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Diss Factsheets

Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Description of key information

Measured BCF values for resin acids range from <25 to 130 for fish, and 110 to 330 L/kg for mussels. 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Studies are available with measured BCF values for fish and mussels, for various resin acids. Resin acids are the predominant components of rosin and rosin salt substances. Therefore, it is considered appropriate to read across from resin acids to members of the category Rosin, Hydrogenated rosin and their salts.


Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were exposed to nine resin acids that included abietic, dehydroabietic, chlorodehydroabietic, dichlorodehydroabietic, neoabietic, pimaric, isopimaric, sandaracopimaric, and palustric acids (Niimi and Lee 1992). Bioconcentration factors (BCFs) for these acids ranged from <25 to 130 among fish that were exposed to mean waterborne concentrations of 0.7 to 3.6µg/L for 20 days. Total free and conjugated acid concentrations ranged from 1 to 3 mg/kg on a whole body basis. Elimination rates were also monitored over a 10-day depuration period, although no detectable levels were observed. Based on initial chemical concentrations, it was concluded that the half-lives of these acids were < 4 days.


Burggraaf et al. (1996) determined BCF values for mussels (Hyridella menziesi) exposed to effluent from a pulp and paper mill. Concentrations of resin acids (pimaric acid, isopimaric acid, dehydroabietic acid, abietic acid and 14 -chlorodehydroabietic acid) were analysed in mussels and in the effluent for a 28d exposure phase, followed by a 21d depuration phase. BCF values for the individual resin acids ranged from 110 to 330 L/kg.


Bioconcentration/bioaccumulation was also estimated for some category members using QSAR estimation software (EPISUITE BCFBAF v3.00), and for rosin, dimer constituents using EPISUITE BCFBAF v3.01 in accordance with REACH Annex XI. The calculated BCF values ranged from 3.162 to 56.23 L/kg ww. Calculated BAF values ranged from 1.474 to 694000.