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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to soil microorganisms

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Description of key information

Toxicity to soil microorganisms is unlikely: ammonia is an intrinsic part of the nitrate cycle.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

In soil, ammonia is readily converted by a variety of bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi to ammonium (NH4+) by the process of ammonification or mineralization. Ammonium is then rapidly converted to nitrate. Nitrate is subsequently taken up and utilised by plants or returned to the atmosphere following denitrification; the metabolic reduction of nitrate into nitrogen or nitrous oxide (N2O) gas. The most likely fate of ammonium ions in soils is conversion to nitrates by nitrification.