Skip to main content
Consensus Study Report


The predominant way of making steel in the United Sates is by using an electric arc furnace (EAF) to melt scrap steel, which results in the formation of a rock-like material called slag. Among its various applications, EAF slag is used in a loose or unencapsulated form as ground cover material for residential landscaping. However, the slag generated from the EAF process can contain toxic metals, which can be hazardous to human and environmental health.

This report, conducted at the request of the U.S. EPA, discusses the relative hazard of key EAF slag constituents, the extent to which they may be released into the environment, and important aspects in assessing human exposures and risk. Due to uncertainties in the current evidence stream, the report was unable to make an overall characterization of risk related to unencapsulated EAF slag use in the United States and cautions against making generalizations from conclusions in published risk assessments. The report also identifies research needs to better understand factors considered to have the potential to contribute to the highest risks from the use of unencapsulated EAF slag, such as human exposure to dust particles that may be released over time from applied slag.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Health Risk Considerations for the Use of Unencapsulated Steel Slag. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

164 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-70011-5

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Rightslink service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Rightslink, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Rightslink allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Rightslink you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the National Academies Press (NAP) through Rightslink:

  • Republish text, tables, figures, or images in print
  • Post on a secure Intranet/Extranet website
  • Use in a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Distribute via CD-ROM
  • Photocopy

Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Rightslink service, please contact:

Rightslink Customer Care
Tel (toll free): 877/622-5543
Tel: 978/777-9929

To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-624-6242 for pricing.

To request permission to translate a book published by the National Academies Press or its imprint, the Joseph Henry Press, pleaseclick here to view more information.

loading iconLoading stats for Health Risk Considerations for the Use of Unencapsulated Steel Slag...