Tissue-based risk assessment of cyclic volatile methyl siloxanes



Cyclic volatile methyl siloxanes (cVMS) are important consumer materials that are used in personal care products and industrial applications. These compounds have gained increased attention in recent years following the implementation of chemical legislation programs worldwide. Industry-wide research programs are being conducted to characterize the persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT) properties of cVMS materials. As part of this larger effort, a tissue-based risk assessment was performed to further inform the regulatory decision-making process. Measured tissue concentrations of cVMS compounds in fish and benthic invertebrates are compared with critical target lipid body burdens (CTLBBs) as estimated with the target lipid model (TLM) to evaluate risk. Acute and chronic toxicity data for cVMS compounds are compared with data for nonpolar organic chemicals to validate application of the TLM in this effort. The analysis was extended to estimate the contribution from metabolites to the overall cVMS-derived tissue residues using a food chain model calibrated to laboratory and field data. Concentrations of cVMS materials in biota from several trophic levels (e.g., invertebrates, fish) are well below the estimated CTLBBs associated with acute and chronic effects. This analysis, when combined with the limited biomagnification potential for cVMS compounds that was observed in the field, suggests that there is little risk of adverse effects from cVMS materials under present-day emission levels. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012; 31: 1911–1919. © 2012 SETAC