Silicon dioxide – Exposure

Humans constantly come into contact with amorphous silicon dioxides contained in numerous foods as fillers, flow promoters or additives (E551).

Silicon dioxide is a naturally occurring compound and crystalline silicon dioxide is the major constituent of sand. In case of environmental exposure, it is therefore difficult to distinguish between naturally occurring and technically produced nanoforms of silicon dioxide.

While silicon dioxides have been the subject of numerous studies for many decades, they have now come to the fore again as „nanoparticles“. Reactions on these particles are different, depending on the cell types and the crystal structures of the SiO2[1].

Apart from studies on cell cultures outside the body (in vitro), experiments are performed on laboratory animals (in vivo) over longer periods of time (several days through to several months). While ultrahigh does of silicon dioxide (SiO2) trigger inflammatory reactions, treatment with lower doses is observed not to effect toxicity in animals.

 

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