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1. Biodegradation
The process in which material is broken down especially into innocuous products by living organisms.

2. Inherently Biodegradable
A chemical which can ultimately biodegrade if the right conditions are provided (e.g. an acclimated culture)

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

4. Mineralization
The process in which organic material is converted into simple inorganic compounds (e.g. CO², CH⁴, NO³) by living organisms.

5. Primary Biodegradation
Biodegradation which results in the conversion of an organic chemical into organic compounds which are chemically distinct from the parent. Functionality may be lost. Persistent intermediates may be formed.

6. Readily Biodegradable
A regulatory term in Europe where a chemical passes an OECD Ready Biodegradability Assay.

7. Ultimate Biodegradability
Biodegradability where the molecule is transformed to microbial biomass readily and is mineralized. No persistent intermediates are formed.

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