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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: terrestrial

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Description of key information

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Aluminium tris(dihydrogen phosphate) dissociates to dihydrogen phosphate and aluminium ions in aqueous and biological systems.

A general bioaccumulation assessment does not apply to phosphorus, as it is biological essential for plants stimulating the growth of water plants (macrophytes) and/or algae (phytoplankton).

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. 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 the existing data clearly demonstrate that the present natural background concentration 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, it is known that the bioavailablity of aluminium is low and that the excretion of aluminium is fast. Therefore, bioaccumulation of aluminium is rarely observed in nature (cited in WHO 1997). Thus the risk of terrestrial bioaccumulation of aluminium is expected to be low.


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