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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: terrestrial

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Aluminium dihydrogen triphosphate dissociates to orthophosphate and aluminium ions in aqueous and biological systems.

Phosphate is an essential nutrient (food elements) for plants and stimulate the growth of water plants (macrophytes) and/or algae (phytoplankton) and are ubiquitous in the environment. These organisms possess internal mechanisms to regulate it and thus, bioaccumulation of phosphate in biota is not expected.

Aluminium is the most abundant metallic element in the Earth's crust, with a proportion of around 8% by weight, and the third most abundant of all elements. It is a major component of almost all common inorganic soil particles. Due to its reactive nature it does not exist in nature as free elemental metal, rather it occurs in a variety of minerals, usually combined with elements such as silicon, oxygen, phosphates, fluorine, and hydroxides, for example (Lide 1991, as cited in WHO 1997). Based on its ubiquitous occurrence existing data clearly demonstrate that the present natural background concentration far outweighs anthropogenic contributions of aluminium to the terrestrial environment. A census of the available data reveals that the relative contribution of anthropogenic aluminium to the natural occurring aluminium in soils is negligible. Exposure of soil dwelling organisms and plants to aluminium of geogenic and anthropogenic origin is expected to be high. However, metals do not generally biomagnify unless they are present as, or having the potential to be, in an organic form. The available evidence shows the absence of aluminium biomagnification across trophic levels both in the aquatic and terrestrial food chains. Aluminium is the most abundant metallic element in the Earth's crust, with a proportion of around 8% by weight, and the third most abundant of all elements. Based on its ubiquitous occurrence existing data clearly demonstrate that the present natural background concentration far outweighs anthropogenic contributions of aluminium to the environment. Aluminium in plants depends on plant species and mineral nature of the soil, e.g. pH, which in turn may influence bioavailability and uptake of aluminium (cited in WHO 1997). Beyer and Stafford (1993), investigated various trace elements including aluminium concentrations in soils and earthworms from nine confined disposal facilities located in the Great Lakes Region in the Great Lakes Region, USA. A BAF value of 0.34 was calculated based on the overall measured soil and earthworm aluminium concentration indicating low bioaccumulation.

 

Reference:

Beyer, W. N. and Stafford, C., 1993. Survey and evaluation of contaminants in earthworms and in soils derived from dredged material at confined disposal facilities in the Great Lakes region. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 24, 151-165.

WHO (World Health Organization) 1997. Environmental Health Criteria 194. Aluminum. International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS). Geneva ISBN 92 4 157194 2.