Groups of metals in the database
Readily-soluble salts of the metals contained as searchable substance groups in the PRIO tool are included in the CLP/GHS database. They are classified there as environmentally hazardous. In their most water-soluble form these metals, with respect to the free metal ion, have been assessed as being very toxic to aquatic organisms and capable of causing long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment (H410)
More metallic compounds than those contained in the database have hazardous properties. Within the framework of a global harmonised system (GHS) for the classification and labelling of hazardous chemicals, a strategy has been devised to assess the hazardous nature of metals of metallic compounds.
The strategy broadly contains methods to assess whether metals or metallic compounds give rise to toxic concentrations of free metal ions in the aquatic environment.
There are two main processes that influence this process, namely to what extent metal ions can be released and/or dissolved out, i.e. the water solubility of the system, and to what extent the substance can be converted and dissolved out as a result of factors in the aquatic environment. Factors that influence this process of conversion or dissolving-out may be pH, the hardness of the water, temperature etc.
The conversion and/or dissolving-out process is unique to each individual metallic compound. For several of the metals and metallic compounds on the market, this assessment of degree of hazard has not been made as part of the classification and labelling work undertaken at EU-wide level. In this tool, we therefore make a reference directly to the strategy devised in order to be able to make one's own assessment of those metals or metallic compounds that have not been assessed at EU level.