Agent Name

Lactic acid

CAS Number




Major Category

Other Classes


(RS)-2-Hydroxypropionsaeure; 1-Hydroxyethanecarboxylic acid; 2-Hydroxypropanoic acid; 2-Hydroxypropionic acid; Acidum lacticum; Aethylidenmilchsaeure; DL-Lactic acid; DL-Milchsaeure; Ethylidenelactic acid; Kyselina 2-hydroxypropanova [Czech]; Kyselina mlecna [Czech]; Lactate; Lactic acid, dl-; Lactic acid (natural); Lactic acid USP; Lactovagan; Milchsaeure; Milchsaure [German]; Milk acid; Ordinary lactic acid; Propanoic acid, 2-hydroxy-; Propel; Propionic acid, 2-hydroxy-; Racemic lactic acid; SY-83; Tonsillosan; alpha-Hydroxypropionic acid; [ChemIDplus]


Organic Acids


Thick liquid or crystals, colorless to yellow; mp = 17 deg C; [ICSC]


Used as a solvent and acidulant in the production of foods, drugs, and dyes; Also used as a mordant in woolen goods printing, a soldering flux, a dehairing agent, and a catalyst for phenolic resins; Also used in leather tanning, oil well acidizing, and as a plant growth regulator; [HSDB]


Corrosive to skin; [Quick CPC] A skin and respiratory tract irritant; Corrosive to eyes; [ICSC] Causes burns to skin and eyes; Vapors cause eye and mucous membrane irritation and can cause coughing and difficulty breathing; [CHRIS] Safe when used as a flavoring agent in food; [JECFA] Corrosive to rabbit skin, mildly irritating to guinea pig skin, and not irritating to pig skin; Not sensitizing in a study of guinea pigs; A 13-week oral study of rats produced a NOAEL of 500 mg/kg/day (highest tested dose); Studies on reproductive and developmental toxicity not considered necessary because lactic acid is a product of human intermediary metabolism; [EPA ChAMP] A skin and strong eye irritant; [Aldrich MSDS]

Exposure Assessment
Vapor Pressure

0.08 mm Hg

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 7,940 mg/m3/4hr

Explanatory Notes

Melting point = 16.8 degrees C; [HSDB]

Reference Link

ICSC: Lactic acid

Adverse Effects

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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Related Information in HazMap

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: