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Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of sodium hydroxide for dogs, cats and ornamental fish

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The additive consists, by specification, of a minimum of 98.0 % sodium hydroxide or alkali in the solid form, the content of solutions scaled accordingly, based on the stated or labelled concentration. No data have been provided that would support the specification of the solid form, only a 50.0 % w/w solution of sodium hydroxide in water, which is the final product of the production process described in the dossier. Sodium hydroxide is considered safe for the target animals, provided that the resulting total sodium concentration in feed does not compromise the overall electrolyte balance. Sodium hydroxide in solid form and in aqueous solution at concentrations > 8.0 % is corrosive. At lower concentrations it is irritant to skin and eyes (0.5 % and 0.2 %, respectively) and the respiratory tract (0.5 %). Exposure via inhalation is likely to be minimal. Sodium hydroxide is not considered to be a skin sensitiser. As sodium hydroxide is used in food as an acidity regulator, and its function in feed is essentially the same as that in food, no further demonstration of efficacy is necessary.