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General considerations on the ecotoxicity of CdTe and Cd++ion

Given that Cadmium is the most toxic moiety of CdTe (ERV of Cd= 18µg Cd/L and 0.210µg Cd/L resp. at 7days for acute effects, 28days for chronic effects and ERV of Te= 5.8 mg Te/L at 7days), and that the aquatic hazard and environmental risks related to the substance are thus related to the exposure to the slightly dissolved Cd++ ion from the covalently bonded* CdTe, the PNEC freshwater and aquatic effect classification of CdTe are based on the extensive databases, available for Cd++ ion toxicity. The ecotoxicity data that underly the Cd++ ion-related PNECs have been obtained on soluble Cd compounds and are reported in the related registration files on cadmium metal. Likewise, the classification of CdTe is based on the Cd++ ion related ecotoxicity reference values (ERV) (see summary section on "Ecotoxicological information: conclusion on classification").

In the present CdTe file, these data are summarised in the general summaries on "Ecotoxicological information". In this "aquatic toxicity" section, results of ecotoxicity tests specifically performed on CdTe are reported as supporting information. Given that the aquatic toxicity of Te is much lower than the one of Cd, the effect of Te is negligible.

*based on Pauling's approach, cadmium and tellurium have a small difference in electronegativity, and CdTe is thus a substance exhibiting mostly a covalent bonding with a very low ionic character (<4%)  

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