Silicones & siloxanes
We all know silicone as a building material for sealing joints in bathrooms, for example. However, silicones are used in a much wider range of applications. Among other things, liquid silicones or siloxanes are very popular in cosmetics because they can moisturise the skin by forming a film that does not feel sticky. They are also a common ingredient in maintenance products, such as for applying a water-repellent or gloss coating to solar panels, vehicles, furniture, clothing, paper, etc.
Globally, more than 10 million tonnes of siloxanes are produced annually. It is observed that siloxanes, like PFAS, are bio persistent: they accumulate in nature because they are difficult to degrade. The health risk to humans lies mainly in the inhalation of the volatile siloxanes
incorporated directly into maintenance products. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) placed these siloxanes on the list of substances of very high concern and published strict safety limits (DNELs) for inhaling them. Vigilance is needed when using maintenance products and when storing goods treated with these products.