Like any other chemical, cobalt and cobalt compounds have their very own physicochemical properties. These properties make cobalt and cobalt compounds critical for many key technological applications.
The reactivity they grant to cobalt substances also explains these substances’ inherent potential to cause toxicity in humans and animals, or eco-toxicity in the environment. The Cobalt Institute has been leading research on these issues for years, which has resulted in an extended knowledge base on the nature and extent of these inherent hazards. It also enabled the industry to determine applicable hazard classifications. Knowing and communicating about the possible hazards related to cobalt substances is key to facilitating a safe use of these important technology enablers.
Known hazards and related classification and labelling obligations applicable in the EU can be found in the EU Classification table. In addition to classification that must be applied by law in each jurisdiction, the Cobalt Institute also works on developing its own recommendations on classifications, considering the most recent and reliable research outcomes.
The new EU classification for regulation on cobalt metal became law on 1 October 2021. The Cobalt Institute developed a summary of the applicable classification and a Q&A on this topic.