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Published in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 74:6 (September 2011), pp. 1619–1629; doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2011.05.002 Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Used by permission.


A screening-level aquatic environmental risk assessment for macrocyclic fragrance materials using a “group approach” is presented using data for 30 macrocyclic fragrance ingredients. In this group approach, conservative estimates of environmental exposure and ecotoxicological effects thresholds for compounds within two subgroups (15 macrocyclic ketones and 15 macrocyclic lactones/lactides) were used to estimate the aquatic ecological risk potential for these subgroups. It is reasonable to separate these fragrance materials into the two subgroups based on the likely metabolic pathway required for biodegradation and on expected different ecotoxicological modes of action. The current volumes of use for the macrocyclic ketones in both Europe and North America ranges from <1 (low kg quantities) to no greater than 50 metric tons in either region and for macrocyclic lactones/lactides the volume of use range for both regions is <1 to no greater than 1000 metric tons in any one region. Based on these regional tonnages, biodegradability of these two subgroups of materials, and minimal in stream dilution (3:1), the conservatively predicted exposure concentrations for macrocyclic ketones would range from <0.01 to 0.05 μg/L in Europe and from <0.01 to 0.03 μg/L in North America. For macrocyclic lactones/lactides, the concentration within the mixing zone would range from <0.01 to 0.7 μg/L in Europe and from <0.01 to 1.0 μg/L in North America. The PNECs derived for the macrocyclic ketones is 0.22 μg/L and for macrocyclic lactones/lactides is 2.7 μg/L. The results of this screening-level aquatic ecological risk assessment indicate that at their current tonnage, often referred to as volumes of use, macrocyclic fragrance materials in Europe and North America, pose a negligible risk to aquatic biota; with no PEC/PNEC ratio exceeding 1 for any material in any subgroup.