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The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Administrative data

Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

Bioaccumulation is not applicable to pitch, coal tar, high-temp. (coal-tar pitch) due to its inert matrix structure and low bioavailability. Provisionally, benzo[a]pyrene is used as marker substance to characterise the bioaccumulation potential of coal-tar pitch. Thus, the BCF value of BaP is used in the chemical safety assessment of coal-tar pitch.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

BCF (aquatic species):
608 dimensionless

Additional information

The BCF in fish of 608 (sunfish: Lepomis macrochirus) determined with BaP as test substance was the only value of a study among 13 published investigations to be given the high reliability of 2 in the risk assessment report for coal-tar pitch (EU 2008, Tab. 3.28). This value is in line with an unpublished fish feeding study (rainbow trout: Oncorhyncus mykiss): BCF = 977 with a very short depuration half-life of 1.1 d (Lampi et al. 2009: CONCAWE review).

This suggests that the BCF of BaP should be distinctly below 2000.

Sources: Lampi M and Parkerton T (2009) Bioaccumulation Assessment of PAHs - Review Paper Prepared for CONCAWE, October 2009

EU (2008) Coal-Tar Pitch, high temperature - Risk Assessment. European Union Risk Assessment Report, The Netherlands (URL:

According to EU 2008, presented data from: Jimenez BD, Cirmo CP, and McCarthy JF (1987) Effects of feeding and temperature on uptake, elimination and metabolism of benzo(a)pyrene in the bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus). Aquat. Toxicol., 10, 41-57