This report contains general information on Nickel and nickel compounds concerning the existing standards, emissions, exposure levels and effect levels. The document is to be considered as a start for the national discussion during an exploratory meeting on integrated criteria documents. Pure nickel is not produced in the Netherlands, but nickel and nickel compounds are widely used. The most important sources of emissions to air are refineries and usage of diesel oil, whereas industry and agriculture contribute significantly to emissions to water and soil, respectively. By far the most important nickel-containing waste stream is domestic waste. In general the emissions are expected to decrease. Concentration levels in surface water, sediment, soil, groundwater, outdoor air and food are available. In most cases the actual standards and guidelines are not exceeded; higher environmental concentrations are found in some local areas. Nickel is an essential dietary trace element, but inhalatory exposure to nickel compounds can result in respiratory tract cancer. With respect to risks to the general population in the Netherlands, the current nickel concentrations in ambient air and in the diet appear to be within acceptable limits. Calculated maximum permissible concentrations for aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are below natural occuring background levels. Locally these levels are exceeded, but in most of these cases the risks involved may be qualified as small.