Registration Dossier

Administrative data

Description of key information

Ferrous slags are produced in steelworks as essential by-products of iron and steel manufacturing and consist mainly of fused oxides of aluminium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and silicon and thus. The composition of the slags varies depending on the process step in which they are produced. Overall, ferrous slags can be considered artificial volcanic rocks.

One of the main risks to the workers is the possible formation of fine dust and inhalation exposure to ferrous slags in humans. The inhalation of mineral particulates may occur during manufacture and processing. Fine particles with a size of 1 – 5 μm have the potential for aerial transport and inhalative exposure; they may enter the alveoli of the lungs.

The biological response of alveolar macrophages to inorganic dust is known to depend on several factors. Based on the review of scientific literature (Jochims 2012b) it can be stated that an increased number of alveolar macrophages is generally considered an adaptive rather than a toxic response of a biological system to inhaled inorganic particulates.

The extensive epidemiological data from a long-term cohort study (Huvinen et al. 2013 and 2015) stated that the cancer (e.g. lung cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, nose and nasal cancer) risk for human by inhalation exposure do not increase for occupational workers in the ferro and stainless steel industry, where the ferrous slags are produced, although exposed to inhalable dust during many years at work, from 1967 -2004. The study covered over 8000 workers and was done by the Occupational Health,

Outokumpu Oyj, Espoo, Finland, Finnish Cancer Registry, Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research, Helsinki, Finland and School of Health Sciences,

University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland. The study result was compared and analyzed to similar epidemiological studies in Norway (Axelsson G. 1980, Langård S. 1990), Sweden ( Axelsson G. 1980), France (Moulin JJ 1990 and 1993, more than 6 000 workers) and USA (Cornell RG.1984), and found similar indications and common findings.

The findings and observations from the epidemiological studies are reliable and comprehensive, which is reasonable to conclude that the risk for carcinogenicity related to inhalation exposure by the ferrous slags is not likely to occur.

Further, there is NO harmonized classification nor notified classification for carcinogenicity for the components of the ferroslags, according to the Annex VI in CLP and the C&L Inventory. The elements are not considered as Known or presumed as carcinogenicity for human, and/or suspected as such.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Carcinogenicity: via oral route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no study available

Carcinogenicity: via inhalation route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no adverse effect observed
Organ:
cervix
colon
kidney
liver
lungs
nasal cavity
pharynx
skin
stomach

Carcinogenicity: via dermal route

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no adverse effect observed
Organ:
skin
other: skin melanoma

Additional information

Justification for classification or non-classification

Based on reliable study results from the recent epidemiological studies (Huvinen 2013 and 2015), carcinogenicity related to inhalation exposure by the ferrous slags is not likely to occur.

Further, the components of the ferreslags are not considered as Known or presumed as carcinogenicity for human, and/or suspected as such.