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Environmental fate & pathways

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The substance does not hydrolyze nor is there evidence for photodegradation.In aqueous solution, it is completely dissociated into nitrate (NO3-) and the corresponding cation. Due to the inorganic nature of the substance standard biodegradation testing systems are not applicable.

Nitrification and de-nitrification processes occur naturally in streams and rivers, as well as in many secondary sewage treatment processes. Based on the high water solubility and the ionic nature, the substance is not expected to adsorb or bioaccumulate to a significant extent. Based on this, water is expected to be the main target compartment.

Nitrate substances are known to play an important role in the nutrient enrichment of surface waters, commonly called eutrophication. Eutrophication waters are characterized by an elevated nutrient concentrations, which stimulate the growth of certain algal species, favoring simple algae and plankton growths. The oxygen concentration in water will generally decrease influencing other lives, such as most fish species leading to a negative effect on the biodiversity of the ecosystem. As eutrophication is a common effect due to an excess in nitrate in the environment, the problem is covered in European Regulations. The Directive 2000/60 of the European parliament and of the council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy and the Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources are both important European Regulations regulating the emission and concentration of nitrate substances in the environment.

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