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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Waiver: following rapid hydrolysis of LiPF6 on contact with water, HF and subsequently the ionised hydrolysis products F-, Li+ and PO4- are present in solution. In accordance with section 2 of REACH Annex XI, bioaccumulation testing of LiPF6 is not technically possible due to its high reactivity and instability: further, in accordance with REACH Annex XI section 1 testing is not scientifically necessary since existing information is available to assess bioaccumulative properties of the dissolved hydrolysis products.



In fresh or marine waters, HF will principally be present in the form of fluoride ion. For this reason, test data relevant to soluble inorganic fluorides can be used to evaluate the bioaccumulative potential of HF. 



In freshwater, fluoride BCF values (based on dry weight) of 53 – 58 and <1 have been reported for fish and crustaceans respectively; a BCF value (based on wet weight) of 3.2 has been reported for molluscs (and 7.5 in aquatic macrophytes). As in mammals, fluoride is retained in fish bones and the exoskeleton of crustaceans: no such accumulation has been reported in edible fish tissue (HF: EU Risk Assessment Report, 2001).



In a 28-day test, carp exposed to lithium bromide showed or no indication of lithium bioaccumulation. BCF values at two test concentrations being <31 (Japan NITE, 2001). A review of lithium toxicity concluded that lithium is not expected to bioaccumulate (Aral and Vecchio-Sadus, 2008) and in man and animals most of an absorbed dose of lithium is rapidly removed from the circulating blood (Hunter, 1998) and excreted via the kidneys (Nordic Expert Group for Criteria Documentation of Health Risks from Chemicals 131, 2002). There is some evidence of retention or accumulation of lithium in certain marine species: analysis of the lithium content of >30 different marine species (including mammals, fish, crustaceans and other types) collected from offshore European, American and Japanese locations using a sensitive secondary ion mass spectrometry method found lithium in most cases (Chassard-Boucheau et al, 1984). The investigators reported measured ion intensity ratios (7Li/40Ca) recorded in processed samples from various tissues and/or organs. Among dolphins and fish, the highest lithium concentrations were found in samples of muscle tissue (that of the flounder showing the greatest value) while in crustaceans of commercial importance little or no lithium retention was seen in edible tissues. No measurements of seawater Li+ levels are presented, although a report of 173 µgLi/l in ocean surface waters is cited and no BCF values are calculable. Even the findings in dolphins and fish do not provide evidence of marked bioaccumulation.



 Uptake of phosphorus present in water as dissolved phosphate is believed to be a minor contributor to accumulated phosphorus in fish, with phosphorus intake in food being estimated to be some 40,000 times greater (Smith, Bowes and Cailes, 2011). An overall Concentration Factor for the stable form of phosphorus in the edible portion (muscle) of larger freshwater fish can be calculated from the data of these authors to have an approximate range of 1,222-36,666, but most of the accumulated phosphorus is likely to have been taken up from feeding and not by absorption from water.