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Introduction
CBF Chemical Constituents
Brine Handling and Personal Safety
Environmental Considerations: Brine Handling and Disposal
Agency Contact Information
CBF Chemical Constituents
Clear brine fluids are concentrated solutions of simple salts. As they are not highly reactive, their chemical behavior is secondary to their physical properties such as density and clarity. Chemical constituents of CBFs include the positively charged cations of sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), ammonium (NH4+), calcium (Ca+2), and zinc (Zn+2). Of these, only zinc and ammonium are regulated environmentally. None of them are considered highly toxic. In fact, zinc is an essential micronutrient and has been shown to reduce the severity of common colds. The negatively charged anions are chloride (Cl) and bromide (Br), both of which are found in seawater, but at a much lower concentration than is found in a clear brine fluid.

Another family of CBFs is based on the formate ion. The formate ion (HCO2) is also used in some CBF applications in conjunction with sodium, potassium, and cesium. Formate is a low molecular weight, organic anion and is biodegradeable.

Despite the fact that none of the constituents are in and of themselves highly toxic, the concentrations at which these constituents exist in CBFs can create workplace hazards and cause damage to the environment. Since CBFs are chemically simple, it is easy to make light of their safety and environmental issues. However, these materials are hazardous and should be accorded all due respect.
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