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Keywords:

  • Antimony;
  • Antimony compounds;
  • Hazard classification;
  • REACH;
  • Speciation;
  • Transformation/Dissolution

Abstract

Speciation is held to be a key factor in controlling the ecotoxicity of metals in solution. Using the United Nations transformation/dissolution protocol (T/DP) for metals and sparingly soluble metal compounds, we have examined the transformation/dissolution (T/D) characteristics in terms of the concentrations of total dissolved Sb at pH 6 and 8.5 in 1, 10, and 100 mg/L loadings over 7 d as well as the concentrations of Sb(III) and Sb(V) at the 1 mg/L loadings over 28 d, of sodium hexahydroxoantimonate (NaSb(OH)6), antimony metal (Sb), antimony trioxide (Sb2O3), antimony sulfide (Sb2S3), sodium antimonate (NaSbO3), antimony tris(ethylene glycolate) (Sb2(C2H4O2)3), antimony trichloride (SbCl3), antimony triacetate (Sb(CH3COO)3), and antimony pentoxide (Sb2O5). We also measured the concentrations of the dissolved Sb(III) and Sb(V) species at the 1 mg/L loadings. Because of complexing, the trivalent organic Sb compounds exhibited little or no oxidation of Sb(III) to Sb(V). However, oxidation of Sb(III) to Sb(V) was evident for the trivalent inorganic Sb compounds. Conversely, with pentavalent Sb compounds, there was no reduction of Sb(V) to Sb(III). Based on the percentage of Sb in the compound dissolved or metal reacted at 28 d and 1 mg/L loadings, the solubility rankings at pH 6 are NaSb(OH)6 > Sb(CH3COO)3 > Sb metal > Sb2(C2H4O2)3 > Sb2S3 > Sb2O3 > NaSbO3 ≈ SbCl3 > Sb2O5. For pH 8.5 the order is NaSb(OH)6 > Sb(CH3COO)3 > Sb metal > Sb2(C2H4O2)3 > SbCl3 > Sb2O3 > Sb2S3 > NaSbO3 > Sb2O5. We provide worked examples of how the T/D data have been used to derive hazard classification proposals for Sb metal and these selected compounds for submission to the European Chemicals Agency under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of CHemicals (REACH) legislation. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2013; 9: 98–113. © 2012 SETAC