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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: terrestrial

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Description of key information

BCF (according to mg/kg dry weight in plant and soil)
< 0.8 for different food crops, various feed crops, forest plants, etc.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Rikken (1995) summarized literature data on the accumulation of rare earth metals (RE) in plants, as a part of the investigation of data on the transfer of RE in the chain artificial fertilizers - soil - crops - livestock and man. The data for concentration of Lanthanum in different vegetables and feeding stuffs and the soil were collected and bioconcentration factors (according to mg/kg dw in plant and soil) were calculated.

The concentration and accumulation of rare earth metals (RE) in plants differed as a consequence of plant and soil factors (e.g. species, Ca-content). The concentrations in plants (dry weight) of REs were in general low: < 0.2 mg/kg for root - and leaf vegetables, < 0.05 mg/kg in most fruits and < 1 mg/kg in herbs/grasses. Bioconcentrationfactors (BCF) for RE are usually within a range of 0.0001 to 0.001 for feed crops and 0.0001 to 0.01 for food crops. For Lanthanum BCFs were in a range of < 0.00017 - 0.0052 for food crops and 0.00002 - 0.094 for feed crops.

Also Redling (2006) reviewed, that according to extremely small concentration ratios, the transfer of rare earth elements from soil into plants is very low. Concentration ratios of rare earths (mass of rare earths in dry weight of plant per mass in dry weight of soil) were reported to be generally in a range of 0.8 to 0.001. Furthermore, the very low concentrations of REs in cereal grains were confirmed and no significant accumulation was stated.

Furthermore, Tyler (2004) reviewed the information about rare earth elements in soil and plant systems and arrived at the conclusion that concentrations of REs in plants are usually very low compared to their total concentration in soils. For example, BCFs (calculated on dry weight) in forest plants of NW Germany were given, they were as low as 0.04 - 0.09.

So generally, the reviewed data indicated a low accumulation potential of Lanthanum in plants. Furthermore, it can be assumed that there is no risk for accumulation in the food chain.

Rikken M.G.J. (1995). De accumulatie van zeldzamen aardmetalen. RIVM Rijksinstituut voor volksgesondheid en milieu, Bilthoven. Rapportnr. 601014 013

Redling K. (2006). Rare earth elements in agriculture with emphasis on animal husbandry. Dissertation, University of Munich, Germany.

Tyler G. (2004). Rare earth elements in soil and plant systems – A review. Plant and Soil 267: 191 -206