Registration Dossier

Administrative data

Description of key information

see discussion above

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Skin irritation / corrosion

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no adverse effect observed (not irritating)

Eye irritation

Endpoint conclusion
Endpoint conclusion:
no adverse effect observed (not irritating)

Additional information

Skin contact with rust, which can contain several kind of iron oxides, has been common since time immemorial in everyday life of humans. However, skin irritating effects due to dermal contact with rust have not been reported in literature as a recognized problem. Moreover, as iron oxides are practically insoluble in the aqueous layer on the skin, exposure to iron ions will be negligible, which means that irritating effects of dissolved iron can be ruled out.

Two guideline studies on skin irritation/corrosion of iron oxides were identified in the literature. One study with a mixture of Fe2O3 83.5 %, FeO 12%, and Co 4.5%, i.e. 95.5% iron oxide; another study with Fe3O4. Both studies gave negative results. Additional information is provided by a supporting study performed with FeO(OH), which also gave a negative result. Based on these iron oxides can be considered non irritating.

Two guideline studies on eye irritation were available and they were summarized as key studies. One study with a mixture of Fe2O3 83.5 %, FeO 12%, and Co 4.5%, i.e. 95.5% iron oxide; another study with Fe3O4. Both studies gave negative results. Additional information is provided by a supporting study performed with FeO(OH), which also gave a negative results. Based on these results iron oxides can be characterized as non-irritating.

If any damage to the eye occurs, this would most likely be due to mechanical damage, and thus, not related to the chemical composition of the substance itself. For instance, potential occupational exposure of the eye to these substances is very common in steel construction. The surface of steel is often corroded and thus abrasive techniques, drilling and sawing of the steel will result in particles that contain iron oxides. Due to this there is a lot of experience with handling this exposure in order to prevent eye injury.

For further information see the read-across statement attached to the overall summary "Toxicological information" of this chapter.

Justification for classification or non-classification

No need for classification for irritation/corrosion of iron oxides based on the above information.