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Environmental fate & pathways

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The substance "Neutralisation and reduction products of bauxite residue from refinement process" is an inorganic substance. For an inorganic substance for which the chemical assessment is based on the elemental concentration (i.e. pooling all inorganic speciation forms together), biotic degradation in the environment is an irrelevant process. Biotic processes may alter the speciation of an element, but it will not eliminate the element from the environment by degradation or transformation processes. This elemental-based assessment (i.e. pooling all speciation forms together) can be considered as a worst-case assumption for risk assessment.

The endpoints related to (screening) biodegradation in water, sediment and soil have been waived because they are niether relevant for an inorganic substance, nor technically feasible (REACH Annex XI, point 2). Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the lithosphere, and is characterised by a complex biogeochemical cycle, but it will only be transformed into another aluminium species and hence cannot disappear.

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