<bold><italic>Background:</italic></bold> We tested the cutaneous distribution of 50 chemicals in frozen human skin. The mass balance (MB) values for 48% of the chemicals were < 90%, possibly due to evaporation. <bold><italic>Methods:</italic></bold> We confirmed the reduction in MB was due to evaporation for two chemicals tested in skin penetration experiments using a carbon filter above the skin to trap airborne chemical. An in vitro assay was used to predict the reduction in MB due to evaporation by comparing the recovery of chemicals after 4 h of incubation at room temperature in open and closed vials. <bold><italic>Results:</italic></bold> Evaporative losses in vitro correlated well with measured MBs (i.e., < 90%) in skin penetration experiments (<italic>R</italic><sup>2</sup> = 0.81). There was a correlation of the MB with the vapour pressure (VP) which could be used to group chemicals according to their likelihood to evaporate during the course of a skin penetration study. There was also a correlation of MB with Henry’s law constants, melting and boiling points. <bold><italic>Conclusion:</italic></bold> Our data support the use of a quick and simple test for volatility to account for the loss of MB in skin penetration experiment due to volatility. The best parameter to indicate the potential of a chemical to evaporate is the VP.