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Diss Factsheets

Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Administrative data

Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Generally the potential of nickel to bioaccumulate is expected to be low. Several studies on fish and Daphnia demonstrated relatively low bioaccumulation factors in the range of 2 - 52 (Watras 1985, Eisler 1998). However, in Daphnia and particularly in algae higher concentration factors up to 220 - 4050 were measured (Cowgill 1976). The most relevant data on bioaccumulation in fish were determined by Calamari et al. (1984) detecting bioaccumulation factors ranging from 1.0 - 4.2 in fish organs.

According to EU-Risk assessment (2008)


- highest bioaccumulation factors observed for Cerastoderma edule (marine bivalve) with BAF as high as 26500

- BAF < 340 for all other bivalves and aquatic organisms

- BAF = 0.3 for earthworms


- Ni does not appear to biomagnify

- Campbell et al. 2005: biodilution in 4 trophic level arctic food web (algae or seals)

- La Pointe and Coutoure (2006): biodilution in 3 step laboratory food chain