NIOSH Issues New Skin Notation Profiles and Invites Public Input

Posted on: May 7, 2019

by Caroline Miller, CIH, CSP

chemical bottle with label - learn more about NIOSH's New Skin Notation ProfilesEarlier this year, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued skin notation profiles for five chemicals: atrazine, catechol, chlorinated camphene, pentachlorophenol and sodium fluoroacetate.

Chemical skin exposures that cause systemic, direct, and sensitizing effects are designated with skin notations.  Skin notation profiles summarize the data that support skin notation designation.

The herbicide atrazine and sodium fluoroacetate, a chemical that has been used to prevent coyotes from preying on farm animals, have both been assigned the “SK notation ID(SK)”, indicating that the chemicals have been evaluated, but insufficient data exist to accurately assess the hazards of skin exposure.

Catechol, used primarily as an antioxidant in rubber, dye fat and oil industries, and is used in pesticides, pharmaceutical ingredients and aroma chemicals is given “SK: SYS-DIR(IRR)-SEN”, indicating acute toxicity, skin irritancy and depigmentation, and skin allergy.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned chlorinated camphene in 1990, which was used as an insecticide. NIOSH assigned chlorinated camphene “SK: SYS-DIR (IRR)” for systemic effects and skin irritation.

One of the most widely used wood preservatives, pentachlorophenol (PCP), has “SK: SYS (FATAL)-DIR (IRR)” allocated for metabolic effects, fever, immunotoxicity and skin irritation and tumor promotion.

Draft Profiles for Public Comment

In March, NIOSH published a Federal Register notice requesting technical reviews of 10 draft skin notation profile documents. NIOSH would like feedback on whether the documents support the systemic, direct and sensitizing effects caused by exposure of skin to the chemicals. The chemicals are:

  • Cyclohexanol
  • Cyclohexanone
  • Cyclonite
  • Diacetyl and 2,3-Pentanedione
  • Diethylenetriamine
  • beta-Chloroprene
  • Chlorodiphenyl 42% Chlorine
  • Chlorodiphenyl 54% Chlorine
  • Dioxane
  • 2,4-Toluene diisocyanate, 2,6-Toluene diisocyanate, and the mixture of 2,4- and 2,6-Toluene diisocyanate

Comments are being accepted until May 14, 2019.

Recommended Action Items:

  • Review your company’s inventory of products, and determine if employees’ exposures to the above chemical result in skin exposure.
  • Review safety data sheets (SDSs) for chemicals with hazards from skin contact.
  • Control exposures to the above chemicals by elimination, implementation of engineering controls and administrative controls, and requiring personal protective equipment.
  • Train employees and provide information on exposure to chemical from skin contact.


New Skin Notation Profiles:

Request for the Technical Review of 10 Draft Skin Notation Assignments and Skin Notation Profiles:


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