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Environmental fate & pathways

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Dipotassium tetraborate is converted into boric acid/borate upon dissolution in water. Boric acid is an inorganic compound and not degradable. It is not subject to hydrolysis, photodegradation or biodegradation. Other borates yield boric acid upon dissolution in water (or borate anion in higher pH conditions). Over 200 minerals contain boron, mostly present as the sodium or calcium borate salt. Boron and its inorganic compounds are subject to chemical transformation precipitation, and fixation) once released to the environment.

Methods used to determine persistence of organic chemicals are measures of the production of CO2, uptake of O2, or reduction in dissolved or total organic carbon. Such methods are clearly not applicable to inorganic substances. Persistence/degradability has therefore limited or no meaning for inorganic substances according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2001). Rather the substance may be transformed by normal environmental processes to modify the availability of chemical species.