New criteria document on silicon carbide
The Nordic Expert Group (NEG) (chair professor Gunnar Johanson, IMM) has evaluated the health effects of silicon carbide (SiC) in the work environment. NEG concluded that angular (non-fibrous) SiC should be considered to be of similar toxicity as other poorly soluble, low toxicity (PSLT) dusts. Fibrous SiC should be considered to be equally potent as amphibole asbestos fibres.
Silicon carbide is a rare naturally occurring mineral but manufactured industrially at a large scale. SiC is thermally and chemically very stable with the most characteristic properties being hardness and brittleness. Traditionally, the most important use of angular SiC is as an abrasive and in cutting devices. Fibrous SiC is formed unintentionally during the production of angular SiC, but is also manufactured for specific use such as strengthening of composite materials and in electronic components.