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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Description of key information

The key value selected is the BCF in fish of 1584 L/kg ww.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

BCF (aquatic species):
1 584 L/kg ww

Additional information

The available results were reviewed in the EU Risk Assessment Report for HHCB (2008). It was concluded that the key study was the one reported in Balk and Ford (1999), performed by Van Dijk (1996), resulting in BCF = 1584. The BCF from this laboratory study is higher than the BCFs obtained in other laboratory studies. The results obtained from field studies show a lower bioaccumulation. Thus the BCF of 1584 is a conservative value for the risk assessment.

Table from the EU Risk Assessment report HHCB, 2008.

Table 13.    Comparison of field derived ratios of Cfish and Cwater to experimentally determined bioconcentration factors for fish


Chemical analysis


Bluegill sunfish (28+28)d-BCFwwt = 1584 *


Balk and Ford 1999a

Zebrafish (14+26)d-BCFwwt = 624


Butte and Ewald 1999

Zebrafish (4d exp)-BCFwwt = 600 a; 2400-2500 b


Schreurs et al 2004

Environmental samples:

Eel BCFwwt = 150 to 600

non-eel BCFwwt = 49 to 188


Balk and Ford 1999a from data in Eschke et al. 1995, Rijs and Schäfer 1998, Rimkus 1997

Environmental samples:

Eel BCFwwt  = 862 (range 201 – 1561)


Fromme et al. 2001b

Eel BCFwwt  = 995

Heberer 2002 from data of Fromme et al. 2001b

Environmental samples c :

Rudd BCFwwt = 20

Tench BCF wwt = 510

Crucian carp BCF wwt = 580

Eel BCF wwt = 290

Zebra mussel BCF wwt = 620


Gatermann et al. 2002a

a  Based on initial concentrations

b Based on estimated average concentrations (rel. 3)

c  Species differences related to fat content

* Used in EUSES calculations