Agent Name

Ferric chloride

Alternative Name

Ferric trichloride

CAS Number

7705-08-0

Formula

Cl3-Fe

Major Category

Metals

Synonyms

Ferric trichloride; Chlorure ferrique [French]; Chlorure perrique [French]; Flores martis; Iron chloride; Iron perchloride; Iron sesquichloride (DOT); Iron trichloride; Iron(III) chloride; Iron(III) chloride, solution; Natural molysite; Perchlorure de fer [French]; Ferric chloride solution; Ferric chloride solutions; Ferric chloride, anhydrous; [ChemIDplus] UN1773; UN2582 (solution)

Category

Metals, Inorganic Compounds

Description

Dark solid (red by transmitted light, green by reflected light) that sometimes appears brownish-black; Highly hygroscopic and readily forms the hexahydrate; Soluble in water; [Merck Index] Greenish-black odorless solid; [CHRIS]

Sources/Uses

Used as a medication, an analytical reagent, an etching agent (engraving, photography, and printed circuits), a catalyst, a mordant, a disinfectant, a pigment, and a feed additive; also used in sewage treatment and water purification; [HSDB] Found in nature as the mineral molysite; Used in photography, to make other iron salts, pigments, and inks, and for chlorinating silver and copper ores; [Merck Index]

Comments

Toxic by ingestion: 10 tablets (0.3 g Fe/tablet) causes mild illness in children; 20 tablets cause severe intoxication; Mortality rate was 1% in 474 acute iron poisoning cases; [ACGIH] Corrosive to skin; [Quick CPC] An irritant that may cause liver injury; [Merck Index] Decomposed by water forming hydrogen chloride; A skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant; Corrosive on ingestion; [ICSC] A skin, eye, nose, and throat irritant; Prolonged skin contact can case burns; [CHRIS] A skin and strong eye irritant; Toxic by ingestion; [Aldrich MSDS] See "Iron salts, soluble." See "Ferric chloride hexahydrate."

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TLV (ACGIH)

1 mg/m3, as Fe (soluble iron salts)

Explanatory Notes

TLV is for "Iron salts, soluble"; [ACGIH] Melting point = approximately 300 degrees C; [HSDB] Vapor pressure = 1 mm Hg at 194 degrees C; [HSDB] The Guide in the Emergency Response Guidebook is for "Ferric chloride, annhydrous."

Adverse Effects
Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

Dermatotoxin

Skin Burns

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