OECD 306 – Biodegradation Test – Seawater
OECD 306 is a biodegradation test that specifically shows how a material biodegrades in seawater.
OECD 306 is very similar to the OECD 301 series, however, OECD 306 requires the use of a seawater inoculum and is often used in conjunction with the OECD 301/302 Sludge Inoculum protocol. Testing is generally run for 30 days but can last up to 60 days. Similarly to OECD 301 methods, OECD 306 can evaluate ready or ultimate biodegradation.
Customers commonly request OECD 306 for a variety of product applications. Lubricants and Personal Care products inevitably come into contact with aquatic environments. This is generally seen with Lubricants used for ships that experience stern tube leakage, discharge, and accidental spills. On the other hand, personal care products like sunscreen are intended to be used in aquatic environments like the beach or lakes.
To perform an Environmental Fate Analysis for these types of products, biodegradability testing is an important component. Customers commonly request Biodegradability, Toxicity and Bioaccumulation testing simultaneously to meet regulatory requirements and to gain market acceptance. The EU Ecolabel for Lubricants requires data for these different components and lists OECD 306 and OECD 310 as the recommended Ready Biodegradability test methods. It is highly recommended to review testing requirements with the appropriate agency prior to testing to determine which biodegradation method is required for labeling claims and regulatory acceptance.
When requesting biodegradation testing, it is important to communicate material properties with the testing laboratory. There are many chemical and physical properties that can impact biodegradability testing; for more information on how a material’s chemical or physical properties can affect biodegradability testing, please visit our Biodegradability Testing – Chemical Impacts page.