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3.4.1.: Definitions and general considerations

3.4.1.1. Respiratory sensitiser means a substance that will lead to hypersensitivity of the airways following inhalation of the substance.
3.4.1.2. Skin sensitiser means a substance that will lead to an allergic response following skin contact.
3.4.1.3. For the purpose of section 3.4, sensitisation includes two phases: the first phase is induction of specialised immunological memory in an individual by exposure to an allergen. The second phase is elicitation, i.e. production of a cell-mediated or antibody-mediated allergic response by exposure of a sensitised individual to an allergen.
3.4.1.4. For respiratory sensitisation, the pattern of induction followed by elicitation phases is shared in common with skin sensitisation. For skin sensitisation, an induction phase is required in which the immune system learns to react; clinical symptoms can then arise when subsequent exposure is sufficient to elicit a visible skin reaction (elicitation phase). As a consequence, predictive tests usually follow this pattern in which there is an induction phase, the response to which is measured by a standardised elicitation phase, typically involving a patch test. The local lymph node assay is the exception, directly measuring the induction response. Evidence of skin sensitisation in humans normally is assessed by a diagnostic patch test.
3.4.1.5. Usually, for both skin and respiratory sensitisation, lower levels are necessary for elicitation than are required for induction. Provisions for alerting sensitised individuals to the presence of a particular sensitiser in a mixture can be found ►M2  in Annex II, section 2.8. ◄ .
3.4.1.6. The hazard class Respiratory or Skin Sensitisation is differentiated into:
Respiratory Sensitisation ►M2  and ◄ ;
Skin Sensitisation.