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GHS Classification Criteria for Skin Corrosion and Irritation

Little Pro on 2018-03-06 Views:  Update:2018-10-17

Skin corrosion refers to the production of irreversible damage to the skin; namely, visible necrosis through the epidermis and into the dermis occurring after exposure to a substance or mixture. Skin irritation refers to the production of reversible damage to the skin occurring after exposure to a substance or mixture

Hazard Categories for Skin Corrosion and Irritation and GHS Classification Criteria

There are 3 hazard categories for skin corrosion and irritation under GHS. The table below summarizes GHS classification criteria for substances and tested mixtures.

Category Classification Criteria

 Category 1 (Corrosive)

  • Human experience showing irreversible damage to the skin;
  • Structure/activity or structure property relationship to a substance or mixture already classified as corrosive;
  • pH extremes of <=2 and >=11.5 including acid/alkali reserve capacity;
  • Positive results in a valid and accepted in vitro skin corrosion test; or
  • Animal experience or test data that indicate that the substance/mixture causes irreversible damage to the skin following exposure of up to 4 hours. Three subcategories are available: 
  • - Subcategory 1A: Observied corrosive response in at least 1 animal during 1h following exposure <=3 mins
  • - Subcategory 1B: Observied corrosive response in at least 1 animal during 14d following exposure >3 mins and <=1h
  • - Subcategory 1C: Observied corrosive response in at least 1 animal during 14d following exposure >1h and <=4h

 Category 2 (Irritant)

  • Human experience or data showing reversible damage to the skin following exposure of up to 4 hours;
  • Structure/activity or structure property relationship to a substance or mixture already classified as an irritant;
  • Positive results in a valid and accepted in vitro skin irritation test; or
  • Animal experience or test data that indicate that the substance/mixture causes reversible damage to the skin following exposure of up to 4 hours, mean value of ≥ 2.3 < 4.0 for erythema/eschar or for oedema, or inflammation that persists to the end of the observation period, in 2 of 3 tested animals.

 Category 3 (Mild Irritant)

  • Animal experience or test data that indicates that the substance/mixture causes reversible damage to the skin following exposure of up to 4 hours, mean value of ≥ 1.5 < 2.3 for erythema/eschar in 2 of 3 tested animals.

Skin Irritation Classification Criteria for Mixture

If a mixture contains a hazardous ingredient or multiple ingredients that have been classified as skin corrosive substances or skin irritant, the mixture will be classified based on the table below. 

GHS Concentration Criteria Skin Corrosion Irritation

It should be noted that certain chemicals such as acids, bases and inorganic salts cannot be classified using additivity approach above. For acids and bases, the pH may be a better indicator of the potential for skin corrosion or irritation(see table below). 

Skin irritation classification mixture

References and More Reading

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