Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 575-581

First online:

Influences of hardness constituents on the acute toxicity of cadmium to brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)

  • John J. CarrollAffiliated withOffice of Water and Waste Management, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • , Stephen J. EllisAffiliated withEG&G, Bionomics
  • , Walter S. OliverAffiliated withEG&G, Bionomics

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These data show that of the three major constituents characteristic of most hard waters (i.e., Ca2+, Mg2+, and the CO2 system) calcium ion, introduced either as sulfate or carbonate, is the major source of protection against cadmium toxicity. This protective effect is observed in the absence of significant cadmium precipitation. Magnesium ion, sulfate ion, sodium ion and the carbonate system provide little or no protection.