Respirable Crystalline Silica
Crystalline silica (CS), which covers quartz, cristobalite and tridymite, is one of the major raw materials in the ferro-alloys and silicon Industry. CS flours have for many years been subject to self-classification and labelling by the industry as harmful with the label Xn and the risk phrases R48/20 (danger of serious damage to health by prolonged exposure through inhalation) under the Dangerous Substances Directive 67/548/EEC
In the framework of the CLP Regulation, quartz and cristobalite in their respirable form – hereafter named as “RCS” – have been considered for the purposes of classification.
Industry (under the coordination of the Industrial Minerals Association/IMA) notified the following classification in December 2010 for mixtures and substances containing RCS, whether in the form of an identified impurity, additive or individual constituent:
This classification is based on the four following pillars:
a) The health effects only appear at the workplace, not in the general environment.
RCS is currently the subject of discussion at regulatory level for potential inclusion in the revision of the Carcinogenic Directive. The smelting industry is concerned about the potentially huge consequences of such a scenario, and has therefore signed a Position Paper with 19 other industry sectors advocating the Chemical Agents Directive as the appropriate legal framework with a Binding Limit Value for RCS at 0.1 mg/m³: see attached position paper.