Registration Dossier

Environmental fate & pathways

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

Additional information

White phosphorus is of low water solubility and no environmental release is predicted from its use as an intermediate. The limited proportion of white phosphorus solubilised in water will degrade rapidly by oxidation and hydrolyse to form phosphates. White phosphorus rarely exists in water in its elemental state due to its low water solubility.

Burrowset al(1973) note that although there are no definitive published reports on the kinetics of oxidation of elemental phosphorus in water, it appears that the rate is highly dependent on the degree of dispersion. At concentrations (~10 ug/l) well below the accepted solubility limit of 3 mg/l, with the dissolved oxygen content unspecified, elemental phosphorus disappears by a first order process with a half-life of 2 hours at 10 degrees Celsius.