Environmental risk assessment of linear alkyl benzene, an intermediate for the detergency industry
In application of the EU Council Regulation 793/93 Italy has performed a full risk assessment on Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB), a substance produced in high volume in Italy and used as intermediate for Linear Alkyl Sulphonate (LAS), an active ingredient used hugely in detergency. The environmental part of this assessment has been summarised in this paper, being the most relevant in terms of potential risk toward aquatic species and sediments, and due to the relevant (0.5% w/w) presence of unreacted product in the LAS. All relevant data have been used for this assessment, including monitoring data and non-published studies, and the quality of data has been peer reviewed. The conclusion of the assessment is that no relevant risk exists for water and sediment compartments, provided a suitable sewage treatment plant is used. The hazard identification is still controversial, having available data obtained using carrier solvent in order to improve the water solubility of the chemical; the validity of data obtained with such studies is still under discussion.
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