Agent Name

Potassium nitrate

CAS Number

7757-79-1

Formula

K-N-O3

Major Category

Nitrogen Compounds

Synonyms

Collo-Bo; Kalii nitras; Kaliumnitrat [German]; Niter; Nitrate of potash; Nitre; Nitric acid, potassium salt; Saltpeter; Vicknite; [ChemIDplus] Saltpetre; Nitre; [JECFA] Potassium salt nitric acid; [OECD SIDS] UN1486

Category

Nitrates and Nitrites

Description

Colorless or white solid; "Cooling, saline pungent taste" [Merck Index] Slightly hygroscopic; [HSDB] White crystalline solid; [Aldrich MSDS]

Sources/Uses

Used to manufacture glass, temper steel, and cure food; Used in fireworks, fluxes, matches, explosives, rocket propellants, fertilizers, and baths for silver and copper plating; [HSDB] Used to support combustion in gas cartridges used as pyrotechnic fumigants in the burrows of rodents, skunks, coyotes, and ground-nesting wasps; [Reference #1]

Comments

A strong oxidizing agent that enhances the combustion of other materials; A skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant; Causes methemoglobinemia when ingested; [ICSC] May cause anemia, methemoglobinemia, and nephritis on prolonged exposure; [Merck Index] Acceptable daily intake of 0-3.7 mg/kg for uses in food as an antimicrobial preservative and color fixative; [JECFA] An oxidizer that can intensify fire; May cause irritation; Targets the blood and CNS; [Aldrich MSDS]

Reference Link

EPA Pesticide Chemical Search

Adverse Effects
Methemoglobinemia

Methemoglobinemia, Secondary

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Toxicity Information

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Processes

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