Guide to chemical hazard classification: Part 1, substances

You must classify chemical substances and mixtures before they are placed on the market. This guide tells you how the classification processes work. Substance classification is usually achieved through testing, although structure–activity relationships may also help. There are also inventories of hazard classification, that simplify substance classification.

Harmonised classification of ethanol

The harmonised classification of alcohol (ie ethanol) in the EU would mandate the warnings: ‘Suspected of damaging the unborn child’, ‘may cause harm to breast-fed children’, and ‘may cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure’. Are such warnings justified? What would be the consequences? Will alcohol-based hand gel need such warnings?