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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in soil

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Description of key information

Inorganic substance, biodegradation testing is not applicable

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Ammonium in soil is largely adsorbed onto positively charged clayparticles, and will undergo nitrification and denitrification as part of the nitrogen cycle and be taken up by plants via nitrogen fixation (WHO,1986). Sulfate can also be retained in soil, both by incorporation into organic matter (e.g. as sulfate esters of humic acids) and adsorbed to soil particles such as hydrous iron and aluminum sesquioxides (EPA, 2002).


WHO (1986). Environmental Health Criteria 54. Ammonia. Published under the joint sponsorhip of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organization., 1986.

U.S. EPA (2002). Drinking Water Advisory: Consumer Acceptability Advice and Health Effects Analysis on Sulfate