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EC number: 294-409-3
CAS number: 91722-09-7
Substance formed during processing of liquid steel or during production of iron castings. Consists primarily of fused silicates and trace elements as oxides as well as trace of alloying elements.
Bioaccumulation of trace elements released from slag, is negligible in the environment
Ferrous slags are inorganic UVCB similar to natural rock. These
materials contain trace elements of toxicological or environmental
relevance. The accumulation of these elements was tested in field
studies. For several elements tested, there was a high scattering of
their concentrations in animals and algae, including controls, but it
could not be shown that a significant accumulation of these trace
The BCF 10 was taken as the worst case for heavy metals in aquatic
environments to cover for the influence of slags in comparison to
natural rock material
Since slags are inorganic UVCB similar to natural rock, there is no need
to perform any study on bioaccumulation.
To elucidate the possible bioaccumulation of trace metals released from
slag stones used in hydraulic engineering, slags were exposed to Rhine
water. Dikerogammarus villosus (Amphipoda, Crustaceae), Bithynia
tentaculata (Gastropoda), the mussels Corbicula fluminea and Dreissena
polymorpha (Bivalvia), and the macrozoobenthos (sessile heterotrophes)
were used to monitor bioaccumulation of trace elements which were
assumed to be derived from slags. Basalt was used as control.
There were no data available for Dikerogammarus villosus, and there were
in approximately 60 % of the measurements higher concentrations of trace
metals (Cu, Pb, Cr and Ni) in slag-exposed organisms than in
The author interpreted the data as evidence for relevant bioaccumulation:
Cu: As the control animals in contact with basalt had much higher Cu
concentrations than the animals in the BOS (5-50 mm) baskets, it was
assumed that there was an analytical error and the data were not taken
into account for the overall assessment.
Pb, Cr, Ni: It was assumed that there was a relevant bioaccumulation in
the bodies of the animals and in the sessile organisms on the
The interpretation of the author is not followed:
There was a large scattering in the concentrations of the 4 elements
examined (Cu, Pb, Cr, and Ni). The concentrations of these metals in
slag-exposed organisms were less than 1 % to up to 70 times the value of
basalt-exposed organisms. The highest values were obtained in Bithynia
tentaculata for Cr and in Corbicula fluminea for Ni. In both cases the
bioaccumulation, as calculated from the ratio of concentrations in slag
versus basalt-exposed concentrations, was high because the basalt
controls were approximately one order of magnitude lower than in the
other organisms. Taking into account that 40 % of the values of slags
are lower than the control values, the data suggest that there was no
significant bioaccumulation and there were no relevant differences
between organisms exposed to slag and basalt.
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