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Ecotoxicological information

Sediment toxicity

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Description of key information

If elemental silicon “metal” is released to the environment, any surfaces of the silicon particles are normally already oxidized or will be oxidized rapidly. The actual rate of the transformation process (oxidization) is highly dependent on particle size and environmental conditions. Silicon and the transformation product silica are non toxic substances in fresh water and marine sediments. Hazardous impurities may be present in small quantities.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Silicon and silica are expected to be non toxic substances in fresh water and marine sediments. Sediment testing of (> 95-100 % pure) silicon is therefore not seen important and necessary according to the Chemical Safety Assessment. This conclusion is made based on the available information of effects and composition of the registered substances.

All known/reported hazardous impurities (e.g. Pb) are present at 0.1% maximum level ((as presented under 1.2 the substance Composition). However, it must be pointed out, that even if the levels of impurities may be low, these > 95% silicon materials might still have some toxic response in sediment living (benthic) species if tested in high concentrations or as such as an artificial sediment.

Companies should have regular control over the levels of hazardous impurities and update the chemical safety assessment and risk management measures accordingly.