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Environmental fate & pathways

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The main constituents of FeSi alloys are silicon and iron, both very common elements in the environment. Most living organisms contain at least trace quantities of silicon and iron. Bioaccumulation of Si and Fe and other significant constituent elements Sr, Ba, Zr and Ti is well or at least sufficiently known for hazard assessment purposes and no specific reasons have emerged to study the issue further in this context. For naturally occurring inorganic substances such as metals, bioaccumulation is a complex issue, and many processes are available to modulate both the accumulation and potential toxic impact. The issue becomes even more complex if the substance under evaluation is a mixture of metals/elements. Adaptation and mechanisms to handle these common metals at the systemic level exists to a certain extent. Most species tend to regulate internal concentrations of these metals through active regulation, storage, or a combination of active regulation and storage over a wide range of environmental exposure conditions.  

FeSi grades cover very wide variety of different kind of alloys, from almost pure silicon (95%) to grades having high percentage of different metals and less silicon. These grades may contain also some heavy metals/metalloids > 0.1% covered by the registration (ID card) or at < 0.1% level and not basically covered by this CSA. Some of them are known to be bioaccumulative and may have effects relevant for the food chain and secondary poisoning (Cd, Pb, As, Hg,...). 

Companies should have regular control over the levels of hazardous impurities and update the hazard assesment and chemical safety assessment accordingly.

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