Toxicity of cadmium telluride, copper indium diselenide, and copper gallium diselenide



This paper reviews recently derived toxicity data for Copper Indium Diselenide (CIS), Cadmium Gallium Diselenide (CGS) and Cadmium Telluride (CT), promising new materials on which a new generation of thin-film photovoltaic cells for generating electricity may be based. The new data deal with systemic and reproductive toxicity, acute pulmonary toxicity, and comparative pulmonary absorption, distribution and toxicity of these materials in laboratory rats. CT is shown to have higher lung toxicity than CIS, with the CGS toxicity being the lowest in the group. These data are extended to human exposure levels and exposure limits for CT are derived. The implications of these findings to the photovoltaic industry are also discussed. Published in 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This article is a U.S. Government Work and is in the public domain in the United States.