Toxicology of decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5)

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016 Feb;74 Suppl:S67-76. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2015.06.011. Epub 2015 Jun 22.


Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) is a cyclic siloxane used in the formulation of consumer products as well as an industrial intermediate. A summary of the previous studies on the toxicology of D5 is provided. Toxicokinetic studies with D5 after dermal administration demonstrate a very low uptake of due to rapid evaporation. Following inhalation exposure, exhalation of unchanged D5 and excretion of metabolites with urine are major pathways for clearance in mammals. Due to this rapid clearance by exhalation, the potential for bioaccumulation of D5 is considered unlikely. The available toxicity data on D5 adequately cover the relevant endpoints regarding potential human health hazards. D5 was not DNA reactive or mutagenic in standard in vitro and in vivo test systems. D5 also did not induce developmental and reproductive toxicity in appropriately performed studies. In repeated studies in rats with subacute, subchronic and chronic inhalation exposure, mild effects on the respiratory tract typically seen after inhalation of irritating materials, increases in liver weight (28- and 90-day inhalation studies), and a small increase in the incidence of uterine adenocarcinoma (uterine tumor) in female rats (two-year inhalation chronic bioassay) were observed. The liver effects induced by D5 were consistent with D5 as a weak "phenobarbital-like" inducer of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes and these effects are considered to be an adaptive response. Mechanistic studies to elucidate the mode-of-action for uterine tumor induction suggest an interaction of D5 with dopamine signal transduction pathways altering the pituitary control of the estrus cycle. The resulting estrogen imbalance may cause the small increase in uterine tumor incidence at the highest D5-exposure concentration over that seen in control rats. A genotoxic mechanism or a direct endocrine activity of D5 is not supported as a mode-of-action to account for the induction of uterine tumors by the available data.

Keywords: Carcinogenicity; Enzyme induction; Reproductive toxicity; Silicones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemically induced
  • Animals
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • Respiratory System / drug effects
  • Respiratory System / pathology
  • Siloxanes / pharmacokinetics
  • Siloxanes / toxicity*


  • Siloxanes
  • decamethylcyclopentasiloxane