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Diss Factsheets



Category name:
Read-across from copper ions for environmental fate and hazard assessment (Copper sulphate)

Justifications and discussions

Category definition:
Read-across from copper ions for environmental fate and hazard assessment
Category rationale:
Copper and copper compounds need to be transformed to solubilised (dissolved) ionic species in order to be available to the aquatic environment. Cu2+ is the most environmentally relevant species. It is further recognised that free Cu2+ ions are the most active copper species and cause environmental effects, whereas total Cu concentrations in aqueous media are not directly related to ecological effects (ICPS, 1998). This is further documented in section 4 of the CSR.

The read-across hypothesis is, therefore, that the ecotoxicity of copper and copper compounds is caused by the soluble copper ions. For this reason, it is possible to read-across from ecotoxicity and environmental fate studies conducted with all soluble copper compounds (e.g. CuCl2, CuSO4,...) or with environmental studies reporting concentrations of dissolved copper. These data can then be used for assessing the environmental hazard and fate of copper and copper compounds. Note that the counter-ion should be nontoxic to biota, e.g. studies conducted with cyanide as counter-ion would not be considered for this read-across.