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Diss Factsheets

Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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Administrative data

Link to relevant study record(s)

Description of key information

The substance does not significantly accumulate in organisms.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

BCF (aquatic species):
12.3 L/kg ww

Additional information

Several relevant studies are available on bioconcentration (BCF) or bioaccumulation (BAF) of vanadium in fish and invertebrates. However, no reliable studies (Klimisch 1 or 2) were identified (no standard studies available, V concentration in exposure medium was not measured etc.). The available data on fish and invertebrates based on information on measured V concentration in whole organisms (or whole soft tissue for bivalves) and nominal V concentration in the exposure medium were used in a weight-of-evidence approach. The information available is based on both laboratory studies with pentavalent (V2O5, NaVO3, NH4VO3, Na3VO4) or tetravalent (VOCl2) V compounds and monitoring data of V concentrations in aquatic organisms and the environment. Data are available for 5 fish species (both freshwater and marine species) and 9 marine invertebrate species, including bivalves, crustaceans and echinoderms. The median BCF or BAF values for fish and invertebrates are 8.1 (range 0.5–412) and 12.1 (range 1.4–900) L/kg wet weight, respectively. The overall median value is 12.0 L/kg wet weight.

There is no indication for biomagnification of vanadium in marine food chains (Miramand and Fowler, 1998). Experimental BCF values for both fish and invertebrates decrease with increasing vanadium concentration in the exposure medium (Holdway et al., 1983; Ray et al., 1990; Edel and Sabbioni, 1993; Miramand et al., 1980; Miramand et al., 1981). Therefore, the highest BCF values are considered not relevant for contaminated environments.

There is a large discrepancy (up to a factor 100) between BCF values for fish and invertebrates derived during 21-day uptake experiments with labelled 48V and BAF values based on analysis of total V in the same organisms and seawater (Miramand et al., 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1992). The difference was explained by a slow uptake of V, not reaching equilibrium within 21 days, or the contribution from food to bioaccumulation of vanadium. However, no clear conclusions could be made.

Because of the uncertainty on the individual data available, it was decided to take all the BCF and BAF data together in a weight-of-evidence approach. The 5th, 50th and 95th percentiles of the BCF values according to the best-fitting distribution (log Weibull) are 1.3, 12.3 and 366 L/kg wet weight, respectively. The 50th percentile (12.3 L/kg wet weight) was selected for the chemical safety assessment.