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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Whereas the closed bottle test revealed only 5% biodegradation within 28 days (Hüls AG, 1996) the BODIS test (draft ISO standard 10708 resulted in 81% biodegradation after 28 days (Hüls AG 1989). In addition, there are numerous publications indicating that 1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalene is biodegradable and it is used as carbon and energy source by several bacteria strains. 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

Whereas the closed bottle test revealed only 5% biodegradation within 28 days (Hüls AG, 1996) the BODIS test resulted in 81% biodegradation after 28 days (Hüls AG 1989). This difference was probably due to a much higher inocolum and test substance concentration used in the BODIS test compared to the Closed Bottle Test. The Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) of the European Commission published an opinion on the compatibility of the ISO standard 10708 with tests on the ultimate biodegradability as imposed through annex III of the European regulation on detergents (648/2004, see attachment). The authors concluded that the ISO 10708 test is comparable in terms of the methodology to the tests on ultimate biodegradability described in Annex III of the Regulation 648/2004, and that the ISO 10708 provides an equivalent level of reliability and stringency to the international test methods on ultimate biodegradability. Therefore, the available BODIS test is regarded as key study and based on the above given arguments tetrahydronaphthalene can be considered as readily biodegradable. Moreover, there are numerous data that indicate that tetrahydronaphthalene is biodegraded by certain bacteria strains or that it is used as carbon and energy source. Therefore tetrahydronaphthale is expected to biodegrade well in the environment, as already concluded by the OECD SIDS evaluation (SIAM 19).