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Environmental fate & pathways

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The biodegradability under anaerobic and aerobic conditions as well as the elimination are investigated for 2-mercaptoethanol. In an OECD 310 study evaluating the biodegradability in an STP using non-adapted domestic activated sludge, 2-mercaptoethanol was found to biodegrade 69% after 60 days exposure. In an OECD 309 surface water mineralisation study, 2-mercaptoethanol was found to be rapidly eliminated from surface water, with a half-life of 0.079 days.

Based on the results of the OECD 309 study, the substance degrades in the aquatic environment to a level of >70% within a 28 day period and therefore, the substance is considered to be rapidly biodegradable.