Agent Name

Iron salts, soluble



Major Category



FeSO4: Ferrous sulfate, Iron(II) sulfate; FeCl2: Ferrous chloride, Iron(II) chloride; Fe(NO3)3: Ferric nitrate, Iron(III) nitrate; Fe(SO4)3: Ferric sulfate, Iron(III) sulfate; FeCl3: Ferric chloride, Iron(III)chloride; [NIOSH]


Metals, Inorganic Compounds


Appearance and odor vary depending upon the specific soluble iron salt; [NIOSH]


See uses of Ferric chloride, Ferric nitrate, Ferric sulfate, Ferrous chloride, and Ferrous sulfate; [ACGIH] Common iron formulations and their percent elemental iron: Ferrous chloride (28%), Ferrous fumarate (33%), Ferrous gluconate (12%), Ferrous lactate (19%), and Ferrous sulfate (20%); [Goldfrank, p. 597]


TDLo (child) = 77 mg/kg; LD50 (rats) = 30 gm/kg; [ChemIDplus] Iron is one of the leading causes of poisoning death in children. Adult preparations usually contain 60-90 mg of elemental iron per tablet. Symptoms are unlikely with ingestion <20 mg/kg of elemental iron. Iron causes hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. In some cases, there is a latency of up to 12 hours followed by shock, metabolic acidosis, hepatic failure, seizures, and coma. Serious adverse effects are unlikely when: 1.) no pills visible on plain x-ray; 2.) normal WBC count and blood sugar; and 3.) no spontaneous vomiting or diarrhea. Toxicity is more likely when the serum iron level is > 450-500 mcg/dL. [Olson, p. 246-7] Insoluble salts include carbonates, oxides, hydroxides, phosphates, sulfides, and ferrous fluoride. Ingestion of iron tablets is a frequent cause of poisoning in children; 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] Two nonionic iron supplements (carbonyl iron and iron polysaccharide) have shown little toxicity in retrospective posion center data. [Goldfrank, p. 596-7]

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data




1 mg/m3, as Fe

Adverse Effects

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

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Toxicity Information


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