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Environmental fate & pathways

Phototransformation in water

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The information available on photodegradation of salicylic acid in water is from a secondary source, and therefore it is not possible to assess its reliability.

At concentrations of 5 and 100 mg/L and irradiated by a high pressure mercury lamp with a pyrex cooling jacket, radiolabeled salicylic acid solutions show a degradation of 1% to CO2 within 30 min (Wang WH et al., 1988, cited in HSDB).

Rate constants for the reaction of salicylic acid and the salicylate ion with hydroxyl radicals are also reported in HSDB. Assuming the hydroxyl radical concentration in full intensity sunlit natural water is 1x10E-17 mole/L, calculated half-lives for photochemical reaction of salicylic acid and the salicylate ion with hydroxyl radicals in water under conditions of continuous full intensity sunlight would range from approximately 30 to 142 days.

Therefore, photodegradation in water is not expected to be an important environmental fate process for salicylic acid.