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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

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

bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment
Type of information:
migrated information: read-across from supporting substance (structural analogue or surrogate)
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: By Canadian authorities peer-reviewed data

Data source

Reference Type:
review article or handbook
Environment Canada Priority Substance List Assessment Report, Follow-up to the State of Science Report, 2000 Aluminium Salts (Final Content)
Environment Canada
Bibliographic source: and

Materials and methods

Principles of method if other than guideline:
Literature review, no further information on methods available
GLP compliance:
not specified

Test material

Constituent 1
Reference substance name:
14903-36-7 (Aluminium (3+))
14903-36-7 (Aluminium (3+))
Test material form:
not specified
Details on test material:
- Name of test material (as cited in study report): Aluminium
not specified

Test solutions

not specified

Test organisms

Test organisms (species):

Study design

Test type:
not specified
Water / sediment media type:
not specified

Results and discussion

Bioaccumulation factoropen allclose all
>= 0 - <= 10 000 dimensionless
Remarks on result:
other: Daphnia magna
>= 400 - <= 1 365 dimensionless
Remarks on result:
other: fish; accumulation in and on gill, transfer into the body slow or negligible

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Validity criteria fulfilled:
not applicable
The bioaccumulation of Aluminium depends on pH: the bioconcentration factor (BCF) for Daphnia magna varied from 10,000 at pH 6.5 down to 0 at pH 4.5. BCFs for fishare reported to range from 400 to 1,365. The authors reported that fish accumulate Aluminium in and on the gill. It has been suggested that the rate of transfer of Aluminium into the body of fish is either slow or negligible under natural environmental conditions.
Executive summary:

The bioaccumulation potential of Aluminium in aquatic organisms has been reviewed by Environment Canada (2010):

“All biota will naturally accumulate metals to some degree without deleterious effect and as some metals are essential elements, bioaccumulation does not necessarily indicate the potential for adverse effects (McGreer et al. 2003). While metal bioaccumulation is homeostatically regulated for metals essential to biological function (Adams et al. 2000), non-essential metals may also be regulated to some degree as these homeostatic mechanisms are not metal-specific (ICMM 2007). Thus, interpretation of the toxicological significance of bioaccumulation data for metals such as aluminum is complex.”

Bioaccumulation of Aluminium in algae and aquatic invertebrates depends on pH. According to Environment Canada (2010) “the comparison of assays performed at the same concentration of aluminum but at different pH values showed that aluminum accumulation was suppressed at low pH (Parent and Campbell 1994).”

“Aquatic invertebrates can also accumulate substantial quantities of aluminum, yet there is evidence that most of the metal is adsorbed to external surfaces and is not internalized (Havas 1985; Frick and Hermann 1990). Using the results of Havas (1985), the bioconcentration factor (BCF) for Daphnia magna varied from 10,000 at pH 6.5 down to 0 at pH 4.5.”

“BCFs for fish were calculated to range from 400 to 1,365 based on results presented in Roy (1999a). Numerous field and laboratory studies have demonstrated that fish accumulate aluminum in and on the gill. It has been suggested that the rate of transfer of aluminum into the body of fish is either slow or negligible under natural environmental conditions (Spry and Wiener 1991). The initial uptake of aluminum by fish essentially takes place not on the gill surface but mainly on the gill mucous layer (Wilkinson and Campbell 1993). Fish may rapidly eliminate mucus and the bound aluminum following the exposure episode. For example, Wilkinson and Campbell (1993) and Lacroix et al. (1993) found that depuration of aluminum from the gills of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) was extremely rapid once fish were transferred into clean water. The authors suggested that the rapid loss is due to expulsion of aluminium bound to mucus.”