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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Description of key information

A BCF of 70 for whole Cyprinus carpio wet weight is selected as the key study.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Several studies reported the potential bioaccumulation of silver in fish. The study selected as key for assessment of this endpoint is Baudin et al. (1993) in which carp were exposed to approximately 0.2 ug/L. A steady state concentration in fish was achieved after 30 days, and a BCF value of 70 was calculated for the whole fish on a wet weight basis.

Various other bioaccumulation studies are available, including Galvez (2002) and Webb et al. (2000).

Galvez (2002), exposed juvenile rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss to a 2-day radioactive pulse of110mAg at 11.9 µg/L, followed by a 19 day post-tracer exposure to non-radioactive Ag(l). A whole body BCF of 2.5 was reported after days 1 and 8. Garnier et al. (1990) reported a whole body BCF of 2.7 for brown trout Salmo trutta fingerlings over 57 days. In both studies greatest accumulation was observed in the liver.

Webb et al. (2000) was based on standard OECD guideline 305 and reported the BCF for a range of marine species. The data available for most of the species was not fully reported and did not provide sufficient information for assessment. The steady state BCF for silver in the liver of Oligocuttus maculosus was calculated using extrapolated data from graphs and figures within the study to be 9.2 - 15.1 L/Kg at salinity 30 ppt (normal seawater) and 44.3 to 79.4 at salinity 18 ppt.

There are many studies available which do not report sufficient information for BCF values to be calculated, and in many cases the tests were of short duration, and steady state was not achieved during the test. The available reliable studies suggest low BCF values for fish, although studies into the accumulation by molluscs, such as Hedouin et al. (2006), indicate the potential for higher BAF values for these organisms.