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Environmental fate & pathways

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The bioconcentration factors of alcohol ethoxylates in the aqueous phase are below the level of concern, and can be quantitatively related to the length of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic components. There is also evidence that overall molecular size may place constraints on biological uptake. The cited studies cited indicate no to long-term retention of accumulated surfactant material in tissue. The studies provide clear evidence that alcohol ethoxylates are rapidly eliminated and metabolised. Although the fate of metabolites of AE has not been thoroughly studied, rapid biodegradation of alcohol ethoxylates in the aquatic environment is considered to be a mitigating aspect, since the rate of biodegradation of alcohol ethoxylates are significantly faster than the uptake rates of bioaccumulation. 

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