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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Ready biodegradability of the test material was determined in a GLP compliant laboratory according to OECD Guideline 301B (Ready biodegradability; CO2 Evolution Test). As a result, the test material was found readily biodegradable.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

The test material, at concentration of 10 mg carbon/l, was exposed to activated sewage sludge micro-organisms in sealed culture vessels in the dark at approximately 21 °C for 28 days. Following the recommendations of ISO (1995) and Handley et al (2002), the test material was adsorbed on the granular silica gel prior to dispersion in the test medium to aid dispersion of the poorly water soluble test material in the test medium and to obtain more realistic results. The degradation of the test material was assessed by the determination of carbon dioxide produced. Control solutions with inoculum and the standard material, sodium benzoate, together with a toxicity control were used for validation purposes. The test material attained 82 % degradation after 28 days and satisfied the 10-Day window validation criterion, whereby 60 % degradation must be attained within 10 days of the degradation exceeding 10 %. The test material can therefore be considered to be readily biodegradable under the strict terms and conditions of OECD Guideline No 301B. REFERENCES: Handley JW, Mead C, Rausina GA, Waid LJ, Gee JC and Herron SJ, 2002, The use of inert carriers in regulatory biodegradation tests of low density poorly water-soluble substances, Chemosphere 48(5), 529-534. International Standards Organisation (ISO), ISO 10634, 1995, Water Quality – Guidance for the preparation and treatment of poorly water-soluble organic compounds for subsequent evaluation of their biodegradability in an aqueous medium.