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Environmental fate & pathways

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The lithium salts of dicarboxylic acids (C6 - C10) are readily biodegradable.  

  

A risk assessment under the high production volume program that includes the lithium salts of dicarboxylic acids (C6 - C10) as part of a wider aliphatics acids category (CoCAM 2014) concludes that ‘the weight of evidence indicates that the aliphatics acid category members are readily biodegradable’. They share a common degradation pathway in which they are degraded to acetyl-Co A or other key metabolites in all living systems and differences in metabolism or biodegradation of even or odd numbered carbon chain compounds are not expected.  

  

The lithium salts of fatty acids are expected to dissociate to lithium ions and acids. As an inorganic metal, the lithium ion will not undergo biodegradation, however, the acid component will be biodegraded. Adipic acid is readily biodegradable based on publicly available data from five ready biodegradation tests. Data on biodegradation are read across from adipic acid to lithium salts of fatty acids (C6-C10) based on structural similarity and also on the conclusions of the CoCAM (2014) report. Therefore, the lithium salts of fatty acids (C6-C10) are all readily biodegradable.  

  

This conclusion is supported by data on dilithium glutarate (C5), which shows that the substance is readily biodegradable, reaching 50% degradation on day 3 and 94% degradation by day 28 of an OECD 301F manometric respirometry test (see dissemination portal). A ready biodegradation test is currently ongoing with dilithium sebacate (C10) to provide data on longer chain length category members as well.  

CoCAM. 2014. SIDS initial assessment profile. CoCAM 6 September 30- October 3, 2014

 

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