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NICKEL (soluble salts) [16]
CASRN: 7440020

Update: March 1996

Current Massachusetts Regulatory Limit
ORSGL = 0.1 mg/L.

Federal Regulatory Limit
The U.S. EPA has not published an MCL for nickel.

Basis for Criteria
The ORSGL is derived assuming that a 70 kg adult ingests 2 L/day of water. A relative source contribution factor of 20% is incorporated into the final value.

RfD: 0.02 mg/kg/day
UF: 300 (10 = interspecies; 10 = intraspecies; 3 = inadequacies in reproductive studies)
MF: 1 Confidence in RfD: Medium

(U.S. EPA, 1996)

Critical Effects
In a 2-year feeding study of rats exposed to nickel at 0, 100, 1000 or 2,500 ppm (0, 5, 50, and 125 mg Ni/kg bw), body weights in the high-dose male and female rats were significantly decreased compared with controls. A reduction in body weight was also noted at 50 mg/kg/day. This reduction was significant for females at week 6 and from weeks 26 through 104, and for males starting at 52 weeks. In addition, groups of females had significantly higher liver-to-body weight ratios at the 50 and 125 mg/kg/day dose levels. A NOAEL of 5 mg/kg/day was identified based on a lack of these effects at this dose level (Ambrose et al., 1976).

Cancer Assessment: D
The U.S. EPA has not evaluated soluble salts of nickel as a class of compounds for potential human carcinogenicity.

Inorganic, heavy metal

Analytical Information
: 0.05 mg/L 

Analytical Methods
200.7 - Inductively coupled plasma
200.8 - ICP - MS
249.2 - Atomic absorption

PQLs and analytical methods may have been updated since this guidance value was last revised. Updated analytical methods for drinking water and their associated PQLs may be found at US EPA Drinking Water Analytical Methods .

Other Regulatory Data
Any Health Advisories, Reference Doses (RfDs), cancer assessments or Cancer Potency Factors (CPFs) referenced in this document pertain to the derivation of the current guidance value. Updated information may be obtained from the following sources:

Health Advisories - The U.S. EPA provides guidance for shorter-term exposures for chemicals based on their non-cancer effects. Current health advisories may be more current than those used to derive MCLs and may be found at US EPA Current Drinking Water Health Advisories .

RfDs, cancer assessments and CPFs - For specific information pertaining to derivation of drinking water criteria, consult the Federal Register notice that announces the availability of the most current guidance for that chemical. In addition, information on other current RfDs and CPFs as well as cancer assessments for specific chemicals may be found in the U.S. EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) at Please note that the information in IRIS may differ from that used in the derivation process as published in the Federal Register notice.

Ambrose, A.M.; D. S. Larson, J.R. Borzelleca; and G.R. Hennigan, Jr. 1976. Long-term toxicological assessment of nickel in rats and dogs. J. Food Sci. Tech. 13:181-187.

U.S. EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1996. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Washington, D.C.

[16] The MCL for Nickel has been remanded and is no longer in effect; however, the current EPA IRIS chronic oral reference dose for soluble salts of nickel ( supports this value and it is also the currently listed EPA Life-time Health Advisory value (