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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Administrative data

Description of key information

Zirconium tetrachloride is considered as corrosive to the skin

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

In water, Zirconium tetrachloride degrades instantaneously releasing hydrogen chloride. At a nominal concentration of [1.73 g/L -2.35g/L] the pH was in the range [1.6 - 1.82] after five seconds (WASSER, 2010 - Hyrdolysis).


In order to perform in vitro/in vivo skin corrosion/irritation testing it is necessary to moistened the substance with deionised water to ensure good contact with the skin. This moistening will thus lead to hydrolysis of zirconium tetrachloride and release of HCl. The moisure on the human skin is considered to initiate the same reaction and hence testing should not be conducted and the substance should be classified as corrosive to skin.

The Corrositex test was performed to support this corrosive property and confirmed that ZrCl4 has to be classified as corrosive category 1B.

Justification for classification or non-classification

In 2010, on the basis of this data:

  • Zirconium tetrachloride releases hydrogen chloride in contact with water leading to a pH<2. A substance is considered, on the criteria of the CLP regulation, corrosive if it has a pH < 2. However, it is not possible to assign a CLP sub-category on pH.

  • Zirconium tetrachloride is classified as hazard class 8 (corrosive substance) and packing group III (substances presenting low danger) under the ADR (Agreement on Dangerous goods by Road).

  • The relationship between packing groups and GHS skin corrosion categories is described in “Alignment with GHS, Proposal of amendment to Chapter 2.8 (UN, 2010): the packing group III is equivalent of Skin corrosion sub-category 1C.


The proposed classification for irritation/corrosion effects was:

  • C, R34 (corrosive - causes burn) under directive 67/548/EC.

  • Skin. Corr. Cat 1C, H314 (Skin corrosion- causes severe skin burns and eye damage) under CLP regulation 1272/2008.

United Nation. Alignment with GHS, Proposal of amendment to chapter 2.8. Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. ST/SG/AC.10/C.3/2010/10, 31 March 2010.

In 2013, a Corrositex test was performed to support this corrosive property and confirmed that ZrCl4 is corrosive, and with a mean breakthrough time of 6 minutes and 50 seconds has to be classified with corrosive category 1B (corresponding packing group = II and DSD classification = C,R35).