Physico-chemical properties: The pattern observed depends on the fatty acid chain length and the degree of esterification (mono- or diesters). The molecular weight ranges from 202.29 to 622.97 g/mol. The physical appearance is related to the chain length of the fatty acid moiety, the degree of saturation and the number of ester bonds. Thus, mono- and diesters of short-chain fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids (C6-14 and C16:1, C18:1) as well as diesters of branched fatty acids (C18iso) are liquid, while mono- and diesters of long-chain fatty acids are waxy solids. All substances are non-volatile (vapour pressure: ≤ 0.1 Pa). The n-octanol/water partition coefficient of all substances is higher than 3. It is in the agreement with knowledge about the chemical structure of the substances. Most of the substances are chemicals with high molecular weight, with long carboxylic chains, which result in hydrophobic properties of these substances. The latter is also confirmed by low solubility of the substances in water.

(4) Environmental fate and ecotoxicological properties: Considering the low water solubility and the potential for adsorption to organic soil and sediment particles, the main compartment for environmental distribution is expected to be the soil and sediment. Nevertheless, persistency in these compartments is not expected since the substances are readily biodegradable. Evaporation into air and the transport through the atmospheric compartment is not expected since the substances are not volatile based on the low vapour pressure. All analogue substances did not show any effects on aquatic organisms in acute and chronic up to the limit of water solubility. Moreover, bioaccumulation is assumed to be low based on available metabolism data.

(5) Toxicological properties: The toxicological properties show that analogue substances have a similar toxicokinetic behaviour (hydrolysis of the ester bond before absorption followed by absorption and metabolism of the breakdown products) and that the constant pattern consists in a lack of potency change of properties, explained by the common metabolic fate of glycol esters independently of the fatty acid chain length and degree of glycol substitution. Thus, no substance showed acute oral, dermal or inhalative toxicity, no skin or eye irritation properties, no skin sensitisation, are of low toxicity after repeated oral exposure and are not mutagenic or clastogenic and have shown no indications for reproduction toxicity and have no effect on intrauterine development.

The available data allows for an accurate hazard and risk assessment Propyleneglycol dioleate (CAS 105-62-4) and the analogue approach is applied for the assessment of environmental fate and environmental and human health hazards. Thus, where applicable, environmental and human health effects are predicted from adequate and reliable data for source substance(s) (read-across approach) in accordance with Annex XI, Item 1.5, of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006. In particular, for each specific endpoint the source substance(s) structurally closest to the target substance is/are chosen for read-across, with due regard to the requirements of adequacy and reliability of the available data. Structural similarities and similarities in properties and/or activities of the source and target substance are the basis of read-across.

A detailed justification for the analogue approach and read-across is provided in the technical dossier (see IUCLID Section 13).

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006, Annex XI, 1.5, grouping and read-across, the substances are not considered to be harmful to aquatic organisms based on the results from short-term studies with fish, aquatic invertebrates and algae and long-term results on toxicity to aquatic invertebrates. All substances are structurally similar. No effects were recorded up to the limit of water solubility.

In particular, short-term studies with freshwater species from all three trophic levels (algae, aquatic invertebrates and fish) are available. Four acute toxicity studies to fish according to internationally accepted guidelines are available for the analogue glycol esters (CAS 627-83-8, CAS 68583-51-7, CAS 853947-59-8 and CAS 68958-54-3). No effects were observed up to the limit of water solubility. The read-across was performed to the structurally most similar glycol esters decanoic acid, mixed diesters with octanoic acid and propylene glycol (CAS 68583-51-7), and 1-methyl-1,2-ethanediyl diisooctadecanoate (CAS 68958-54-3).

The same result was found in short-term toxicity studies with aquatic invertebrates for the read-across substances decanoic acid, mixed diesters with octanoic acid and propylene glycol (CAS 68583-51-7) and Butylene glycol dicaprylate / dicaprate (CAS 853947-59-8). No toxicity was observed up to the limit of water solubility in the available studies. Based on the results from these studies in combination with an available chronic result with Daphnia magna, there is no convincing evidence that Propyleneglycole dioletae (CAS 105-62-4) lie out of the overall toxicity profile.

Three standard guideline studies investigating the toxicity to aquatic algae are available (CAS 68583-51-7, CAS 91031-31-1and CAS 853947-59-8). No toxicity was observed up to the limit of water solubility in the available studies. The read-across was performed to the structurally most similar glycol esters decanoic acid, mixed diesters with octanoic acid and propylene glycol (CAS 68583-51-7) and Butylene glycol dicaprylate / dicaprate (CAS 853947-59-8).

One long-term study with Daphnia magna is available for Butylene glycol dicaprylate / dicaprate (CAS 853947-59-8) resulting in a NOEC (21 d) > water solubility. This study was used as read-across for Propyleneglycole dioletae (CAS 105-62-4) based on structural similarity. Moreover, it can be concluded that this substance can be seen as a worst case read-across approach based on the smaller fatty acid chain lengths which probably exhibits a higher water solubility since the hydrocarbon chain lengths of the fatty acid is directly correlated with the water solubility (Lide, 2005).

Toxicity to microorganisms was investigated in two studies for decanoic acid, mixed diesters with octanoic acid and propylene glycol (CAS 68583-51-7) and Butylene glycol dicaprylate / dicaprate (CAS 853947-59-8), respectively. The first study with decanoic acid, mixed diesters with octanoic acid and propylene glycol was not considered to be reliable since only one single species (Pseudomonas putida) was tested. Nevertheless, no effects on O2-consumption were observed. The result from the second study with Butylene glycol dicaprylate / dicaprate according to an accepted guideline was considered valid. No effects on respiration of activated sludge microorganisms were observed. Based on structural similarities this study was used for read-across for Propyleneglycole dioletae (CAS 105-62-4). In combination with results from the available biodegradation study it can be concluded that no effects on the STP microorganism community and the subsequent degradation process in sewage treatment plants is anticipated.

In conclusion, no effects on aquatic organisms were observed in the available studies in any of the three trophic levels (fish, daphnia, algae) up to the limit of water solubility, neither in the short-term toxicity tests nor in a long-term test with daphnia. In each case of read-across, the best suited read-across was chosen.

For a detailed reference list please refer to IUCLID section 13.