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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Biodegradation in water: screening tests: readily biodegradable: 63 - 74% ThOD within 28 days (OECD TG 301 D)

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

Two studies published in the same article (Shell, 1984a and Shell, 1984b) are available for this endpoint. The first study is considered as the key study and is described below, contrary to the second study considered not considered reliable because of insufficient documentation.


The key study was performed in accordance with the OECD Guideline 301 D (Ready Biodegradability: Closed Bottle Test). The validity criteria were fulfilled. There is not enough information in the study report to determine the 10-d window. However, Heptanal reached the pass level for ready biodegradability after 5 days (approximately 60%) and consumed 63 - 74% of its theoretical oxygen demand within 28 days. So, heptanal should be considered as readily biodegradable.


The toxicity control showed that the test item was not toxic to the inoculum and the biodegradation observed with the reference substance (Sodium benzoate) showed that the test system was suitable for the measurement of the ready biodegradation.


As the test conditions and method were poorly described and the results succinctly reported, the study is considered as reliable with restrictions.