formula: Ni; CAS Registry Number: 7440-02-0

Naturally occurring transition metal

Nickel is widespread in nature, its concentrations, however, are mostly low. Nickel alloys play an important role in steel industry. The pure metal is used, e.g. in electronic industry, in glass- and ceramic production, as catalyst in food industry, in coatings and batteries.

Nickel is released into the environment during weathering of rocks and human activities. Under normal conditions free nickel ions are quickly bound to iron and manganese particles and settle in the soils and sediments.

For plants and microorganisms nickel is an essential trace element, whereas its essentiality for animals and humans is not as clear. It has toxic properties and often leads to allergic skin reaction in humans. Nickel compounds are classified as carcinogenic to humans. Furthermore, effects on reproduction and teratogenic effects have been demonstrated in animal experiments.

Nickel and its compounds are toxic to aquatic organisms. Toxicity, however, varies markedly between species and depends strongly on abiotic factors. Some aquatic and terrestrial plants are capable of accumulating nickel, whereas accumulation in fish is low.

Recommended analysis examples


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Sampling area

Sampling period

1985 - 2022