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Environmental fate & pathways

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Though nickel does bioaccumulate in aquatic biota, the bioaccumulation factors are generally low and apparently nickel does generally not become magnified along food chains (McGeeret al.2003). Some animal species seem to be able to regulate the nickel content of their tissues by controlled uptake and excretion / storage (Outridge and Scheuhammer 1993). An inverse relationship between the BCF and exposure concentration in water has been observed for certain aquatic organisms within the concentration range 1-100 ug/l (Brix and DeForest 2000, McGeeret al.2003). This may support the hypothesis that within these concentration

ranges active regulation of the uptake of nickel may take place (Muyssenet al. 2004).


In general, Ni bioaccumulation is relatively low. Bioconcentration factors were highest for the marine bivalve, Cerastoderme edule. For example, BCFs for C.edule were as high as 26,500, whereas the highest BCF for any other organism was 5,613 as reported for the cyanobacterium Anacystis nidulans. In general, BCFs for other bivalves were <340 (median = 270). This suggests that the BCFs observed for C. edule are not representative of other bivalves or aquatic organisms. A BCF of 1631 L/kg for C. edulewas used in scenarios where this organism is a relevant prey item. For all other aquatic organisms, a calculated BCF value of 270 L/kg was used. For soil exposures, a BAF for earthworms of 0.3 was used based on 32 individual values