What is the classification and labelling of crystalline silica (fine fraction) under the CLP Regulation?

As of 1 December 2010, suppliers have to label and package hazardous substances according to the CLP Regulation.

Fine fraction particles contained within products may become airborne during handling and use, in which case they may become respirable particles. Therefore, having conducted a Review and Hazard Assessment of the health effects of respirable crystalline silica (see summary) in accordance with the CLP Regulation, industrial minerals producers have jointly determined it best and appropriate to classify crystalline silica (fine fraction) (quartz (fine fraction) and cristobalite (fine fraction)) as STOT RE 1 for the silicosis hazard (see sample label). STOT refers to Specific Target Organ Toxicity. RE refers to “Repeated Exposure”. Based upon scientific evidence, it is generally necessary to inhale significant quantities of RCS in an occupational setting for prolonged and repeated periods of time before any possible health effect may occur.

This classification applies to the fine fraction of quartz and cristobalite only, because it is scientifically demonstrated that it is only this fraction of crystalline silica which may cause health effects. The CLP Regulation allows consideration of the physical form(s) or physical state(s) of substance or mixture.  See complete memo on the RCS classification decision.