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explosive properties of explosives
Data waiving:
study scientifically not necessary / other information available
Justification for data waiving:
the study does not need to be conducted because there are no chemical groups present in the molecule which are associated with explosive properties
Justification for type of information:
Assessment of explosive properties
Experimental techniques are available for the classification of a substance or preparation as explosive. These are described in EC Test A14. However, according to the OECD testing methods publication, test A14 need not be carried out when examination of the structural formula establishes beyond reasonable doubt that the substance has no explosive properties (i.e. it is not capable of rapid gas or heat release).

The UN Transport of Dangerous Goods, Manual of Tests and Criteria – which is referred to in the OECD testing publication – presents a reasonably comprehensive procedure through which exemption can be assessed. The following abstracts are taken from the UN publication:
“Explosive properties are associated with the presence of certain chemical groups in a molecule which can react to produce very rapid increases in temperature or pressure. The screening procedure is aimed at identifying the presence of such reactive groups and the potential for energy release”.
“Explosives testing need not be applied where:
a) There are no chemical groups associated with explosive properties present in the molecule. Examples of explosive groups are given in the table below.
b) The substance contains chemical groups associated with explosive properties which include oxygen and the calculated oxygen balance is less than -200.
c) The organic substance or homogenous mixture of organic substances contain chemical groups associated with explosive properties but the exothermic decomposition is below 500 °C. The exothermic decomposition energy may be determined using a suitable calorimetric technique”.

Examples of functional groups indicating explosive properties in organic materials:
Structural feature Examples
C-C unsaturation Acetylenes, acetylides, 1,2-dienes
C-metal, N-metal Grignard reagents, organolithium compounds
Contiguous nitrogen atoms Azides, aliphatic azo compounds, diazonium salts, hydrazines, sulphonylhydrazides
Contiguous oxygen atoms Peroxides, oxonides
N-O Hydroxylamines, nitrates, nitro compounds, nitroso compounds, N-oxides, 1,2-oxazoles
N-Halogen Chloramines, fluoramines
O-Halogen Chlorates, perchlorates, iodosyl compounds

Assessment of explosive properties of potassium pentaborate
Examination of the structural formula indicates:
• There are no chemical groups associated with explosive properties.
• The oxygen is not bound in energetic functional groups – it is bound in BO groups which do not possess explosive behaviour.
Based on this combination of factors, it is beyond reasonable doubt that the material will not exhibit explosive properties. There are no elements of the screening procedure which begin to suggest that explosive properties may be exhibited by the substance. The conduct of the A14 test is therefore not considered appropriate.

Data source

Reference Type:
study report
Report date:

Materials and methods

Results and discussion

Applicant's summary and conclusion