In the early eighties of the 20th Century, zeolites were developed for use as environmentally friendly alternative for phosphates in laundry detergents, a consumer goods application. The zeolites under evaluation therefore went through extensive toxicological testing and were shown to be non-toxic to living organisms.
In particular, no allergenic or irritancy potential was identified upon skin contact or inhalation. Furthermore zeolites have no acute systemic toxic properties if swallowed, after dermal contact or upon inhalation. Inhalation tests revealed no evidence of silicosis caused by Zeolites. This has been confirmed by factory medical officers observing operators working in plants manufacturing and processing zeolites over a prolonged period of many years.
Typical zeolites (non-fibrous) have been shown to be devoid of any mutagenic potential. Long-term inhalation studies produced no evidence of chronic toxicity or carcinogenicity. From development toxicity studies both in rats and rabbits there are no indications for any teratogenic potential.
Due to their lack of hazardous properties, typical zeolites (non-fibous) are not classified as "dangerous substances" under chemicals, dangerous substances or transport regulations. Some very specific grades are classified but do not come into contact with consumers.