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The terrestrial toxicity of the alkyl ether sulfates (AES) was assessed in a weight of evidence approach. The assessment approach is based on the physico-chemical properties of alkyl ether sulfates, the e-fate of the substances and the available ecotoxicological data. The substances in the alkyl ether sulphate (AES) category have been demonstrated to be rapidly biodegradable in several screening tests. The substances will be extensively removed from the aqueous phase during sewage treatment. A rapid mineralisation in aquatic as well as terrestrial environment can be expected and persistence of alkyl ether sulfates in the environment is unlikely.


The available test on toxicity of the category substance Alcohols, C12-14, ethoxylated, sulfates, sodium salts to earthworms determined no detrimental effects. The toxicity of Alcohols, C12-14, ethoxylated, sulfates, sodium salts to earthworms was investigated in a GLP guideline study conducted according to OECD 222. Eisenia fetida were exposed to nominal test concentrations of 72, 129, 232, 417, and 750 mg a.i./kg soil dry weight in artificial soil. The total study duration was 56 days. After 28 days mortality and body weight change of adult worms was recorded. After 56 days, the number of offspring was determined. No mortality and no significant changes in body weight change and reproduction rate were overserved. The determined NOEC (56 d) was≥750 mg a.i./kg soil dw. Based on the available test results acute or chronic effects of the substances of the alkyl ether sulfates (AES) category on terrestrial organisms are not expected. The environmental exposure assessment for the substance indicates no risk for the terrestrial compartment (all RCR < 1; please refer to Chapter 9 and 10 of the Chemical Safety Report for detailed information). In accordance to column 2 of Annex IX, section 9.4 of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006, no further tests on the effects of the substance zo terrestrial organisms are needed and consequently testing was omitted.


The assessment is based on the data currently available. New studies, based on the category review and the final decisions issued for some of the category substances, which are also relevant for this assessment, are currently being conducted. The hazard assessment with respect to aquatic toxicity will be updated once all ongoing studies have been finalised.