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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Published GLP and guideline compliant tests for DPM and TPM indicate these to be readily biodegradable and falling within the 10-day test window. Similarly, the hydrolysis product of sodium methanolate, methanol, is readily biodegradable.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

Biodegradation testing of the glycol ethers heavies was not available. However, data available for the three principle components of the test substance indicate all are readily biodegradable and fulfill the 10 -day test window criterion. Dipropylene and tripropylene glycol methyl ethers have both been tested according to accepted OECD protocols and were found to be readily biodegradable and meeting the 10 -day window criterion. Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (DPM), was found to be readily biodegradable in an OECD 301F assay, with the average extent of biodegradation based on O2 consumption at the end of day 10 as 75%. Tripropylene glycol methyl ether (TPM) can also be classified as readily biodegradable since 60% biodegradation based on O2 consumption was achieved within 10 days of the start of biodegradation.

Biodegradation testing results are not available for sodium methanolate (OECD, 2006). After rapid hydrolysis in water, the resulting methanol is rapidly biodegradable. This was demonstrated in a closed bottle BOD test indicating 76% BOD removal within 5 days


Based on the available test results, the glycol ethers heavies are rated as ”Readily biodegradable passing the 10 day window”.