All Silicon transistors appear to have a reverse base emitter breakdown voltage rating of no more than about 8 VDC .It would be extremely useful to have a much higher volt rating . Some OLD germanium transistors are a bit better like say 12V but probably not worth the hassle.WHY don't they make SI transistors with a higher VEB ?
It's 'Silicon', not 'Silicone'
Most transistors are constructed to have high beta and low emitter resistance. This leads to doping the emitter as heavily as is practical, and this in turn leads to a B-E junction with a maximum voltage capability of around 5 V. Note that sometimes the BV is higher than this, but in some devices, sustained bias at E-B voltages over 5 V will cause severe degradation in the device characteristics.