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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.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

Ecotoxicological information

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

Description of key information

Additional information

Freshwater organisms effects dataset:

Effects data sets selected: More than 250 individual NOEC/EC10values were collected and screened for quality and relevancy, which yielded 193 individual high quality data covering 30 different species. The selected data set covers 16 different families, different trophic levels and feeding. It should be noted that some reliable aquatic ecotoxicity data that passed the relevancy criteria were rejected because they were obtained from tests in which the relevant geochemical parameters (pH and/or hardness) were outside of the BLM boundaries. These otherwise high quality data are listed in separate tables.



For algae, EC10values of Ni for chronic exposures conducted with Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata ranged from 25.3 to 425 µg Ni/L, with a median value of 88.2 µg Ni/L (n = 47). Chronic growth inhibition data (EC10) are available for nine additional freshwater algae species. These EC10values range from 12.3 µg Ni/L for Scenedesmus accumulatesto 51.8 µg Ni/L for Coelastrum microporum. For higher aquatic plants, chronic effects to Lemna gibba and Lemna minor ranged between 8.2 and 80 µg Ni/L. 


Chronic nickel toxicity data are available for fifteen invertebrate species. The large majority of data are from crustaceans, but data from insects, hydrozoans, and molluscs are also available. The NOEC/L(E)C10varied between 1.4 µg/l for L. stagnalis and1379µg/L for Brachionus calyciflorus


Chronic nickel toxicity data are available for three species of fish, with NOEC/LC10values ranging from 40 µg Ni/L for Brachydanio rerio to 1,548 µg Ni/L for Oncorhynchus mykiss. NOEC/L(E)C10data are available for three species of amphibians, with values ranging from 84.5 µg Ni/L to 13,147 µg Ni/L, both values from Xenopus laevis.


In summary, NOEC/L(E)C10values for chronic nickel toxicity to aquatic organisms range from 1.4 µg Ni/L (L. stagnalis) to 13,147 µg Ni/L (X. laevis).

From the database of acute toxicity to freshwater fish, there are 31 high quality studies.  This represents 21 different freshwater fish species, dominated byPimephales promelas,Oncorhynchus mykiss, andCyprinus carpio.  The 96h LC50s values range from 0.23 mg Ni/L (Pimphales promelas; Hoang et al., 2004) to 320 mg Ni/L (Brachydanio rerio; NiPERA, 1993).  

From the database of acute toxicity to freshwater invertebrates, there are 30 high quality studies which predominantly report the 48h LC50 as the endpoint. Twenty-four species are represented in these studies, dominated byDaphnia magnaandCeriodaphnia dubia.  The 48h LC50s values range from 0.013 mg Ni/L (Ceriodaphnia dubia; Schubauer-Berigan et al., 1993) to 4970 mg Ni/L (Daphnia magna; Chapman and Recht, 1980).

Marine organisms effects database:


Effect data sets: The marine chronic ecotoxicity database is represented by 15 species of marine organisms from 14 families, and includes a wide range of taxonomic groups, including unicellular algae, macroalgae, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, and fish. Bioavailability correction was not implemented in selecting the marine effects data.


EC10values for four species of marine algae are reported, ranging from 97 µg Ni/L for growth of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) to 17891 µg Ni/L for growth of the dinoflagellate, Dunaliella tertiolecta.


EC10values are reported for nine species of marine invertebrates, ranging from 22.5 µg Ni/L for reproduction of the polychaete, Neanthes arenaceodentata, to 335 µg Ni/L for development of the echinoderm, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.


EC10values are reported for two species of marine fish, ranging from 3599 µg Ni/L for growth of the topsmelt, Atherinops affinis, to 20760 µg Ni/L for growth of the sheepshead minnow, Cyprinodon variegatus.


In summary, the chronic EC10data used in the derivation of the HC5 (50%) for the marine compartment ranged from 22.5 µg Ni/L for Neanthes arenaceodentatato 20,760 µg Ni/L for Cyprinodon variegates.  


From the database of acute toxicity to marine fish, there are 4 high quality studies.  This represents 3 different marine fish species.  The 96h LC50s values range from 26.6 mg Ni/L (Atherinops affinis; Hunt et al., 2002) to 350 mg Ni/L (Fundulus heteroclitus; Eisler and Hennekey, 1977).  

From the database of acute toxicity to marine invertebrates, there are 16 high quality studies which report predominantly 48h LC50 and 48h EC50 as the endpoint. Twenty species are represented in these studies. The 48h LC50s values range from 0.23 mg/L (Haliotis refescens; Hunt et al., 2002b) to 415 mg/L (Penaeus duorarum; Bentley et al., 1975b). The 48h EC50 values range from 0.35 mg/L (Crassostrea gigas; Martin et al., 1981a) to 4.66 mg/L (Artemia salina; Kissa et al., 2002b).


Effects assessment for aquatic micro-organisms in sewage treatment plants (STP)

Only a few internationally accepted test methods, such as the OECD N° 209 (inhibition of respiration of activated sludge) and ISO N° 9509 (inhibition of nitrification) exist. Generally, short-term measurements (in terms of hours) are preferred, generally corresponding with typical retention times in biological STPs. The TGD (EC, 2003) suggests 10 h as a preferable test duration. Furthermore, the information available has to be relevant for the processes that are potentially at risk of disruption, e. g. microbial degradation activity in an STP. To assess risks to these processes, microbial endpoints such as respiration and nitrification inhibition are considered to be the most relevant. Testing using a mixed microbial inoculum is considered more relevant than using single-species inoculum. Thus information reported on individual bacterial species like Microtox (with Vibrio fisherias test organism), Pseudomonas putida, Pseudomonas fluorescens and even Escherichia coli are therefore considered as less relevant than those from mixed inoculum.

Studies assessing the effects of nickel on ciliated protozoa (preferablyT. pyriformis) and respiration/nitrification using bacteria originating from sewage treatment plants were regarded as directly relevant for the derivation of a PNEC STP. The key publication selected for Ni-PNEC STP derivation is Cokgor et al (2007).No other PNEC relevant studies that investigated the effects of Ni on bacterial populations were identified. However, the other studies in the database not deemed directly relevant, supported the relevancy and the conservative nature of an EC50of 33 mg/L.