Agent Name

Formic acid

CAS Number

64-18-6

Formula

C-H2-O2

Major Category

Other Classes

Synonyms

Acide formique [French]; Acido formico [Italian]; Add-F; Ameisensaeure [German]; Aminic acid; Bilorin; C1 acid; Collo-bueglatt; Collo-didax; Formic acid; Formic acid (natural); Formira; Formisoton; Formylic acid; Hydrogen carboxylic acid; Kwas metaniowy [Polish]; Kyselina mravenci [Czech]; Methanoic acid; Mierenzuur [Dutch]; Myrmicyl; Spirit of formic acid; [ChemIDplus] UN1779

Category

Organic Acids

Description

Colorless liquid with a pungent, penetrating odor. [Note: Often used in an aqueous solution.]; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used in electroplating, brewing, and mirror silvering; also used in the dyeing and finishing of textiles, paper, and leather; [ACGIH]

Comments

Liquid causes second degree burns after contact for a few minutes; [CHRIS] Highly corrosive to skin; [Quick CPC] Pulmonary edema can result from heavy inhalation exposure; [ICSC]

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TLV (ACGIH)

5 ppm

STEL (ACGIH)

10 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

5 ppm

MAK

5 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

30 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: Because no data on acute inhalation toxicity are available on which to base an IDLH for formic acid, the chosen IDLH is based on an analogy with formaldehyde, which has an IDLH of 30 ppm. . . . Human data: Workers exposed to about 15 ppm have complained of nausea [Fahy and Elkins 1954].

Vapor Pressure

42.6 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

1.6 ppm

Odor Threshold High

340 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 15,000 mg/m3/15m

Explanatory Notes

Odor threshold from AIHA; Flash point = 156 deg F;

Reference Link

ICSC: Formic acid

Flammability (NFPA)

2: High ambient temperature required

Adverse Effects
Toxic Pneumonitis

Yes

Dermatotoxin

Skin Burns

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap
Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure:

Activities

Activities with risk of exposure: