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EC number: 244-168-5
CAS number: 21041-95-2
Freshwater short term toxicity
Acute data- establishing the dataset
Numerous data are available on acute toxicity of cadmium
to aquatic organisms. The quality and relevancy of the unique data is of
great importance because, in contrast to the PNEC derivation (where all
the chronic data are used in a species sensitivity distribution), one
single value defines the ecotoxicity reference value for classification.
Therefore, for setting the reference value for classification, only data
from standardised test protocols and organisms were considered in the
The RAR made an in-depth analysis of the reliability of
the acute data and assigned a “reliability index” (RI) to each data
point. For setting the reference value for acute aquatic ecotoxicity,
only the results qualified as RI 1 (standard tests) were used,
complemented for the fish and invertebrates with RI 2 qualified data
(not standard test but from a similar protocol and with a complete
background information on test conditions).
In the RAR, acute ecotoxicity reference values were
specifically set for Cd (metal) and CdO. These values were based on high
quality (Q1=RI 1) test results. Since these data are expressed on basis
of a measured cadmium (ion) concentration, they were pooled with the
data obtained on other Cd-compounds, also mentioned in the RAR.
This strict selection of the highest quality data is
possible because the high number of acute data that are available. It
ensures that the tests were performed under well defined and/or standard
conditions, and provide a sound basis for classification.
The acute aquatic ecotoxicity data base for cadmium was
reviewed further according to the following principles:
Hardness is the main determining factor for Cd toxicity
to aquatic organisms (RAR 2008). Cd-toxicity is more important under
conditions of low hardness. Therefore, in the review of the acute data,
special attention was paid to considering and selecting data obtained
under low hardness conditions. Only tests performed at Cd background
<1µg Cd/l were used, according to the RAR.
If 4 or more data points were available on a same
species, and the data were obtained under similar conditions, the
geomean was calculated and used for the analysis.
Acute data - results
short-term acute aquatic toxicity data on cadmium for all species (1
algae species, 2 invertebrate species, and 6 fish species) are
summarised in the CSR.
The data span for all groups a variety of hardnesses,
from very low to high. Low hardness data are available for all 3
taxonomic groups. Most data are obtained at neutral to higher pH (7-8.5).
The EC50 values show strong variability, but the lowest
values observed at low hardness are of the same order of magnitude for
all 3 taxonomic groups.
In conclusion, the data set covers the 3 taxonomic groups
(algae, daphnids and fish) and allows to set the reference value for
acute aquatic toxicity for Cd (dissolved, ionic form). The lowest value
is obtained on the algaeSelenastrum capricornutumunder low
hardness conditions: 18 µg Cd/l. This value was also
used as reference value for acute aquatic toxicity in the RAR on CdO
Chronic data - establishing the dataset
As for the acute toxicity, numerous data are available on
the chronic toxicity of cadmium to aquatic organisms. The quality and
relevancy of the data has been reviewed in detail by the Belgian
rapporteur for the EU risk assessment (RA; ECB 2008).
chronic aquatic toxicity data (NOECs) that are used for PNEC derivation
in the EU RA, are summarised in table below. Chronic NOECs categorised
RI 1 and RI 2 are combined with data categorised RI 3. For some species,
no species geomean was made, because test was done in different medium
or different endpoint was mentioned. It is noted that the “case-by-case”
approach deviates from the one generally used in statistical
extrapolation; still, it was used in the EU risk assessment and
therefore taken over in the present analysis.
Results' extensive table "Case-by-case"- selected NOEC
data of effects of Cd in freshwater and case-by-case calculation of
'geometric mean NOEC's can be found in the CMR (after table 3.2.9C of
the EU risk assessment).
the EU RA, it was concluded that the conditions for using a statistical
extrapolation method to derive the PNEC for Cd in freshwater were met.
Accordingly, this approach is also used for the present analysis. All
chronic data mentioned in table referred to above are used in a species
sensitivity distribution (SSD), and the PNEC is derived based on the HC5
As one multi-species LOEC and 3 single species LOECs were
under the HC5, an assessment factor 2 was applied to give the final PNEC
freshwater = 0.19 µg/l Cd
is the main determining factor for Cd toxicity to aquatic organisms (RAR
2008). Cd-toxicity is more important under conditions of low hardness.
The effect of water hardness on Cd toxicity has been quantified by the
US-EPA (US-EPA 2001). Based on data for e.g.Daphnia magna, Pimephales
promelasandSalmo trutta, a quantitative relationship between
hardness and chronic toxicity could be derived and is expressed as
Marine long term toxicity
The Cd Risk Assessment
has not carried out an effect assessment on the aquatic marine
environment, while REACH requires protection of this environmental
compartment, i.e. the derivation of a saltwater PNEC for Cd. The
saltwater PNEC derived in this section covers truly marine conditions.
It is derived based on chronic toxicity data from the literature. The
available chronic cadmium
were derived from original papers, published in peer-reviewed
international journals. Literature and environmental databases,
including AQUIRE (US EPA), MARITOX, ECETOC, and BIOSIS, as well as
review articles covering cadmium in marine waters were searched and
reviewed for sources of relevant and reliable chronic toxicity data on
cadmium. Only original literature was used.
Data reliability and
Selection of ecotoxicity
data for quality was done according to a systematic approach as
presented by Klimisch et al. 1997. Standardized tests, as prescribed by
organizations such as ASTM, OECD and US EPA, are used as a reference
when test methodology, performance and data treatment/reporting are
considered. A detailed description of data reliability and relevancy is
provided in the CSR.
Chronic toxicity of Cd
marine ecotoxicity database for cadmium
The marine cadmium
database largely fulfils the species and taxonomic requirements for
input chronic toxicity data as explained in the RIP R. 10 guidance (at
least 10 species NOECs and 8 taxonomic groups). Indeed, 48 species mean
NOECs based on 62 NOEC values, coming from 39 families and from 9
taxonomic groups covering three trophic levels were found to fulfil the
relevancy and reliability requirements as explained by Klimisch et al.
1997. The marine Cd database includes 1 micro- and 1 macro-algae
species, 4 annelid species, 11 crustacean species, 7 echinoderm species,
13 mollusc species, 3 nematod species, 2 cnidarian species, 1 ascidian
species and 6 fish species. The
geometric mean values of the species NOECs are presented in the CSR.
Statistics on Species
Given the multitude of
relevant high quality ecotoxicity data, species mean NOECs were plotted
in a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) and statistical
extrapolation was used for PNEC determination. No alternative method
i.e. assessment factor approach was applied for the PNEC determination.
Following the RIP R. 10 guidance, different distributions may be used
for the SSD. But according to the rules established in previous Risk
Assessments for metals, and given the significance levels are accepted,
the use of a log-normal distribution is preferred over other statistical
distributions (Cd RAR 2007).
value of the SSD (the HC5), set at 50% confidence value, using the
lognormal distribution (ETX 2.0) function, results in a value of 2.28
µg cadmium/L. This value is taken forward for the PNEC
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