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Cobalt mixed oxide pigments: Human health tier II assessment

27 November 2014

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Chemicals in this assessment

Chemical Name in the Inventory CAS Number
Aluminium cobalt oxide (Al2CoO4) 1333-88-6
Cobalt aluminate blue, spinel 1345-16-0
Cobalt tin oxide (CoSnO3) 1345-19-3
C.I. Pigment Green 19 8011-87-8
Cobalt iron oxide (CoFe2O4) 12052-28-7
Aluminium cobalt oxide 12672-27-4
Chromium cobalt iron oxide 63497-09-6
Cobalt titanate, green, spinel 68186-85-6
Spinels, aluminium cobalt zinc, blue 68186-87-8
C.I. Pigment Black 27 68186-97-0
Spinels, cobalt tin, grey 68187-05-3
Spinels, aluminium chromium cobalt, blue green 68187-11-1
Cobalt silicate, blue olivine 68187-40-6
Cobalt chromite, green, spinel 68187-49-5
Iron cobalt, black, spinel 68187-50-8
Cobalt zinc silicate, blue phenacite 68412-74-8
Periclase, cobalt blue gray 68512-31-2
Spinels, aluminium cobalt tin 68608-09-3

Preface

This assessment was carried out by staff of the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) using the Inventory Multi-tiered Assessment and Prioritisation (IMAP) framework.

The IMAP framework addresses the human health and environmental impacts of previously unassessed industrial chemicals listed on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (the Inventory).

The framework was developed with significant input from stakeholders and provides a more rapid, flexible and transparent approach for the assessment of chemicals listed on the Inventory.

Stage One of the implementation of this framework, which lasted four years from 1 July 2012, examined 3000 chemicals meeting characteristics identified by stakeholders as needing priority assessment. This included chemicals for which NICNAS already held exposure information, chemicals identified as a concern or for which regulatory action had been taken overseas, and chemicals detected in international studies analysing chemicals present in babies’ umbilical cord blood.

Stage Two of IMAP began in July 2016. We are continuing to assess chemicals on the Inventory, including chemicals identified as a concern for which action has been taken overseas and chemicals that can be rapidly identified and assessed by using Stage One information. We are also continuing to publish information for chemicals on the Inventory that pose a low risk to human health or the environment or both. This work provides efficiencies and enables us to identify higher risk chemicals requiring assessment.

The IMAP framework is a science and risk-based model designed to align the assessment effort with the human health and environmental impacts of chemicals. It has three tiers of assessment, with the assessment effort increasing with each tier. The Tier I assessment is a high throughput approach using tabulated electronic data. The Tier II assessment is an evaluation of risk on a substance-by-substance or chemical category-by-category basis. Tier III assessments are conducted to address specific concerns that could not be resolved during the Tier II assessment.

These assessments are carried out by staff employed by the Australian Government Department of Health and the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy. The human health and environment risk assessments are conducted and published separately, using information available at the time, and may be undertaken at different tiers.

This chemical or group of chemicals are being assessed at Tier II because the Tier I assessment indicated that it needed further investigation.

For more detail on this program please visit:www.nicnas.gov.au

Disclaimer

NICNAS has made every effort to assure the quality of information available in this report. However, before relying on it for a specific purpose, users should obtain advice relevant to their particular circumstances. This report has been prepared by NICNAS using a range of sources, including information from databases maintained by third parties, which include data supplied by industry. NICNAS has not verified and cannot guarantee the correctness of all information obtained from those databases. Reproduction or further distribution of this information may be subject to copyright protection. Use of this information without obtaining the permission from the owner(s) of the respective information might violate the rights of the owner. NICNAS does not take any responsibility whatsoever for any copyright or other infringements that may be caused by using this information.

Grouping Rationale

The compounds in this group consist of mixed oxides and pigments of cobalt, based on a range of oxyanions. The majority of chemicals in this group (pigments) are produced through a calcining process above 1000 °C, resulting in chemically inert and thermally stable compounds with very low water solubility (CPMA, 2013). These compounds have been included in this group due to their similarity in complex structure and related end uses. While the individual oxyanions may vary in toxicological properties, in each case the Co2+ ion is expected to dominate the toxicological profile.

Australian

Safety data sheets (SDS) identify the use of the following chemicals in Australia.

Cobalt aluminate blue, spinel (CAS No. 1345-16-0) has reported domestic use as a pigment in artist/hobbyist paints.

 

The chemicals cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) and cobalt titanate, green, spinel (CAS No. 68186-85-6) have reported commercial use as a pigment in liquid underglaze and in screen printing ink for ceramics respectively.

The chemicals spinels, aluminium chromium cobalt, blue green (CAS No. 68187-11-1) and cobalt titanate, green, spinel (CAS No.68186-85-6) have reported site-limited use as a pigments in cement and silicone sealant manufacture respectively.

International

The following international uses have been identified through European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (EU REACH) dossiers; Galleria Chemica; Substances and Preparations in the Nordic countries (SPIN) database; the European Commission Cosmetic Ingredients and Substances (CosIng) database and the US National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB).

The chemicals C.I. Pigment Black 27 (CAS No. 68186-97-0) and C.I. Pigment Blue 28 (CAS No. 1345-16-0) have reported cosmetic use:

  • as a cosmetic colouring agent; and
  • in skin conditioning preparations.

  

The majority of chemicals in this group have reported domestic use as a colourant or dye in paints, lacquers and varnishes. The chemical spinels, aluminium chromium cobalt, blue green (CAS No. 68187-11-1) is used in construction materials, adhesives and binding agents.

The majority of chemicals in this group have reported commercial use as a colourant or dye in paints, lacquers and varnishes. The chemical cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) is used as a pigment in ceramics and plastics.

The majority of chemicals in this group have reported site-limited use in the manufacture of paints, lacquers and varnishes. The chemicals cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) and spinels, cobalt tin, grey (CAS No. 68187-05-3) are reported as anti-condensation agents and components of anionic surfactants, respectively.

Australian

Cobalt and its compounds are listed in Schedule 10 (prohibited carcinogens, restricted carcinogens and restricted hazardous chemicals) of the Work Health and Safety Regulations for restricted use in abrasive blasting at a concentration of greater than 0.1 % of cobalt (WHS, 2014).

International

No international restrictions have been identified.

Existing Worker Health and Safety Controls

Hazard Classification

The chemical is not listed on the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) (Safe Work Australia).

Australian

No specific exposure standards are available.

International

No specific exposure standards are available.

Limited data are available for the compounds in this group. Available data for some of the chemicals in this group are used as analogue data for other compounds in this group, as there is similarity in stability between the crystalline structures (mixed oxide, spinel or rutile) of the compounds in this group. Also, data show that the Co2+ ion is not biologically available in the majority of rutile and spinel compounds containing cobalt (REACHa-g). Specifically, bioaccessibility studies conducted in artificial biological fluids for several of the chemicals in this group indicate that the Co2+ ion is not biologically available, and therefore biologically inert.

The mixed oxides and pigments in this group are all expected to have lower bioavailability than cobalt oxide, ranging up to the high measured stability of the spinel and rutile structures. Where information is available indicating that the compounds in this group have a spinel/rutile crystalline structure, and/or data indicate that the Co2+ ion is not biologically available, the compounds may be excluded from classification. In the absence of such data, it is expected that the compounds in this group will have a hazard profile ranging between non-toxic to that of cobalt oxide (NICNASa). Cobalt oxides previously assessed by NICNAS are recommended for classification for carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, acute toxicity via the oral and inhalation routes, respiratory and skin sensitisation, and repeated dose toxicity via inhalation. Based on the available data for different compounds in this group, a classification for some compounds may be necessary unless further information becomes available to demonstrate their safety (refer to Recommendation section).

Toxicokinetics

Toxicokinetic data for this group of chemicals is limited to solubility testing conducted in water and artificial biological fluids. Based on data available for several compounds in this group, the water solubility is <0.1 mg/L—insoluble in water (REACHa-g) except for cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) which is slightly soluble in water (<0.9 g/L) (REACHf). Similarly, bioaccessibility testing conducted for some of the chemicals in this group in artificial biological solutions (interstitial fluid, serum, sweat, lysosomal fluid and gastric fluid) has reported low cobalt and other oxyanion concentrations. Based on these data, the chemicals in this group are considered to have low solubility in artificial biological fluids, making them inert and not bioavailable (REACHa-g). Similar to its water solubility, cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) is partially bioaccessible in artificial gastric fluid with dissolved Co2+ concentrations ranging from 0.09 - 29.3 mg/L (REACHf).

Oral

Based on available data, the chemicals in this group have low acute toxicity following acute oral exposure. The median lethal dose (LD50) in rats was greater than 2000 mg/kg bw in animal tests conducted according to OECD Test Guidelines (TG).

In a study conducted similarly to OECD TG 401, 10 male Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were administered 10000 mg/kg bw cobalt aluminate blue, spinel (CAS No. 1345-16-0) once via oral gavage and observed for 14 days. No mortality was reported, but reports of sub-lethal effects included mild depression, faecal stains, blue stains on fur and blue mucoid-like stained faeces. No gross pathological changes were reported on necropsy (REACHa).

In a study conducted according to OECD TG 423, six female SD rats were administered 2000 mg/kg bw aluminium cobalt oxide (CAS No. 12672-27-4) once via oral gavage and observed for 14 days. No mortality or treatment related effects were reported (REACHb).

In a study conducted similarly to OECD TG 423, three males and three females were administered 2000 mg/kg bw C.I. Pigment Black 27 (CAS No. 68186-97-0) once via oral gavage and observed for 14 days. No mortality or adverse effects were observed (REACHe).

In a study conducted similarly to OECD TG 401, five male and five female Wistar rats were administered 215, 1000 or 2200 mg/kg bw cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) once via oral gavage and observed for 14 days. Based on four male and three female mortalities in the 2200 mg/kg and one male and one female mortality in the 1000 mg/kg group, this chemical has a reported LD50 of 1630 mg/kg in this study. Although, two further studies conducted according to OECD TG 423 in male and female Crj: CD(SD) rats did not report any mortality or adverse effects of a single 2000 mg/kg bw administration of the chemical (REACHf).

Dermal

No data are available. Although, considering that the absorption of soluble cobalt chloride was less than 1 % through intact guinea pig skin, acute toxicity through the dermal route is not expected for chemicals in this group (CoRC, 2014).

Inhalation

Based on available data, the chemicals in this group have low acute toxicity following acute inhalation exposure. The median lethal concentration (LC50) in rats is greater than 5 mg/L for the chemicals studied in animal tests conducted according to OECD Test Guidelines (TG).

In three studies conducted according to OECD TG 436, three male and three female Crj: CD(SD) rats were exposed to a single four hour inhalation exposure of 5.06 mg/L of spinels, aluminium cobalt zinc, blue (CAS No. 68186-87-8), C.I. Pigment Black 27 (CAS No. 68186-97-0) or spinels, aluminium chromium cobalt, blue green (CAS No. 68187-11-1) and observed for 14 days. No mortality was observed but sub-lethal effects of moderate ataxia, slight tremor and slight dyspnoea were observed in all animals (REACHd-e; REACHg).

In a study carried out similarly to OECD TG 403, five male and five female Wistar rats were exposed to a single four hour inhalation exposure of 2.45 or 5.3 mg/L cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) and observed for 14 days. No mortality was observed in the 2.45 mg/L group but 2/5 males and 1/5 females died in the 5.3 mg/L group. Animals which died had general congestion and severe hyperaemia of the lungs. Other sub-lethal effects reported included irregular respiration, piloerection in the 2.45 mg/L group, and accelerated respiration, piloerection and bloody nose in the 5.3 mg/L group. The reported LC50 for this chemical is > 5.3 mg/L (REACHf).

With respect to other chemicals in this group, in the absence of structural data indicating a spinel/rutile crystalline structure, or data showing evidence that the Co2+ ion is not biologically available, these chemicals should be classified for acute inhalation toxicity, similar to cobalt oxide (NICNASa) (refer to Regulatory Control–Occupational Health and Safety).

Skin Irritation

Based on available data, the chemicals in this group are not skin irritants. Several of the chemicals in this group produced mild to no skin irritation in animal tests conducted according to OECD Test Guidelines.

In a study carried out similarly to OECD TG 404, 0.5 g cobalt aluminate blue, spinel (CAS No. 1345-16-0) was applied to the shaved skin of six male New Zealand White rabbits under occlusive conditions for four hours. After removal of the chemical, animals were monitored at 1, 24, 48 and 72 hours. No dermal irritation was observed at any of the time points in the study (REACHa).

In a study carried out similarly to OECD TG 404, application of 0.5 g of C.I. Pigment Black 27 (CAS No. 68186-97-0) under semiocclusive conditions to the shaved backs of three male New Zealand White rabbits for four hours produced mild erythema which resolved within 24 hours (REACHe).

In a study carried out similarly to OECD TG 404, application of 0.5 g of cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) under semiocclusive conditions to the shaved backs of one male and two female Vienna White rabbits for four hours produced mild erythema which resolved within 24 hours. A further study carried out in New Zealand White rabbits also concluded that the chemical was not irritating (REACHa; REACHf).

Three in vitro studies carried out according to OECD TG 431 with the chemicals spinels, aluminium chromium cobalt, blue green (CAS NO. 68187-11-1), aluminium cobalt oxide (CAS No. 12672-27-4) and spinels, aluminium cobalt zinc, blue (CAS No. 68186-87-8) were reported to indicate the chemicals were not irritating (REACHb; REACHd; REACHg).

Eye Irritation

Based on available data, the chemicals in this group are not irritating to the eye. Several of the chemicals in this group produced mild to no eye irritation in animal tests conducted according to OECD Test Guidelines.

Administration of 0.01 g of cobalt aluminate blue, spinel (CAS No. 1345-16-0) to two male New Zealand White rabbits resulted in mild conjunctival redness which resolved within four and 24 hours, respectively. No further details are available (REACHa).

In two studies conducted according to OECD TG 405, administration of 0.1 g of spinels, aluminium cobalt zinc, blue (CAS No. 68186-87-8) or spinels, aluminium chromium cobalt, blue green (CAS No.68187-11-1) into one eye of three male Himalayan rabbits resulted in mild conjunctival redness which resolved within 24 hours (REACHd; REACHg).

In two studies conducted similarly to OECD TG 405, administration of 0.1 g of C.I. Pigment Black 27 (CAS No. 68186-97-0) or cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) into one eye of three male New Zealand White rabbits resulted in mild erythema of the conjunctivae which resolved within 24 hours (REACHe-f). Also,  a similar study conducted in Vienna White rabbits with cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) showed mild conjunctivitis, discharge from the eyes and chemosis at the one and 48 hour time points. These observations resolved during the study period (REACHf).

The chemical aluminium cobalt oxide (CAS No. 12672-27-4) was not irritating in an in vitro study carried out according to OECD TG 437 (REACHb).

Respiratory Sensitisation

No data are available for this group of compounds. In the absence of structural data showing a spinel/rutile crystalline structure or data showing that the Co2+ ion is not biologically available, chemicals in this group should be classified in the HSIS as hazardous with the risk phrase ‘May cause sensitisation by inhalation’ (Xn; R42), similar to the recommendation for cobalt oxide (NICNASa) (refer to Regulatory Control–Occupational Health and Safety).

Skin Sensitisation

Based on available local lymph node assay (LLNA) data for four of the chemicals in this group the chemicals are not skin sensitisers in animal tests conducted according to OECD Test Guidelines.

LLNA assays conducted similarly to OECD TG 429 for the chemicals with spinels, aluminium cobalt zinc, blue (CAS No. 68186-87-8), C.I. Pigment Black 27 (CAS No. 68186-97-0),  spinels, aluminium chromium cobalt, blue green (CAS No. 68187-11-1) and  cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) in NMRI mice reported that the chemicals in this group are not sensitising at concentrations of 10, 25 or 50 % (REACHa; REACHc; REACHf; REACHg).

With respect to other chemicals in this group, in the absence of structural data indicating a spinel/rutile crystalline structure, or data showing evidence that the Co2+ ion is not biologically available, these chemicals should be classified for skin sensitisation similarly to cobalt oxide (NICNASa) (refer to Regulatory Control–Occupational Health and Safety).

Oral

No repeat dose toxicity studies have been conducted for the chemicals in this group. The systemic toxicity of orally administered cobalt pigments is expected to be related to the bioaccessibility of the Co2+ ion. Bioaccessibility studies conducted in several of the pigments in this group have reported very low levels of the Co2+ ion release into artificial biological solutions, including artificial gastric fluid (REACHa-g). Therefore, chemicals in this group with a spinel/rutile crystalline structure are not expected to cause serious damage to health from repeated oral exposure.

Also, data available for soluble cobalt compounds, in particular cobalt sulfate heptahydrate (CAS No. 10026-24-1) and cobalt chloride hexahydrate (CAS No. 7791-13-1), which are highly bioaccessible in artificial gastric fluid, show that the main effect after repeated oral exposure is polycythaemia (increased erythrocytes). As this effect is reversible after cessation of exposure (NICNASb), the severity and/or reversibility of effects seen in these studies (NICNASb) do not meet the criteria for hazard classification.

Dermal

No data are available.

Considering that the absorption of soluble cobalt chloride was less than 1 % through intact guinea pig skin, it is not expected that the chemicals in this group will be absorbed due to its lower solubility in water (ATSDR, 2004; REACH) and artificial sweat compared with cobalt chloride (CoRC, 2014).

Inhalation

No data are available for this group of compounds. Considering the very low release of the Co2+ ion into artificial alveolar fluid in bioaccessibility studies with several pigments in this group (REACHa-g), repeat dose toxicity via inhalation is not expected for chemicals in this group with a spinel/rutile crystalline structure.

For all other chemicals in this group, in the absence of structural data showing a spinel/rutile crystalline structure or data showing that the Co2+ ion is not biologically available, chemicals in this group should be classified in the HSIS as Toxic with the risk phrase ‘danger of serious damage to health by prolonged exposure through inhalation’ (T; R48/23), similar to the recommendation for cobalt oxide (NICNASa) (refer to Regulatory Control–Occupational Health and Safety).

Genotoxicity

Limited data are available for the chemicals in this group. In vitro studies using the Ames test reported for three chemicals in this group were negative (OECD TG 471). Based on this information and the inertness of chemicals with spinel and rutile structures, the chemicals in this group are not expected to be genotoxic.

In a study conducted according to OECD TG 471, incubation of cobalt aluminate blue, spinel (CAS No. 1345-16-0) 10–5000 mg/plate with Salmonella typhimurium strains (TA97a, TA98, TA100 and TA 1535) with or without metabolic activation did not induce mutagenicity (REACHa).

In a study conducted according to OECD TG 471, incubation of aluminium cobalt oxide (CAS No. 12672-27-4) 51–5004 mg/plate with S. typhimurium strains (TA102, TA97a, TA98, TA100 and TA 1535) with or without metabolic activation did not induce mutagenicity (REACHb).

In a study conducted similarly to OECD TG 471, incubation of cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) 0–5000 mg/plate with S. typhimurium strains (TA98 and TA100) with or without metabolic activation did not induce mutagenicity (REACHc).

Carcinogenicity

There are no specific carcinogenicity studies conducted on chemicals in this group.

Due to the low bioaccessibility of spinel/rutile compounds in this group, the Co2+ ion is not expected to be biologically available. The mechanisms of carcinogenicity for cobalt compounds found to be carcinogenic by IARC (IARC, 2006) have not been clearly identified, making read across for compounds of different solubility difficult. Further studies are required to investigate the specific mode of action prior to recommending classification.

No data are available for this group of compounds. As discussed in the Repeat Dose Toxicity section, chemicals in this group with a spinel/rutile crystalline structure are expected to have very low bioavailability as determined by bioaccessibility studies in artificial biological fluids (REACHa-g). Therefore, these chemicals are not expected to show specific reproductive or developmental toxicity.

For all other chemicals in this group, in the absence of structural data showing a spinel/rutile crystalline structure or data showing that the Co2+ ion is not biologically available, chemicals in this group should be classified in the HSIS as a Category 2 reproductive substance with the risk phrase ‘May impair fertility’ (T; R60), similar to the recommendation for cobalt oxide (NICNASa) (refer to Regulatory Control–Occupational Health and Safety).

Critical Health Effects

The critical health effects for the compounds in this group are dependent on the biological availability of the Co2+ ion. Compounds in this group with spinel or rutile crystalline structures are not expected to release the Co2+ ion as it is incorporated within a very stable mineral lattice, where it is inert, and therefore having no toxicological effects (REACHa-g). Where data on the biological availability of the Co2+ ion are not available, the critical health effects may approach those of cobalt oxide (NICNASa). These include a systemic long-term effect (reproductive toxicity), systemic acute effect (acute toxicity from oral and inhalation exposure) and local effects (skin and respiratory sensitisation). The chemicals may also cause toxic effects following repeated exposure through inhalation. There are insufficient data to enable classification for carcinogenicity (NICNASa).

Public Risk Characterisation

Domestic use of the chemicals in this group may occur in arts and craft paints in Australia. Overseas, some of the compounds in this group have cosmetic and domestic uses. However, the chemicals used in cosmetic or domestic products have shown to release the Co2+ ion in negligible amounts, making these biologically inert. Therefore the risk to the public is not considered to be unreasonable.

 

The public may also come into contact with articles or coated surfaces containing these chemicals. It is expected that the chemicals will be bound within the article or coated surface and hence will not be bioavailable. Therefore the risk to the public is not considered to be unreasonable.

Occupational Risk Characterisation

During use of these chemicals, dermal, ocular and inhalation exposure of workers to the chemicals may occur, particularly where manual or open processes are used. These may include transfer and blending activities, quality control analysis, and cleaning and maintenance of equipment. Worker exposure to the chemicals at lower concentrations may also occur while using formulated products containing the chemicals. The level and route of exposure will vary depending on the method of application and work practices employed.

Given the critical health effects of chemicals that may release the Co2+ ion at levels approaching that of cobalt oxide, these chemicals may pose an unreasonable risk to workers unless adequate control measures to minimise dermal and inhalation exposure to the chemicals are implemented. These chemicals should be appropriately classified and labelled to ensure that a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) at a workplace (such as an employer) has adequate information to determine appropriate controls.

NICNAS Recommendation

Assessment of the compounds in this group is considered to be sufficient, provided that the recommended amendment to the classification is adopted, and labelling and all other requirements are met under workplace health and safety and poisons legislation as adopted by the relevant state or territory.

Work Health and Safety

The chemical in this group are recommended for classification and labelling under the current approved criteria and adopted GHS as below. This assessment does not consider classification of physical hazards and environmental hazards.

The classifications are to be applied to all compounds in this group except for cobalt aluminate blue, spinel (CAS No. 1345-16-0), aluminium cobalt oxide (CAS No. 12672-27-4), cobalt titanate, green spinel (CAS No. 68186-85-6), spinels, aluminium cobalt zinc, blue (CAS No. 68186-87-8), C.I pigment black 27 (CAS No. 68186-97-0), cobalt silicate, blue olivine (CAS No. 68187-40-6) and spinels, aluminium chromium cobalt, blue green (CAS No. 68187-11-1) as it has been demonstrated that the biological availability of Co2+ ions from these rutile, spinel or mixed oxide compounds is negligible (REACHa-g). With respect to other compounds in this group, if it can be demonstrated that the Co2+ ions are incorporated in a highly stable mineral lattice, making them inert, not biologically available and therefore of no toxicological significance, then the classification(s) need not apply.

Hazard Approved Criteria (HSIS)a GHS Classification (HCIS)b
Acute Toxicity Very toxic by inhalation (T+; R26) Fatal if inhaled - Cat. 2 (H330)
Sensitisation May cause sensitisation by inhalation (Xn, R42) May cause sensitisation by skin contact (Xi; R43) May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled - Cat. 1 (H334) May cause an allergic skin reaction - Cat. 1 (H317)
Repeat Dose Toxicity Toxic: danger of serious damage to health by prolonged exposure through inhalation (T; R48/23) Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure through inhalation - Cat. 1 (H372)
Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity Repro. Cat 2 - May impair fertility (T; R60) May damage fertility - Cat. 1B (H360F)

a Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances [NOHSC:1008(2004)].

b Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) United Nations, 2009. Third Edition.

* Existing Hazard Classification. No change recommended to this classification

Advice for industry

Control measures

Control measures to minimise the risk from dermal and inhalation exposure to the chemicals should be implemented in accordance with the hierarchy of controls. Approaches to minimise risk include substitution, isolation and engineering controls. Measures required to eliminate or minimise risk arising from storing, handling and using a hazardous chemical depend on the physical form and the manner in which the chemical is used. Examples of control measures which may minimise the risk include, but are not limited to:

  • using closed systems or isolating operations;
  • using local exhaust ventilation to prevent the chemical from entering the breathing zone of any worker;
  • health monitoring for any worker who is at risk of exposure to the chemical if valid techniques are available to monitor the effect on the worker’s health;
  • minimising manual processes and work tasks through automating processes;
  • work procedures that minimise splashes and spills;
  • regularly cleaning equipment and work areas; and
  • using protective equipment that is designed, constructed, and operated to ensure that the worker does not come into contact with the chemical.

Guidance on managing risks from hazardous chemicals are provided in the Managing risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace—Code of practice  available on the Safe Work Australia website.

Personal protective equipment should not solely be relied upon to control risk and should only be used when all other reasonably practicable control measures do not eliminate or sufficiently minimise risk. Guidance in selecting personal protective equipment can be obtained from Australian, Australian/New Zealand or other approved standards.

Obligations under workplace health and safety legislation

Information in this report should be taken into account to assist with meeting obligations under workplace health and safety legislation as adopted by the relevant state or territory.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • ensuring that hazardous chemicals are correctly classified and labelled;
  • ensuring that (material) safety data sheets ((m)SDS) containing accurate information about the hazards (relating to both health hazards and physicochemical (physical) hazards) of the chemical are prepared; and
  • managing risks arising from storing, handling and using a hazardous chemical.

Your work health and safety regulator should be contacted for information on the work health and safety laws in your jurisdiction.

Information on how to prepare an (m)SDS and how to label containers of hazardous chemicals are provided in relevant codes of practice such as the Preparation of safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals— Code of practice and Labelling of workplace hazardous chemicals—Code of practice, respectively. These codes of practice are available from the Safe Work Australia website.

A review of the physical hazards of the chemicals has not been undertaken as part of this assessment.

References

Color Pigments Manufacturers Association (CPMA), INC. CPMA classification of chemical descriptions and usage of the complex inorganic colour pigments (January 2013 update). Accessed June 2014 at http://www.pigments.org/cms/index.php?id=250

Cosmetics Directive (CosIng). Accessed May 2014 at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/

Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). National Library of Medicine. Accessed on June 2014 at http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 1991. Cobalt and Cobalt compounds, IARC Monographs Volume 52. Accessed May 2014 at http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol52/index.php

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2006. IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Volume 86. Cobalt in Hard Metals and cobalt sulfate, gallium arsenide, idium phosphide and vanadium pentoxide. Accessed in March 2014 at http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol86/mono86.pdf

National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNASa). Inventory Multi-Tiered and Prioritisation (IMAP): Human Health Tier II Assessment for Cobalt oxide. Available at http://www.nicnas.gov.au/chemical-information/imap-assessments/imap-assessments

National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNASb). Tier II Human health assessment for Soluble cobalt (II) and salts. Australian Government Department of Health. Accessed April 2014 at http://www.nicnas.gov.au/chemical-information/imap-assessments/imap-group-assessment-report?assessment_id=952

REACH Dossier (REACH). Aluminium cobalt oxide (CAS No. 12672-27-4) (REACHb). Accessed June 2014 at http://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/registered-substances.

REACH Dossier (REACH). Cobalt aluminate blue spinel (CAS No. 1345-16-0) (REACHa). Accessed June 2014 at http://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/registered-substances.

REACH Dossier (REACH). Cobalt chromite blue green spinel (CAS No. 68187-11-1) (REACHg). Accessed June 2014 at http://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/registered-substances.

REACH Dossier (REACH). Cobalt titanate green spinel (CAS No. 68186-85-6) (REACHc). Accessed June 2014 at http://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/registered-substances.

REACH Dossier (REACH). Cobalt zinc aluminate blue spinel (CAS No. 68186-87-8) (REACHd). Accessed June 2014 at http://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/registered-substances.

REACH Dossier (REACH). Iron cobalt chromite black spinel (CAS No. 68186-97-0) (REACHe). Accessed June 2014 at http://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/registered-substances.

REACH Dossier (REACH). Olivine, cobalt silicate blue (CAS No. 68187-40-6) (REACHf). Accessed June 2014 at http://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/registered-substances.

Safe Work Australia (SWA). Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS). Accessed May 2014 at http://hsis.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/HazardousSubstance

Substances in Preparations in Nordic Countries (SPIN). Accessed June 2014 at http://188.183.47.4/dotnetnuke/Home/tabid/58/Default.aspx

The Cobalt REACH Consortium Ltd. 2014 (CoRC, 2014). Chemical Safety Report for Cobalt Oxide, CAS RN 1307-96-6 EC Number 215-154-6. March 2014. Unpublished report submitted to National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme under the Inventory Multi-tiered Assessment and Prioritisation framework.

Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations 2014. Schedule 10 - Prohibited carcinogens, restricted carcinogens and restricted hazardous chemicals. Accessed May 2014 at http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/model-whs-regulations

Last Update 27 November 2014