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January 7th, 2010

Refractory ceramics appear on “very high concern” list

Published on January 7th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

The Member State Committee of the European Chemicals Agency have identified 15 new chemical substances for the list of substances of very high concern as carcinogens. This list can be viewed here (PDF).

There are two listed substances are of particular interest to the ceramic industry:

Aluminosilicate Refractory Ceramic Fibers (fibers covered by index number 650-017-00-8 in Annex VI, part 3, table 3.2 of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008). Described here as carcinogen, category 2, they also fulfill the two following conditions:

  • Al2O3 and SiO2 are present within the following concentration ranges:
  • Al2O3: 43.5 – 47 % w/w, and SiO2: 49.5 – 53.5 % w/w; or
  • Al2O3: 45.5 – 50.5 % w/w, and SiO2: 48.5 – 54 % w/w.
  • Fibers have a length weighted geometric mean diameter less two standard geometric errors of 6 or less micrometers.

Refractory ceramic fibers are used for high-temperature insulation, almost exclusively in industrial applications (insulation of industrial furnaces and equipment, equipment for the automotive and aircraft/aerospace industry) and in fire protection (buildings and industrial process equipment).

The second listed ceramic product is:

Zirconia Aluminosilicate Refractory Ceramic Fibers (fibers covered by index number 650-017-00-8 in Annex VI, part 3, table 3.2 of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008). Similarly described as carcinogen, category 2, they fulfill the two following conditions:

  • Al2O3, SiO2 and ZrO2 are present within the following concentration ranges:
  • Al2O3: 35 – 36 % w/w;
  • SiO2: 47.5 – 50 % w/w; and
  • ZrO2: 15 – 17 % w/w.
  • Fibers have a length weighted geometric mean diameter less two standard geometric errors of 6 or less micrometers.

These are deemed to fall into the same product and use area as the aluminosilicates first mentioned.




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