Benthic invertebrate exposure and chronic toxicity risk analysis for cyclic volatile methylsiloxanes: Comparison of hazard quotient and probabilistic risk assessment approaches

Chemosphere. 2018 Feb;192:337-347. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.10.140. Epub 2017 Oct 28.


This study utilized probabilistic risk assessment techniques to compare field sediment concentrations of the cyclic volatile methylsiloxane (cVMS) materials octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4, CAS # 556-67-2), decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5, CAS # 541-02-6), and dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (D6, CAS # 540-97-6) to effect levels for these compounds determined in laboratory chronic toxicity tests with benthic organisms. The concentration data for D4/D5/D6 in sediment were individually sorted and the 95th centile concentrations determined in sediment on an organic carbon (OC) fugacity basis. These concentrations were then compared to interpolated 5th centile benthic sediment no-observed effect concentration (NOEC) fugacity levels, calculated from a distribution of chronic D4/D5/D6 toxicologic assays per OECD guidelines using a variety of standard benthic species. The benthic invertebrate fugacity biota NOEC values were then compared to field-measured invertebrate biota fugacity levels to see if risk assessment evaluations were similar on a field sediment and field biota basis. No overlap was noted for D4 and D5 95th centile sediment and biota fugacity levels and their respective 5th centile benthic organism NOEC values. For D6, there was a small level of overlap at the exposure 95th centile sediment fugacity and the 5th centile benthic organism NOEC fugacity value; the sediment fugacities indicate that a negligible risk (1%) exists for benthic species exposed to D6. In contrast, there was no indication of risk when the field invertebrate exposure 95th centile biota fugacity and the 5th centile benthic organism NOEC fugacity values were compared.

Keywords: Benthic macroinvertebrates; Cyclic methylsiloxanes; Fugacity; Hazard quotient; Probabilistic risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biota / drug effects
  • Invertebrates / drug effects
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Siloxanes / toxicity*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*


  • Siloxanes
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • decamethylcyclopentasiloxane
  • octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane
  • dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane