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Environmental fate & pathways

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Biodegradation studies in water, sediment and soil are not required for inorganic substances such as vanadium dioxide.

According to Annex IX, Column 2 of Regulation (EC) 1907/2006, "Further biotic degradation testing shall be proposed by the registrant if the chemical safety assessment according to Annex I indicates the need to investigate further the degradation of the substance and its degradation products. The choice of the appropriate test(s) depends on the results of the chemical safety assessment."

In the case of inorganic elements, the chemical safety assessment is generally based on total elemental metal concentrations, regardless of their (pH-dependent) speciation in the environment. Therefore, physicochemical processes like degradation or transformation by reaction with water are judged not relevant. Depending on the prevailing environmental conditions, formation of different V-species may occur, but the chemical assessment will not make any differentiation among the different V-species. This total, elemental-based assessment (pooling all speciation forms together) can be considered as a worst-case assumption for the chemical assessment. Further, biodegradation reactions are not relevant for metals and metal compounds like vanadium dioxide, which are considered as not biodegradable.

In conclusion, (bio)degradation is an irrelevant process for inorganic substances that are assessed on an elemental basis.

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