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Environmental fate & pathways

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The WHO (1998) review of boron noted that highly water soluble materials are unlikely to bioaccumulate to any significant degree and that borate species are all present essentially as undissociated and highly soluble boric acid at neutral pH. The available data indicate that both experimental data and field observations support the interpretation that borates are not significantly bioaccumulated.

Boron is known to be a critical element for the normal growth and productivity of aquatic and terrestrial plants. Boron is incorporated into plant cell walls, so some accumulation from the environment may be anticipated, i.e., active transport. The minimum required level in plants is dependent on the plant species.

While several studies report concentrations on boron in plant tissues, only few provide both soil and tissue concentrations: these are the data required to derive the Biota Soil Accumulation Factor (BSAF) values, which can be found in section 4.3.1 and 4.3.2. These values are well below BSAF values used to establish significant bioconcentration (BSAF 3000 to 5000).