ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




An irritant is a substance that will cause contact dermatitis or other inflammation, provided the exposure is long enough and strong enough.89 Examples of irritants include acids, alkalis, detergents, oxidising and reducing agents, fat solvents, skin cleansers, and many other chemicals. Symptoms of exposure to irritants can range from an itchy rash to ulceration.

Treatments vary but in general, persons developing dermatitis should be removed from the source of the irritation and medical advice sought. Documentation should be provided for the employees occupational health record.


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