Agent Name

Ferric chloride

Alternative Name

Ferric trichloride

CAS Number




Major Category



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)


Metals, Inorganic Compounds


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]


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]


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


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, Secondary


Skin Burns

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information


Chemical Information

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