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Risk and safety statement

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Risk and Safety Statements are a European system of hazard codes and phrases for labeling dangerous chemicals and compounds. They are also known as R/S statements, R/S numbers, R/S phrases, and R/S sentences. The R/S statement of a compound consists of a risk part (R) and a safety part (S), each followed by a combination of numbers. Each number corresponds to a phrase.


R-phrases (Risk Phrases) are used in European and some other countries to identify the nature of the risk for handling dangerous substances. Chemical data sheets available in many countries now contain codes for certain R-phases, shown as R23, R45 etc. R-phrases are frequently used in conjunction with S-phrases, which provide advice concerning dangerous substances.

These risk phrase codes have the following meanings:

  • R1 Explosive when dry.
  • R2 Risk of explosion by shock, friction, fire or other source of ignition.
  • R3 Extreme risk of explosion by shock, friction, fire or other sources of ignition.
  • R4 Forms very sensitive explosive metallic compounds.
  • R5 Heating may cause an explosion.
  • R6 Explosive with or without contact with air.
  • R7 May cause fire.
  • R8 Contact with combustible material may cause fire.
  • R9 Explosive when mixed with combustible material.
  • R10 Flammable.
  • R11 Highly flammable.
  • R12 Extremely flammable.
  • R13 Extremely flammable liquefied gas
  • R14 Reacts violently with water.
  • R15 Contact with water liberates extremely flammable gases.
  • R16 Explosive when mixed with oxidizing substances.
  • R17 Spontaneously flammable in air.
  • R18 In use, may form inflammable/explosive vapor-air mixture.
  • R19 May form explosive peroxides.
  • R20 Harmful by inhalation.
  • R21 Harmful in contact with skin.
  • R22 Harmful if swallowed.
  • R23 Toxic by inhalation.
  • R24 Toxic in contact with skin.
  • R25 Toxic if swallowed.
  • R26 Very toxic by inhalation.
  • R27 Very toxic in contact with skin.
  • R28 Very toxic if swallowed.
  • R29 Contact with water liberates toxic gas.
  • R30 Can become highly flammable in use.
  • R31 Contact with acids liberates toxic gas.
  • R32 Contact with acid liberates very toxic gas.
  • R33 Danger of cumulative effects.
  • R34 Causes burns.
  • R35 Causes severe burns.
  • R36 Irritating to eyes.
  • R37 Irritating to respiratory system.
  • R38 Irritating to skin.
  • R39 Danger of very serious irreversible effects.
  • R40 Limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect.
  • R41 Risk of serious damage to the eyes.
  • R42 May cause sensitization by inhalation.
  • R43 May cause sensitization by skin contact.
  • R44 Risk of explosion if heated under confinement.
  • R45 May cause cancer.
  • R46 May cause heritable genetic damage.
  • R47 May cause birth defects
  • R48 Danger of serious damage to health by prolonged exposure.
  • R49 May cause cancer by inhalation.
  • R50 Very toxic to aquatic organisms.
  • R51 Toxic to aquatic organisms.
  • R52 Harmful to aquatic organisms.
  • R53 May cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.
  • R54 Toxic to flora.
  • R55 Toxic to fauna.
  • R56 Toxic to soil organisms.
  • R57 Toxic to bees.
  • R58 May cause long-term adverse effects in the environment.
  • R59 Dangerous to the ozone layer.
  • R60 May impair fertility.
  • R61 May cause harm to the unborn child.
  • R62 Risk of impaired fertility.
  • R63 Possible risk of harm to the unborn child.
  • R64 May cause harm to breastfed babies.
  • R65 Harmful: may cause lung damage if swallowed.
  • R66 Repeated exposure may cause skin dryness or cracking.
  • R67 Vapors may cause drowsiness and dizziness.
  • R68 Possible risk of irreversible effects.


S-phrases (Safety phrases) are used in European and some other countries to provide safety advice concerning handling dangerous substances. Under EC legislation, data sheets available in the UK now contain codes for certain "safety phrases", shown as S1, S17 etc. S-phrases are frequently used in conjunction with R-phrases, which identify the nature of the risk.

Safety phrase codes have the following meanings:

  • S1 Keep locked up.
  • S2 Keep out of the reach of children.
  • S3 Keep in a cool place.
  • S4 Keep away from living quarters.
  • S5 Keep contents under ... (there follows the name of a liquid).
  • S6 Keep under ... (there follows the name of an inert gas).
  • S7 Keep container tightly closed.
  • S8 Keep container dry.
  • S9 Keep container in a well-ventilated place.
  • S12 Do not keep the container sealed.
  • S13 Keep away from food, drink and animal foodstuffs.
  • S14 Keep away from ... (a list of incompatible materials will follow).
  • S15 Keep away from heat.
  • S16 Keep away from sources of ignition.
  • S17 Keep away from combustible material.
  • S18 Handle and open container with care.
  • S20 When using, do not eat or drink.
  • S21 When using do not smoke.
  • S22 Do not breathe dust.
  • S23 Do not breathe vapor.
  • S24 Avoid contact with skin.
  • S25 Avoid contact with eyes.
  • S26 In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice.
  • S27 Take off immediately all contaminated clothing.
  • S28 After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of soap-suds.
  • S29 Do not empty into drains.
  • S30 Never add water to this product.
  • S33 Take precautionary measures against static discharges.
  • S35 This material and its container must be disposed of in a safe way.
  • S36 Wear suitable protective clothing.
  • S37 Wear suitable gloves.
  • S38 In case of insufficient ventilation, wear suitable respiratory equipment.
  • S39 Wear eye / face protection.
  • S40 To clean the floor and all objects contaminated by this material, use .... (there follows suitable cleaning material).
  • S41 In case of fire and / or explosion do not breathe fumes.
  • S42 During fumigation / spraying wear suitable respiratory equipment.
  • S43 In case of fire use ... (there follows the type of fire-fighting equipment to be used.)
  • S45 In case of accident or if you feel unwell, seek medical advice immediately (show the label whenever possible.)
  • S46 If swallowed, seek medical advice immediately and show this container or label.
  • S47 Keep at temperature not exceeding...
  • S48 To be kept wet with (there follows a material name).
  • S49 Keep only in the original container.
  • S50 Do not mix with ...
  • S51 Use only in well ventilated areas.
  • S52 Not recommended for interior use on large surface areas.
  • S53 Avoid exposure - obtain special instructions before use.
  • S56 Dispose of this material and its container at hazardous or special waste collection point.
  • S57 Use appropriate container to avoid environmental contamination.
  • S59 Refer to manufacturer / supplier for information on recovery / recycling.
  • S60 This material and its container must be disposed of as hazardous waste.
  • S61 Avoid release to the environment. Refer to special instructions / safety data sheets.
  • S62 If swallowed, do not induce vomiting; seek medical advice immediately and show this container or label.

See Also