Is there an adjective for low-toxicity, or can it be used as an adjective itself?

It sounds strange to say, for example, materials that are low-toxicity.

  • How toxic are these materials? A little bit toxic? Somewhat toxic? Slightly toxic? Barely toxic? Marginally toxic? Theoretically toxic? Nominally toxic? Nearly non-toxic? – tchrist Jan 17 '19 at 12:48
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    ... that are of low toxicity. – Lawrence Jan 18 '19 at 16:27

Low-toxic is the adjective of low-toxicity.

If you were asking whether there is a separate word for low-toxic, I am quite sure there is not because there is not a word even for non-toxic. Of course, depending on the context you could say for example "the substance is pure/harmless" when it is non-toxic, but neither pure nor harmless means non-toxic explicitly. So, it is perfectly ok to talk about low-toxic materials when the toxicity of the materials is low.

  • According to Google Scholar, "low-toxicity" is used in 20× as many scientific articles as "low-toxic". – Chemomechanics Jan 18 '19 at 4:03
  • @Chemomechanics So? Toxicity is a noun. Toxic is an adjective. The question was about the adjective of low-toxicity, not the frequency of the usage. So, if there is low-toxicity then low-toxic is the adjective of it. Perhaps you interpreted wrongly when I said "it is perfectly ok to talk about low-toxic materials..." By this I just meant that low-toxic is technically a valid word, not that it would be a preferred way of talking about it. – Malakias Jan 21 '19 at 18:14

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