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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Description of key information

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

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Several studies report the bioaccumulation potential of silver in fish. The key study selected for this endpoint is Baudin et al. (1993) in which carp were exposed to approximately 0.2 µg Ag/L for a six-week period. 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 two day radioactive pulse of 110mAg 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 one and eight. Garnier et al. (1990) reported a whole body BCF of 2.7 for brown trout Salmo trutta fingerlings over 57 days. In both studies, the greatest accumulation was observed in the liver.

Webb et al. (2000) report BCF for a range of marine species based on studies employing OECD guideline 305. 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 data presented within the study to be 9.2 - 15.1 L/Kg at a salinity of 30 ppt (normal seawater) and 44.3 to 79.4 L/Kg at a salinity of 18 ppt.

In a non-guideline, but otherwise reliable study, Wood et al. (2010) investigated bioaccumulation of dissolved silver in the marine teleost Opsanus beta (gulf toadfish). BCF values for fed and fasted fish after 22-23 day exposure were calculated from data presented in the paper as 0.43 and 0.58, respectively.