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Decision tool – Hazard characteristics for environment exposure band 2

This decision tool is related to step 5.4 and 5.5 of the process to categorise your chemical introduction.

Note: If you wish to save your completed decision tool as a PDF, select the print option in your browser and choose ‘Save as PDF’ or ‘Microsoft Print to PDF’. For Safari users, click 'File' and 'Export to PDF'. 

Who should use this?

This decision tool only applies for introductions with an environment exposure band of 2. If your introduction is in environment exposure band 2, you can use this decision tool to help you work out:

  • if your chemical has certain environment hazard characteristics
  • your introduction's indicative environment risk

There are 1‐17 questions depending on your circumstances.

We want to make these tools useful for you. Help us improve them by giving us your feedback.

See the full list of decision tools to help you categorise your introduction

This tool refers to the Industrial Chemicals Categorisation Guidelines and Industrial Chemicals General Rules.

What you need to know

Information about the following for your chemical:

  • does it contain cadmium, lead or mercury
  • is it ozone depleting
  • is it a synthetic greenhouse gas
  • does it have adverse effects mediated by an endocrine mode of action
  • is it persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic
  • is it very toxic to any aquatic life
  • is it persistent and bioaccumulative
  • is it toxic to any aquatic life
  • is it on the list of chemicals with high hazards for categorisation

Question 1

This question relates to hazard band D. Does your chemical contain cadmium, lead or mercury?

Question 2

This question relates to hazard band D. Does the definition of ozone‐depleting apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.23.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 3

This question relates to hazard band D. Does the definition of synthetic greenhouse gas apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.24.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 4

This question relates to hazard band D. Is your chemical on the list of chemicals with high hazards for categorisation for any of the following hazard characteristics? If your chemical's an ester or salt, there are extra requirements when you check the list.

  • Adverse effects mediated by an endocrine mode of action
  • Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic

Question 5

This question relates to hazard band D. Does the definition of adverse effects mediated by an endocrine mode of action apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.25.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 6

This question relates to hazard band D. Does the hazard band D definition of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.26.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 7

Do you want to find out if your introduction could have a very low indicative environment risk?If you do, you'll have to answer questions about:

  • hazard band B and C characteristics
  • the persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic hazard characteristic for your chemical.

Question 8

This question relates to:

  • hazard band D
  • the persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic hazard characteristic in hazard band D

Do any of the following apply to your chemical? You can also refer to Part 6.26.2 of the Categorisation Guidelines.

Note: You can choose not to check the list. If you do, your introduction's indicative environment risk will be low.

Note: If you check the list and can answer 'Yes', you will have shown your chemical doesn't have the persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic hazard characteristic in hazard band D.

Do any of the following apply?

Information showing the chemical:

  • is inorganic
  • is biological
  • has a molecular weight that is > 1000 g/mol
  • is a high molecular weight polymer with:
    • < 25% low molecular weight oligomeric species < 1000g/mol and
    • < 10% low molecular weight oligomeric species < 500g/mol
  • has a solubility in water that is > 5g/L (measured using an acceptable test guideline for water solubility)
  • is a gas that is not expected to partition to the aquatic compartment or
  • is a substance Entry 9 of Annex V of the REACH Regulation covers

A suitable in silico prediction for partition coefficient of the chemical:

  • of log Kow < 4.2 and
  • not negated by a measured log Kow

A measured value from a study on the chemical or from suitable read‐across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for partition coefficient) with log Kow < 4.2.

If the chemical's not a highly branched organic chemical:

  • a test result from a study on the chemical or from suitable read across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for ready biodegradability) meeting 1 or more of the following degradation pass levels during the test method's specified period:
    • tests based on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) – ≥ 70% DOC removal
    • tests based on carbon dioxide generation – ≥ 60% theoretical carbon dioxide or
    • tests based on oxygen depletion – ≥ 60% theoretical oxygen demand
  • a test result from a study on the chemical or from suitable read across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for transformation in aquatic sediment systems) resulting in both:
    • a degradation half‐life in water of < 2 months and
    • a degradation half‐life in sediment of < 6 months

If the chemical's a highly branched organic chemical:

  • a test result from a study on the chemical (conducted following an acceptable test guideline for ready biodegradability) meeting 1 or more of the following degradation pass levels during the test method's specified period:
    • tests based on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) – ≥ 70% DOC removal
    • tests based on carbon dioxide generation – ≥ 60% theoretical carbon dioxide or
    • tests based on oxygen depletion – ≥ 60% theoretical oxygen demand
  • a test result from a study on the chemical (conducted following an acceptable test guideline for transformation in aquatic sediment systems) resulting in both:
    • a degradation half‐life in water of < 2 months and
    • a degradation half‐life in sediment of < 6 months

If the chemical’s not a biocidal active and not a persistent, highly branched chemical:

  • information for all 3 trophic levels (fish, invertebrates and algae) from suitable in silico predictions, in vivo studies or read across information (all conducted following acceptable test guidelines for aquatic toxicity) with the following results:
    • acute aquatic toxicity > 1 mg/L [96h LC50 (fish), or 48h EC50 (invertebrates) or 72 or 96h ErC50 (algae), or NOEC] or
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 0.1mg/L (for chemicals that are not readily biodegradable)

Test results for all 3 trophic levels (fish, invertebrates and algae) from in vivo studies on the chemical or from suitable read‐across information (both conducted following acceptable test guidelines for aquatic toxicity) with a NOEC or EC10 > 0.1mg/L for all 3 trophic levels.

A test result from an in vivo study on the chemical or from suitable read‐across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for bioconcentration) showing BCF < 2000.

A test result from an in vivo study on the chemical or from suitable read‐across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for bioaccumulation) showing BAF < 2000.

Question 9

This question relates to hazard band C. Does the definition of very toxic to any aquatic life apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.27.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 10

This question relates to:

  • hazard band C
  • the very toxic to any aquatic life hazard characteristic in hazard band C

Do any of the following apply to your chemical? You can also refer to Part 6.27.2 of the Categorisation Guidelines.

Note: You can choose not to check the list. If you do, your introduction's indicative environment risk will be low.

Note: If you check the list and can answer 'Yes', you will have shown your chemical doesn't have the very toxic to any aquatic life hazard characteristic in hazard band C.

Do any of the following apply?

Any of the following:

  • information showing the chemical has a molecular weight > 1000g/mol and has a low cationic density
  • information showing the chemical is a high molecular weight polymer with a low cationic density
  • information showing Entry 9 of Annex V of the REACH Regulation covers the chemical
  • information on aquatic toxicity for all 3 trophic levels (fish, invertebrates and algae) from suitable in silico predictions, in vivo studies or read across information (all conducted following acceptable test guidelines for aquatic toxicity) with the following results:
    • acute aquatic toxicity >1 mg/L [LC50 (fish), or EC50 (invertebrates) or ErC50 (algae), or NOEC]
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 0.1mg/L (for chemicals that aren't readily biodegradable) or
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 0.01mg/L (for chemicals that are readily biodegradable)

If the chemical is a biocidal active or a persistent, highly branched organic chemical:

  • test results for all 3 trophic levels (fish, invertebrates and algae) from in vivo studies on the chemical or from suitable read across information (both conducted following acceptable test guidelines for chronic aquatic toxicity) with the following results:
    • NOEC or EC10 > 0.1mg/L (for chemicals that aren't readily biodegradable)
    • NOEC or EC10 > 0.01mg/L (for chemicals that are biodegradable)

Question 11

This question relates to hazard band C. Is your chemical on the list of chemicals with high hazards for categorisation for being persistent and bioaccumulative? If your chemical's an ester or salt, there are extra requirements when you check the list.

Question 12

This question relates to hazard band C. Does the definition of persistent and bioaccumulative apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.28.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 13

This question relates to:

  • hazard band C
  • the persistent and bioaccumulative hazard characteristic in hazard band C

Do any of the following apply to your chemical? You can also refer to the Categorisation Guidelines.

Note: You can choose not to check the list. If you do, your introduction's indicative environment risk will be low.

Note: If you check the list and can answer 'Yes', you will have shown your chemical doesn't have the persistent and bioaccumulative hazard characteristic in hazard band B.

Do any of the following apply?

Information showing the chemical:

  • is inorganic
  • is biological
  • has a molecular weight that is > 1000 g/mol
  • is a high molecular weight polymer
  • has a solubility in water that is > 5g/L (measured using an acceptable test guideline for water solubility) or
  • is a gas that is not expected to partition to the aquatic compartment

A suitable in silico prediction for partition coefficient of the chemical:

  • of log Kow < 4.2 and
  • not negated by a measured log Kow

A measured value from a study on the chemical or from suitable read‐across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for partition coefficient) with log Kow < 4.2.

If the chemical's not a highly branched organic chemical:

  • a test result from a study on the chemical or from suitable read across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for ready biodegradability) meeting 1 or more of the following degradation pass levels during the test method's specified period:
    • tests based on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) – ≥ 70% DOC removal
    • tests based on carbon dioxide generation – ≥ 60% theoretical carbon dioxide or
    • tests based on oxygen depletion – ≥ 60% theoretical oxygen demand
  • a test result from a study on the chemical or from suitable read across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for transformation in aquatic sediment systems) resulting in both:
    • a degradation half‐life in water of < 2 months and
    • a degradation half‐life in sediment of < 6 months

If the chemical's a highly branched organic chemical:

  • a test result from a study on the chemical (conducted following an acceptable test guideline for ready biodegradability) meeting 1 or more of the following degradation pass levels during the test method's specified period:
    • tests based on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) – ≥ 70% DOC removal
    • tests based on carbon dioxide generation – ≥ 60% theoretical carbon dioxide or
    • tests based on oxygen depletion – ≥ 60% theoretical oxygen demand
  • a test result from a study on the chemical (conducted following an acceptable test guideline for transformation in aquatic sediment systems) resulting in both:
    • a degradation half‐life in water of < 2 months  and
    • a degradation half‐life in sediment of < 6 months

A test result from an in vivo study on the chemical or from suitable read‐across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for bioconcentration) showing BCF < 2000.

A test result from an in vivo study on the chemical or from suitable read‐across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for bioaccumulation) showing BAF < 2000.

Question 14

This question relates to hazard band B. Does the definition of toxic to any aquatic life apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.29.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 15

This question relates to the toxic to any aquatic life hazard characteristic in hazard band B.

Do any of the following apply to your chemical? You can also refer to Part 6.29.1 the Categorisation Guidelines.

Note: You can choose not to check the list. If you do, your introduction's indicative environment risk will be low.

Note: If you check the list and can answer 'Yes', you will have shown your chemical doesn't have the toxic to any aquatic life hazard characteristic in hazard band B.

Do any of the following apply?

Information showing the chemical:

  • has a molecular weight > 1000g/mol and has a low cationic density
  • is a high molecular weight polymer with a low cationic density
  • is covered by Entry 9 of Annex V of the REACH Regulation

If the chemical's not a biocidal active and not a persistent, highly branched chemical:

  • information on aquatic toxicity for all 3 trophic levels (fish, invertebrates and algae) from suitable in silico predictions, in vivo studies or read across information (all conducted following acceptable test guidelines for aquatic toxicity) with the following results:
    • acute aquatic toxicity >10 mg/L [LC50 (fish), or EC50 (invertebrates) or ErC50 (algae), or NOEC]
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 1mg/L (for chemicals that aren't readily biodegradable)
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 0.1mg/L (for chemicals that are biodegradable)

If the chemical's a biocidal active or a persistent, highly branched organic chemical:

  • information on chronic aquatic toxicity for all 3 trophic levels (fish, invertebrates and algae) from suitable in vivo studies or read across information (all conducted following acceptable test guidelines for chronic aquatic toxicity) with the following results:
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 1mg/L (for chemicals that aren't readily biodegradable) or
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 0.1mg/L (for chemicals that are readily biodegradable)

Question 9

This question relates to the persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic hazard characteristic in hazard band D. Did you answer 'no' because you didn't have any information relevant to the list in Question 8?

Question 10

Based on the information you used to answer Question 8, does the hazard band D definition of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.26.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 11

This question relates to hazard band C. Does the definition of very toxic to any aquatic life apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.27.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 12

This question relates to:

  • hazard band C
  • the very toxic to any aquatic life hazard characteristic in hazard band C

Do any of the following apply to your chemical? You can also refer to Part 6.27.2 of the Categorisation Guidelines.

Note: You can choose not to check the list. If you do, your introduction's indicative environment risk will be low.

Note: If you check the list and can answer 'Yes', you will have shown your chemical doesn't have the very toxic to any aquatic life hazard characteristic in hazard band C.

Do any of the following apply?

Any of the following:

  • information showing the chemical has a molecular weight > 1000g/mol and has a low cationic density
  • information showing the chemical is a high molecular weight polymer with a low cationic density
  • information showing Entry 9 of Annex V of the REACH Regulation covers the chemical
  • information on aquatic toxicity for all 3 trophic levels (fish, invertebrates and algae) from suitable in silico predictions, in vivo studies or read across information (all conducted following acceptable test guidelines for aquatic toxicity) with the following results:
    • acute aquatic toxicity >1 mg/L [LC50 (fish), or EC50 (invertebrates) or ErC50 (algae), or NOEC]
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 0.1mg/L (for chemicals that aren't readily biodegradable) or
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 0.01mg/L (for chemicals that are readily biodegradable)

If the chemical is a biocidal active or a persistent, highly branched organic chemical:

  • test results for all 3 trophic levels (fish, invertebrates and algae) from in vivo studies on the chemical or from suitable read across information (both conducted following acceptable test guidelines for chronic aquatic toxicity) with the following results:
    • NOEC or EC10 > 0.1mg/L (for chemicals that aren't readily biodegradable)
    • NOEC or EC10 > 0.01mg/L (for chemicals that are biodegradable)

Question 13

This question relates to hazard band C. Is your chemical on the list of chemicals with high hazards for categorisation for being persistent and bioaccumulative? If your chemical's an ester or salt, there are extra requirements when you check the list.

Question 14

This question relates to hazard band C. Does the definition of persistent and bioaccumulative apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.28.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 15

This question relates to:

  • hazard band C
  • the persistent and bioaccumulative hazard characteristic in hazard band D

Do any of the following apply to your chemical? You can also refer to Part 6.28.2 of the Categorisation Guidelines.

Note: You can choose not to check the list. If you do, your introduction's indicative environment risk will be low.

Note: If you check the list and can answer 'Yes', you will have shown your chemical doesn't have the persistent and bioaccumulative hazard characteristic in hazard band B.

Do any of the following apply?

Information showing the chemical:

  • is inorganic
  • is biological
  • has a molecular weight that is > 1000 g/mol
  • is a high molecular weight polymer
  • has a solubility in water that is > 5g/L (measured using an acceptable test guideline for water solubility) or
  • is a gas that is not expected to partition to the aquatic compartment

A suitable in silico prediction for partition coefficient of the chemical:

  • of log Kow < 4.2 and
  • not negated by a measured log Kow

A measured value from a study on the chemical or from suitable read‐across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for partition coefficient) with log Kow < 4.2.

If the chemical's not a highly branched organic chemical:

  • a test result from a study on the chemical or from suitable read across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for ready biodegradability) meeting 1 or more of the following degradation pass levels during the test method's specified period:
    • tests based on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) – ≥ 70% DOC removal
    • tests based on carbon dioxide generation – ≥ 60% theoretical carbon dioxide or
    • tests based on oxygen depletion – ≥ 60% theoretical oxygen demand
  • a test result from a study on the chemical or from suitable read across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for transformation in aquatic sediment systems) resulting in both:
    • a degradation half‐life in water of < 2 months and
    • a degradation half‐life in sediment of < 6 months

If the chemical's a highly branched organic chemical:

  • a test result from a study on the chemical (conducted following an acceptable test guideline for ready biodegradability) meeting 1 or more of the following degradation pass levels during the test method's specified period:
    • tests based on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) – ≥ 70% DOC removal
    • tests based on carbon dioxide generation – ≥ 60% theoretical carbon dioxide or
    • tests based on oxygen depletion – ≥ 60% theoretical oxygen demand
  • a test result from a study on the chemical (conducted following an acceptable test guideline for transformation in aquatic sediment systems) resulting in both:
    • a degradation half‐life in water of < 2 months  and
    • a degradation half‐life in sediment of < 6 months

A test result from an in vivo study on the chemical or from suitable read‐across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for bioconcentration) showing BCF < 2000.

A test result from an in vivo study on the chemical or from suitable read‐across information (both conducted following an acceptable test guideline for bioaccumulation) showing BAF < 2000.

Question 16

This question relates to hazard band B. Does the definition of toxic to any aquatic life apply to your chemical (refer to Part 6.29.1 of the Categorisation Guidelines)?

Question 17

This question relates to the toxic to any aquatic life hazard characteristic in hazard band B.

Do any of the following apply to your chemical? You can also refer to Part 6.29.1 the Categorisation Guidelines.

Note: You can choose not to check the list. If you do, your introduction's indicative environment risk will be low.

Note: If you check the list and can answer 'Yes', you will have shown your chemical doesn't have the toxic to any aquatic life hazard characteristic in hazard band B.

Do any of the following apply?

Information showing the chemical:

  • has a molecular weight > 1000g/mol and has a low cationic density
  • is a high molecular weight polymer with a low cationic density
  • is covered by Entry 9 of Annex V of the REACH Regulation

If the chemical's not a biocidal active and not a persistent, highly branched chemical:

  • information on aquatic toxicity for all 3 trophic levels (fish, invertebrates and algae) from suitable in silico predictions, in vivo studies or read across information (all conducted following acceptable test guidelines for aquatic toxicity) with the following results:
    • acute aquatic toxicity >10 mg/L [LC50 (fish), or EC50 (invertebrates) or ErC50 (algae), or NOEC]
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 1mg/L (for chemicals that aren't readily biodegradable)
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 0.1mg/L (for chemicals that are biodegradable)

If the chemical's a biocidal active or a persistent, highly branched organic chemical:

  • information on chronic aquatic toxicity for all 3 trophic levels (fish, invertebrates and algae) from suitable in vivo studies or read across information (all conducted following acceptable test guidelines for chronic aquatic toxicity) with the following results:
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 1mg/L (for chemicals that aren't readily biodegradable) or
    • chronic aquatic toxicity NOEC or EC10 > 0.1mg/L (for chemicals that are readily biodegradable)

Your introduction's indicative environment risk is medium to high. Make a note of this outcome.

Go to Decision tool – Work out your introduction category.

You’ve shown your chemical is very toxic to any aquatic life.

Your introduction’s indicative environment risk is low.

Make a note of this outcome.Go to Decision tool – Work out your introduction category.

You’ve shown your chemical is persistent and bioaccumulative.

Your introduction’s indicative environment risk is low. Make a note of this outcome.

Go to Decision tool – Work out your introduction category.

You've shown your chemical is toxic to any aquatic life.

Your introduction's indicative environment risk is low. Make a note of this outcome.

Go to Decision tool – Work out your introduction category.

You've shown your chemical doesn't have the:

  • contains arsenic, cadmium, lead or mercury hazard characteristic for environment hazard band D
  • ozone depleting hazard characteristic for environment hazard band D
  • synthetic greenhouse gas hazard characteristic for environment hazard band D
  • adverse effects mediated by an endocrine mode of action hazard characteristic for environment hazard band D
  • persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic hazard characteristic for environment hazard band D
  • very toxic to any aquatic life hazard characteristic for environment hazard band C
  • persistent and bioaccumulative hazard characteristic for environment hazard band C
  • toxic to aquatic life hazard characteristic for environment hazard band B

Your introduction's indicative environment risk is very low. Make a note of this outcome.

Go to Decision tool – Work out your introduction category.

Your introduction’s indicative environment risk is low. Make a note of this outcome.

Go to Decision tool – Work out your introduction category.

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