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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Description of key information

Significant accumulation of methyl formate and its hydrolysis products (methanol and formic acid) in organisms is not to be expected.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

According to the available hydrolysis study for the substance, Methyl formates' susceptibility to hydrolysis increases with pH as well as with temperature. The hydrolysis half-life ranges from 410 h at pH 4 and 20 °C to less than 1 hour at pH 9 and 25 °C (OECD 111, BASF SE, 2010). Therefore, it can be concluded, that under environmentally relevant conditions (pH 7-9) the rapid hydrolysis will be the major fate process of the methyl formate due to the short half-life in aqueous solution. Therefore, the assessment of the environmental fate of the substance is also performed for the hydrolytic products: formic acid and methanol.

Assessment:

According to Regulation (EC) 1907/2006, Annex IX, section 9.3.2., column 2 the study does not need to be conducted if the substance has a low potential for bioaccumulation (for instance a log Kow ≤ 3) or a low potential to cross biological membranes.

Due to the low measured log Kow of -0.21 of methyl formate (BASF AG, 1988, 130365/01) accumulation in organisms is not expected.

Due to the low measured log Kow of -2.1 of formic acid (measured at pH 7 and 23°C, BASF AG, 2002, Study No. 02L00109) , accumulation in organisms is not expected.

Due to the low measured log Kow of -0.77 of methanol (Smith & Hansch, 2000), accumulation in organisms is not expected.

Overall, based on the available experimental data for the log Kow of the substances, it can be concluded that Significant accumulation of methyl formate and its hydrolysis products (methanol and formic acid) in organisms is not to be expected.

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