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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Stearamide is readily biodegradable.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

One study investigating the ready biodegradability of the structural similar substance Amides, C16-C18 (even numbered) and one study the structural related substances erucamide were available (Mead, 2001a and Mead, 2001b). Stearamide is an amide of stearic acid (> 80%). In the fatty acid nomenclature, these fatty acids are denoted C18 and C16, respectively, due to the length of their carbon chains. The substance Amides, C16-18 even numbered differs from the stearamide only in composition (< 80% C18). It is therefore considered valid to read-across the results for Amides, C16-C18 (even numbered) to fill the data gap for stearamide.

The tests were carried out according to the OECD Guideline No. 301B: Ready Biodegradability: CO2 Evolution Test (1992), under GLP conditions. Both substances reached a biodegradation value of > 60% after 28 days. However, the degradation values of 62 % and 64 % were not reached within the 10-d window, but as the substances are a mixture of constituents with different chain-lengths, sequential biodegradation of the individual structures is taking place. Due to a degradation of > 60% within 28 days the substance can be regarded as readily biodegradable. The 10 -day window should not be applied to interpret the test results (Annex I, OECD Guideline for The Testing of Chemicals 'Revised introduction to the OECD guidelines for testing of chemicals, section 3, OECD, March 2006). An additional calculation was used to investigate the biodegradation of stearamide. A QSAR prediction with SRC BIOWIN v4.10 also indicates that the stearamide is readily biodegradable. The calculation is scientifically accepted and reliable, further information will not be required for the assessment, stearamide can be regarded as readily biodegradable.