SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1993

Structure/Activity Relationships for Evaluation of Biodegradability in the EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics


The paucity of submitted biodegradation data for Premanufacture Notice (PMN) chemicals under TSCA makes it necessary to estimate biodegradability. Estimation is also an integral part of the review process for existing chemicals, since they must be screened to identify candidates for testing. Structure/biodegradability relationships (SBR) are a means to this end. Quantitative SBR (QSBR) have been developed, but this approach has not been very useful because they apply only to a few narrowly defined classes of chemicals. In response to the need for more widely applicable estimation methods, multivariate analysis has been used to develop biodegradability classification models. These efforts have been successful by statistical criteria, but in general are hampered by a lack of large and consistent datasets. Knowledge-based expert systems represent the next logical step in the evolution of screening-level SBR. However, codification of the rules of thumb used by experts is a critical prerequisite.

Author Information

Boethling, RS
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
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Developed by Committee: E47
Pages: 540–554
DOI: 10.1520/STP13176S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5257-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1485-2