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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: terrestrial

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Description of key information

Data that were retrieved, suggest that molybdenum is not largely concentrated from soil into plants, or soil to invertebrates, and that there is no significant concentration increase from diet to mammals or birds.  This suggests that biomagnification, if any, is not significant in the terrestrial foodchain. 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Mo concentration ranges in environmental matrices have been compiled. The data includes concentrations of Mo in the environmental compartments, excluding geogenic enriched areas, and at moderate levels blow Mo concentrations causing a toxic effect.

This data suggests that Mo is not significantly concentrated from soil to plants, or soil invertebrates with bioconcentration factors (BCF) or bioaccumulation factors (BAF) of < 5, and that there is no further significant increase in concentration from diet to mammals or birds, even including organs such as kidney or liver (diet tissue concentration ratios <10 and even <1 for muscle tissue). This suggests that biomagnification of Mo, if any, is not significant in the terrestrial compartment.

Eisler (1989) made a more exhaustive compilation of environmental concentrations of Mo. That review concluded equally that Mo concentrations in plants, mosses and wildlife tissues (liver and kidney included) are well below 10 mg/kg dry weight, excluding legumes (e.g. clover) that contain up to 28 mg/kg dry weight.