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SECTION 1. CHEMICAL IDENTIFICATION

CHEMINFO Record Number: 13
CCOHS Chemical Name: Hydrochloric acid

Synonyms:
Chlorure d'hydrogène
Aqueous hydrogen chloride
Chlorohydric acid
HCl
Hydrogen chloride
Muriatic acid
Cloruro de hidrógeno

Chemical Name French: Acide chlorhydrique
Chemical Name Spanish: Acido clorhidrico
CAS Registry Number: 7647-01-0
UN/NA Number(s): 1789
RTECS Number(s): MW4025000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 231-595-7
Chemical Family: Mineral acid / inorganic acid / halogenated inorganic acid / hydrogen halide / inorganic chloride
Molecular Formula: Cl-H
Structural Formula: H-Cl

SECTION 2. DESCRIPTION

Appearance and Odour:
Concentrated hydrochloric acid is a colourless or slightly yellow, fuming liquid with pungent, choking odour.(17) Dilute hydrochloric acid is a colourless liquid with a pungent odour.

Odour Threshold:
Reported values vary widely: 0.13-10.1 ppm (1,10); 1-5 ppm (detection) (2,15); 5-10 ppm (disagreeable) (2,15); greater than 10 ppm (strongly irritating) (15).

Warning Properties:
NOT RELIABLE - odour threshold is about the same magnitude as or greater than the TLV.

Composition/Purity:
Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is commercially available in a number of grades, including technical grade (usually 28, 31.5, 35.2 or 37%); food grade (31.5 or 35.2%); reagent grade (37-38%); electronic or semiconductor grade (37-38%); and dilute hydrochloric acid (5-10%). Solutions with concentrations of 35-38% weight/weight are called concentrated hydrochloric acid and less than 10% weight/weight is considered dilute hydrochloric acid. Technical grade hydrochloric acid is usually 97.5-99% pure. Impurities in hydrochloric acid primarily arise from the process used to produce the acid, and can include volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons, traces of free chlorine, traces of hydrogen fluoride, arsenic, heavy metals and sulfates.(2,15) Most of the hydrochloric acid produced is consumed captively, that is, at the site of production, either in integrated operations or in separate hydrochloric acid consuming operations at the same location.(2) This review discusses the hazards and control measures for hydrochloric acid solutions. For information on hydrogen chloride gas, refer to the CHEMINFO review of hydrogen chloride.

Uses and Occurrences:
The largest captive use of hydrochloric acid is for brine acidification prior to electrolysis in chloralkali cells. Hydrochloric acid is also used in metal pickling and cleaning operations; petroleum well activation; oil-well acidizing; production of calcium chloride and other chlorides; production of synthetic rubber; in the food processing industry; in mining operations for ore treatment, extraction, separation, purification and water treatment; to recover molybdenum and gold; to recover semiprecious metals from used catalysts; as a catalyst in synthesis; for catalyst regeneration and regeneration of ion-exchange resins used in wastewater treatment, electric utilities, for pH control, and for neutralization of alkaline products or waste materials.(2,15)


SECTION 3. HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION

EMERGENCY OVERVIEW:
Concentrated hydrochloric acid is a colourless or slightly yellow, fuming liquid with pungent, choking odour. Dilute hydrochloric acid is a colourless liquid with a pungent odour. Will not burn. Decomposes under intense fire conditions to form extremely flammable and potentially explosive hydrogen gas and very toxic and corrosive chlorine gas. Closed containers may develop pressure on prolonged exposure to heat and rupture violently. Contact with common metals produces extremely flammable hydrogen gas. VERY TOXIC. May be fatal if inhaled or swallowed. Concentrated hydrochloric acid solutions are very volatile and can readily release high concentrations of hydrogen chloride gas, which is very toxic and corrosive and poses a serious inhalation hazard. Even low concentrations are irritating and can cause coughing, pain, sore throat, inflammation and swelling in the upper respiratory tract. A severe exposure can cause lung injury-effects may be delayed. A single, high-level exposure may cause long-term airways hypersensitivity (RADS). CORROSIVE to the eyes and skin. Concentrated solutions cause severe eye burns and permanent eye injury, including blindness. Concentrated solutions cause severe skin burns and may cause permanent scarring. Dilute solutions can cause severe eye irritation and mild to severe skin irritation.



POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Inhalation:
Hydrochloric acid solutions can readily release high concentrations of hydrogen chloride gas, which is very toxic and corrosive and poses a serious inhalation hazard. The gas absorbs moisture from the air and can form an acid fog in damp air.(44) The gas is very soluble in water and reacts with the surface of the upper respiratory tract where the majority is neutralized and not likely to cause effects on the lungs.(45,46) However, higher penetration of the respiratory system can be expected with higher breathing rates and, based on animal information, from higher concentrations.(17)
Inhalation of even low concentrations is irritating and can cause coughing, pain, inflammation and swelling in the upper respiratory tract. Exposure to 5-10 ppm is reported as being disagreeable, 35 ppm as causing sore throat, and 50-100 ppm as barely tolerable.(8,45,47) Intolerable irritation is expected with a brief (10-minute) exposure to 309 ppm based on animal information (mouse RD50). Higher concentrations can cause constriction of the larynx and bronchi, closure of the glottis and breath-holding.(17,45) A severe exposure can result in a potentially fatal accumulation of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema). Symptoms of pulmonary edema (chest pain and shortness of breath) can be delayed for up to 24 or 48 hours after exposure.

There are a few reported studies on humans exposed to hydrogen chloride gas. In a controlled study, volunteers (number not reported) had irritation at the base of the esophagus following exposure of an unspecified duration to 0.7-1.6 ppm hydrogen chloride gas and acute irritation of the mucous membranes and coughing at 1.6-4.0 ppm.(47, unconfirmed) Five male and 5 female asthmatic volunteers were exposed to 0, 0.8 or 1.8 ppm hydrogen chloride gas for 45 minute sessions separated by at least 1 week. There were no effects on the lungs or breathing at rest or during exercise.(44)
There are a few case reports of individuals, often with pre-existing asthmatic conditions, who developed asthma following exposure to hydrogen chloride gas or to hydrochloric acid mist. These cases are believed to be reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), which is airways hypersensitivity caused by very high, usually one-time, exposure to a highly irritating gas.(48,49,50,51)
Forty-five adults and 24 children exposed to a cloud of hydrogen chloride gas (concentrations not reported) following an environmental spill were compared 20 months later with 56 adults and 39 children who were not exposed. Study participants completed questionnaires and underwent physical and psychological testing. For the exposed adults, there were significant delays in simple and choice reaction times, decreased balance and significantly elevated mood state scores for tension, depression, anger, fatigue and confusion. Measurement of lung function indicated that both exposed and non-exposed adults had lung function below baseline levels. Pulmonary function in exposed children was significantly less than in non-exposed children.(52) This study is limited by the relatively small number of participants, possible historical exposure to other chemicals and lack of exposure information.

Skin Contact:
Hydrochloric acid is corrosive based on human and animal information and pH. In humans, dilute solutions (less than 4%) have caused mild to severe irritation. Solutions of 17% are corrosive in animals. Corrosive materials are capable of producing severe burns, blisters, ulcers and permanent scarring, depending on the concentration of the solution and the duration of contact. Any skin contact is likely to involve significant inhalation exposure. Skin absorption is not expected to occur to a significant extent, based on animal information.
Application of 4% hydrochloric acid, under a patch for 24 hours, caused irritation in 16/18 female volunteers (scores not reported).(54) Application of 0.06 mL of 4% hydrochloric acid, under a patch for 24 hours, caused mild irritation in 14/20 volunteers. In one person, there was a severe reaction with ulceration.(55) Application of 0.02 mL (cited as 20 lambda) of 3.6% (cited as 1N) hydrochloric acid to the skin of volunteers caused slight redness after 25-30 minutes and severe changes and inflammation after 2 hours.(56)

Eye Contact:
Hydrochloric acid is corrosive based on effects observed in animal studies and pH. Corrosive materials are capable of producing severe eye burns, and permanent injury, including blindness, depending on the concentration of the solutions and duration of contact. Any eye contact may also involve significant inhalation exposure. In controlled studies, exposure to 0.74-1.61 ppm hydrogen chloride gas for an unspecified duration caused eye irritation in 40% of an unreported number of volunteers.(47)

Ingestion:
Hydrochloric acid is corrosive depending on the concentration and can cause burns to the lips, tongue, throat and stomach; abdominal pain; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea and death. There have been many case reports of injury from accidental or intentional ingestion of hydrochloric acid. In many cases the quantity of acid ingested is not reported. Immediate effects include burning of the mouth throat and stomach followed by vomiting with loss of blood.(53) Difficulty swallowing and ulceration and narrowing of the esophagus are often seen following ingestion.(17) In one study, 21 patients had metabolic acidosis and severe corrosive damage to the upper digestive tract after drinking an average of 100 mL of 24-32% hydrochloric acid solutions. They were operated on immediately, however 14/21 died.(57) Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

There is little human information on long-term exposure to hydrochloric acid. A single, high-level exposure to hydrogen chloride gas or airborne hydrochloric acid may cause long-term airways hypersensitivity. Long-term exposure may cause dental erosion. In general, long-term skin contact with low concentrations of corrosive materials can cause dry, red, cracked skin (dermatitis).

Respiratory Sensitization:
Hydrochloric acid is not considered an occupational sensitizer.
There are a few case reports of individuals, often with pre-existing asthmatic conditions, who have developed asthma following exposure to hydrogen chloride gas or to hydrochloric acid mist. These cases are believed to be reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), which is airways hypersensitivity caused by very high, usually one-time exposure to a highly irritating gas.(48,49,50,51)

Skin:
In general, long-term skin contact with low concentrations of corrosive materials can cause dry, red, cracked skin (dermatitis).(58) In a wire cleaning plant, 4/9 workers exposed for an average of 15 years to up to 2 ppm hydrogen chloride and 0.75 ppm sulfuric acid mist, reported skin problems.(47) This study is limited by small numbers and by the mixed exposure.

Skin Sensitization:
Hydrochloric acid is not considered an occupational skin sensitizer. No case reports were located and negative results were obtained in animal studies.

DENTAL EROSION: In general, occupational exposure to high airborne concentrations of acids can cause erosion of the teeth.(59,61) Airborne acids are thought to deposit on teeth and react with tooth enamel resulting in decalcification.(60) The limited information available for hydrochloric acid does not allow estimation of exposure concentrations likely to cause this effect.
In one study, 97 workers exposed to an unspecified concentration of hydrogen chloride were studied over a period of 2 years and compared to 293 controls. Of the exposed workers, 44/97 had active dental erosion, compared to 0/293 of the unexposed workers.(61)
In a zinc galvanizing plant, 38 workers exposed to average concentrations of hydrogen chloride ranging from 1.2-8.3 ppm (cited as 1.8-12.4 mg/m3) in addition to zinc chloride and zinc oxide fumes, for an unreported duration, were examined for dental erosion. Ninety percent (35/38) workers had loss of enamel and involvement or loss of dentine.(62) This study is limited because there was no control group and there was concurrent exposure to other chemicals.
In a wire cleaning plant, 3/9 workers exposed for an average of 15 years to up to 2 ppm hydrogen chloride and 0.75 ppm sulfuric acid mist had premature dental erosion and tooth loss. The workers with dental erosion had been exposed for 21 years.(47) This study is limited by the small numbers of workers and by the mixed exposure.

Carcinogenicity:

There is insufficient evidence available to conclude that hydrochloric acid is a carcinogen.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed 2 cohort studies and 4 case-control studies.(17) Cohort studies of steel pickling workers showed an excess risk for lung cancer and an increased risk of cancer of the larynx in workers exposed primarily to hydrochloric acid mists, however exposure to sulfuric acid could not be ruled out. In 3 case-control studies, there was no association between hydrogen chloride exposure and cancers of the lung, brain or kidney. In the 4th case control study, an increased risk of oat cell carcinoma, but no other types of lung cancer, was suggested for workers exposed to hydrogen chloride. A single case report describes the development of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin 4 months after a hydrochloric acid burn to the area. The burn did not heal.(63)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that this chemical is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has designated this chemical as not classifiable as a human carcinogen (A4).

The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has not listed this chemical in its report on carcinogens.

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
No human information was located. In a limited animal study, hydrogen chloride gas caused developmental toxicity in rats exposed by inhalation to concentrations that caused severe maternal toxicity.

Reproductive Toxicity:
No human or animal information was located.

Mutagenicity:
The available evidence does not indicate that hydrochloric acid is a mutagen. No human or animal information was located. Positive and negative results were obtained in cultured mammalian cells and in bacteria. The positive results in mammalian cells are believed to be caused by low pH. A positive result was also obtained in fruit flies (Drosophila) exposed to hydrogen chloride.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
No information was located.

Potential for Accumulation:
Hydrochloric acid does not accumulate. It is a normal component of human gastric juice and the chloride ion is excreted in the urine.(17,22)


SECTION 4. FIRST AID MEASURES

Inhalation:
This chemical is very toxic. Take proper precautions to ensure your own safety before attempting rescue (e.g. wear appropriate protective equipment, use the buddy system). Remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. If breathing is difficult, trained personnel should administer emergency oxygen. DO NOT allow victim to move about unnecessarily. Symptoms of pulmonary edema can be delayed up to 48 hours after exposure. If breathing has stopped, trained personnel should begin artificial respiration (AR) or, if the heart has stopped, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or automated external defibrillation (AED) immediately. Avoid mouth-to-mouth contact by using mouth guards or shields. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility.

Skin Contact:
Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective clothing, if necessary. As quickly as possible, remove contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Immediately flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 30 minutes. If irritation persists, repeat flushing. DO NOT INTERRUPT FLUSHING. If necessary, and it can be done safely, continue flushing during transport to emergency care facility. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility. Double bag, seal, label and leave contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods at the scene for safe disposal. NOTE: Any skin contact will also involve significant inhalation exposure.

Eye Contact:
Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective gloves, if necessary. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 30 minutes, while holding the eyelid(s) open. If a contact lens is present, DO NOT delay irrigation or attempt to remove the lens. Neutral saline solution may be used as soon as it is available. DO NOT INTERRUPT FLUSHING. If necessary, continue flushing during transport to emergency care facility. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the unaffected eye or onto the face. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility. NOTE: Any eye contact will also involve significant inhalation exposure.

Ingestion:
NEVER give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, is unconscious or convulsing. Have victim rinse mouth thoroughly with water. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 60 to 240 mL (2 to 8 oz) of water. If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim rinse mouth with water again. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility.

First Aid Comments:
Provide general supportive measures (comfort, warmth, rest).
Consult a doctor and/or the nearest Poison Control Centre for all exposures.
Some first aid procedures recommended above require advanced first aid training. Protocols for undertaking advanced procedures must be developed in consultation with a doctor and routinely reviewed.
All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the material and its conditions of use in the workplace.



SECTION 5. FIRE FIGHTING MEASURES

Flash Point:
Not combustible (does not burn).

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
Not applicable

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
Not applicable

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
Not applicable

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Probably not sensitive. Stable material.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Hydrochloric acid solutions will not accumulate static charge, since they have very high electrical conductivities.(2) They will not be ignited by a static discharge, since they are not combustible.

Electrical Conductivity:
2.7 x 10(16) pS/m (7.9% hydrochloric acid); 8.35 x 10(15) pS/m (28.63%) at 25 deg C (2)

Flammable Properties:

Specific Hazards Arising from the Chemical:
Contact with common metals produces extremely flammable hydrogen gas.(10,14) When heated or in a fire, toxic and corrosive hydrogen chloride gas is released. Hydrogen chloride is thermally stable up to approximately 1500 deg C (2732 deg F).(2,15) Above this temperature, hydrogen chloride begins to dissociate into extremely flammable hydrogen gas and very toxic and corrosive chlorine gas.(2,15) Heat from a fire can cause a rapid build-up of pressure inside closed containers, which may cause explosive rupture and a sudden release of large amounts of flammable and corrosive gases.

Fire Hazard Summary:

Extinguishing Media:
Hydrochloric acid does not burn. Use extinguishing agents compatible with hydrochloric acid and appropriate for the surrounding fire.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid corrosive and very toxic hydrogen chloride and chlorine gases.
If possible, isolate hydrochloric acid containers and move them from the fire area if this can be done without risk, and protect personnel. Otherwise, fire-exposed containers or tanks should be cooled by application of hose streams and this should begin as soon as possible (within the first several minutes) and should concentrate on any unwetted portions of the container. Water is very effective in knocking down hydrogen chloride gas escaping from leaking hydrochloric acid containers. The resulting hydrochloric acid solutions are very corrosive and very toxic. Dike fire control water for appropriate disposal. DO NOT direct water at open or leaking containers and take precautions not to get water into the hydrochloric acid containers.
After the fire has been extinguished, explosive, toxic atmospheres may linger. Before allowing workers to enter such an area, especially confined areas, check the atmosphere with an appropriate monitoring device while wearing full protective gear.

Protection of Fire Fighters:
Hydrochloric acid is very corrosive and toxic. Do not enter without wearing specialized equipment suitable for the situation. Firefighter's normal protective clothing (Bunker Gear) will not provide adequate protection. A full-body encapsulating chemical protective suit with positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (NIOSH approved or equivalent) may be necessary.



NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION (NFPA) HAZARD IDENTIFICATION

NFPA - Health: 3 - Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury. (Hydrogen chloride, anhydrous)
NFPA - Flammability: 0 - Will not burn under typical fire conditions. (Hydrogen chloride, anhydrous)
NFPA - Instability: 1 - Normally stable, but can become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressures, or may react vigorously, but non-violently with water. (Hydrogen chloride, anhydrous)

SECTION 9. PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

Molecular Weight: 36.46

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 1.49 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.67 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Melting Point: FREEZING POINT: -17.4 deg C (0.7 deg F) (10.8% hydrochloric acid); -62.25 deg C (-80.1 deg F) (20.7%); -46.2 deg C (-51.2 deg F) (31.24%); -35 deg C (-31 deg F) (35.2%) (6,10)
Boiling Point: 108.6 deg C (227.4 deg F) (constant boiling mixture (20.2% hydrochloric acid)) (2,6)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 1.023 (5% hydrochloric acid); 1.047 (10%); 1.098 (20%); 1.149 (30%); 1.179 (36%); 1.198 (38%) at 20 deg C (3,15); 1.096 (constant boiling mixture (20.2%)) at 25 deg C (2)
Solubility in Water: Soluble in all proportions.(13)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Very soluble in ethanol, methanol, dioxane and tetrahydrofuran; insoluble in hydrocarbons, e.g. n-hexane.
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Log P(oct) = 0.3 (36% hydrochloric acid) (16)
pH Value: 1.1 (0.1M (0.37%) solution); 0.1 (1M (3.65%) at 25 deg C (6,10)
Acidity: Very strong acid.
Dissociation Constant: pKa = -6.2 at 25 deg C (65)
Viscosity-Dynamic: 1.08 mPa.s (1.08 centipoises) (5 wt% hydrochloric acid); 1.16 mPa.s (1.16 centipoises) (10%); 1.36 mPa.s (1.36 centipoises) (20%); 1.71 mPa.s (1.71 centipoises) (30%); 2.0 mPa.s (2.0 centipoises) (36%); 2.11 mPa.s (2.11 centipoises) (38%) at 20 deg C (15,64)
Surface Tension: Approximately 71.97 mN/m (71.97 dynes/cm) (dilute hydrochloric acid) at 25 deg C (2); 71.75 mN/m (71.75 dynes/cm) (17% hydrochloric acid); 70.55 mN/m (70.55 dynes/cm) (23.7%); 65.75 mN/m (65.75 dynes/cm) (35.3%) at 25 deg C (10)
Vapour Density: 1.3 (approximately 36%) (air = 1) (16)
Vapour Pressure: PARTIAL PRESSURE: 0.0005 kPa (0.004 mm Hg) (10% hydrochloric acid); 0.027 kPa (0.205 mm Hg) (20%); 1.41 kPa (10.6 mm Hg) (30%); 14.1 kPa (105.5 mm Hg) (36%); 28.0 kPa (210 mm Hg) C (38%) at 20 deg C (3)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 5.2 ppm (10% hydrochloric acid); 300 ppm (20%); 13900 ppm (1.39%) (30%); 138800 ppm (13.88%) (36%); 276400 ppm (27.64%) (38%) at 20 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: Hydrochloric acid solutions of greater than 28% are very volatile and can readily release high concentrations of hydrogen chloride gas.
Henry's Law Constant: Hydrochloric acid water solutions do not not obey Henry's law at all measured concentrations.(2,10)

Other Physical Properties:
DIELECTRIC CONSTANT: Approximately 78.30 at 25 deg C (2)


SECTION 10. STABILITY AND REACTIVITY

Stability:
Normally stable.

Hazardous Polymerization:
Does not occur.

Incompatibility - Materials to Avoid:

NOTE: Chemical reactions that could result in a hazardous situation (e.g. generation of flammable or toxic chemicals, fire or detonation) are listed here. Many of these reactions can be done safely if specific control measures (e.g. cooling of the reaction) are in place. Although not intended to be complete, an overview of important reactions involving common chemicals is provided to assist in the development of safe work practices.


METALS (e.g. steel, copper, brass or zinc) - extremely flammable hydrogen gas is released on reaction with many common metals.(66)
SODIUM - explodes on contact.(10,13,14)
BASES (e.g. sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide, amines, 2-aminoethanol or ethyleneimine) - react violently generating heat and pressure.(10,14,16)
FORMALDEHYDE - can react to form the potent human carcinogen, bis(chloromethyl) ether.(16,72)
OXIDIZING AGENTS (e.g. hydrogen peroxide, chlorates or chlorites) - may react generating heat and very toxic and corrosive chlorine gas.(10,16)
REDUCING AGENTS (e.g. metal hydrides) - reaction may produce extremely flammable hydrogen gas, heat and fire.(10)
PERCHLORIC ACID - decomposes spontaneously and violently.(14)
SULFURIC ACID - dehydrates concentrated hydrochloric acid to release some 250 volumes of hydrogen chloride gas. In a closed tank, sufficient gas may be formed to cause the tank to burst violently.(13,66)
POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE - a sharp explosion may be produced on adding concentrated hydrochloric acid to potassium permanganate.(10,13,66)
ALDEHYDES or EPOXIDES - hydrochloric acid may catalyze violent polymerization, generating heat and pressure.(10)
FLUORINE - incandesces on contact. Aqueous solutions produce flame.(66)
ACETYLIDES (e.g. cesium acetylide or rubidium acetylide), BORIDES (e.g. magnesium boride), CARBIDES (e.g. rubidium carbide), PHOSPHIDE (e.g. uranium phosphide) or SILICIDES (e.g. lithium silicide) - react producing spontaneously flammable gases (e.g. acetylene, borane, phosphine or silane, respectively).(10,14,66)
HEXALITHIUM DISILICIDE - incandesces in concentrated acid; flammable silanes (silicon hydrides) are evolved on contact with dilute acid.(66)
OTHER - Mixing 36% hydrochloric acid with acetic anhydride or chlorosulfonic acid or oleum or propiolactone or propylene oxide or vinyl acetate in a closed container caused the temperature and pressure to increase.(10,14)

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported.

Conditions to Avoid:
High temperatures

Corrosivity to Metals:
Hydrochloric acid (20-38%) is corrosive to most metals, including stainless steels (e.g. 300 series, 400 series, 17-4 PH and Carpenter 20 Cb-3), aluminum (e.g. types 3003, 5052 and Cast B-356), carbon steel (e.g. types 1010, 1020, 1075 and 1076), unalloyed cast iron, zinc, the nickel-base alloys, Monel, Hastelloy D and Incoloy 800, copper, copper-nickel alloy, bronze, silicon bronze, aluminum bronze, brass, naval brass, admiralty brass and titanium.(67,68,69) Hydrochloric acid (20-38%) is not corrosive to the nickel-base alloys, Hastelloy B/B-2, Hastelloy C/C-276, Hastelloy G, Monel 625 and Monel 825 and high-silicon cast irons.(67,68,69) High-nickel austenitic cast irons offer some resistance to all hydrochloric acid concentrations at room temperature.(67) Dilute hydrochloric acid (up to 10%) is corrosive to stainless steels (e.g. 300 series, 400 series and 17-4 PH), aluminum (e.g. types 3003, 5052 and Cast B-356), carbon steel (e.g. types 1010, 1020, 1075 and 1076), unalloyed cast iron, zinc, Monel, copper, copper-nickel, bronze, silicon bronze, brass, naval brass and admiralty brass.(67,68,69) Dilute hydrochloric acid (up to 10%) is not corrosive to the nickel-base alloys, Hastelloy B/B-2, Hastelloy C/C-276, Hastelloy D and Incoloy 825, nickel, high-silicon irons, high-nickel cast irons, the stainless steel, Carpenter 20 Cb-3 (containing 32-38% nickel), titanium and zirconium.(67,68,69)

Corrosivity to Non-Metals:
Hydrochloric acid (up to 38%) attacks plastics, such as nylon and polyacetal homopolymer (Delrina); and elastomers, such as, chlorinated polyethylene (CM), styrene-butadiene (SBR) and polysulfone.(69,70,71) Hydrochloric acid (up to 38%) does not attack plastics, such as Teflon, and other fluorocarbons, like ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (Tefzel), ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene (Halar) and polyvinylidene fluoride (Kynar), polyvinylidene chloride (Saran), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polypropylene, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN), polybutylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene (LDPE), ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE), thermoset polyesters (bisphenol A fumarate and isophthalic acid), polystyrene, and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA); and elastomers, such as ethylene-propylene, Viton A and other fluorocarbons, like Chemraz, Kalrez and Teflon, isoprene, natural rubber, Nitrile Buna N (up to 35% hydrochloric acid), chlorosulfonated polyethylene (Hypalon), flexible polyvinyl chloride, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE). (69,70,71)

Stability and Reactivity Comments:
Large amounts of heat can be released when concentrated hydrochloric acid is mixed with water or with organic solvents.


SECTION 11. TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION

LC50 (male rat): 1405 ppm (4-hour exposure; head-only); cited as 2810 ppm (1-hour exposure; head-only) (4)
LC50 (male rat): 1562 ppm (4-hour exposure; whole-body); cited as 3124 ppm (1-hour exposure; whole-body) (9)
LC50 (female mouse): 554 ppm (4-hour exposure; whole-body); cited as 1108 ppm (1-hour exposure; whole-body) (9)
LC50 (male guinea pig): 475 ppm (4-hour exposure; head-only); cited as 1350 ppm (30-minute exposure; head-only) (21)
LC50 (male mouse): 400 mg/m3 (4-hour exposure; aerosol); cited as 3.2 mg/L (30-minute exposure; aerosol) (20)

LD50 (oral, female rat): 238-277 mg/kg (22, unconfirmed)
LD50 (oral, rat): 700 mg/kg (22, unconfirmed)

LD50 (dermal, rabbit): greater than 5010 mg/kg (22, unconfirmed)

Eye Irritation:

Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to the eyes. Concentrations as low as 0.0000036% have caused slight corneal damage, while 3.6-10% have caused severe damage. In inhalation studies, hydrogen chloride gas has caused extreme eye irritation and corneal opacity.

Application of 0.1 mL of 10% hydrochloric acid in water caused serious irritation in rabbits (maximum average scores at 72 hours: redness: 3/3; chemosis: 2.3/4; iritis: 1.7/2; corneal opacity: 3.3/4). The maximum surface area of corneal damage was 59% at 24 hours.(5) Application of 0.03 mL of 5% hydrochloric acid caused severe irritation in rabbits (maximum score 90/110; greater than 21 days to return to normal).(23) Application of 10 microL of 0.0000036-3.6% (cited as 0.000001 to 1.0 N) hydrochloric acid to the eyes of anesthetized rabbits for 5 or 30 minutes caused concentration dependent damage to the corneal epithelium as observed by electron microscopy. At 0.0000036% for 5 minutes, there was slight damage to the cornea while at 3.6% for 5 minutes there was severe damage.(24)

Skin Irritation:

Hydrochloric acid is corrosive. A concentration of 0.5% has been reported as mildly irritating, 3.3% as moderately irritating and 17% and higher as corrosive.

Application of 0.5 mL of 37% hydrochloric acid to intact skin, under a patch for 1 or 4 hours, caused corrosion in rabbits (no scores reported).(25) Application of 0.5 mL of 17%, under a patch for 4 hours, caused corrosive injury in rabbits. A similar application of 15% did not cause a corrosive response.(26) No further information is available, and scoring was not reported. In unpublished studies, application of 0.5% for 5 days was not irritating, while 3.3% for 5 days was moderately irritating in rabbits (no scores reported).(22, unconfirmed)

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

Hydrochloric acid solutions release hydrogen chloride, a corrosive gas. In studies with guinea pigs, mice and rats, relatively low concentrations of hydrogen chloride caused irritation and damage to the eyes and nose, inflammation of the nose and upper airways and decreased respiration rate from sensory irritation. In male mice, there was a 50% decrease in respiratory rate from 309 ppm for 10 minutes. Pulmonary irritation was seen in male guinea pigs exposed to 320 ppm for 20 minutes, and at 1040 ppm for 30 minutes, there was inflammation in the lower airways and in the alveoli. Exposure of baboons to 10000 ppm for 10 minutes caused lung damage (bleeding, inflammation, edema, fibrosis) with an effect on lung function that persisted after 1 year. In LC50 studies, exposure to hydrogen chloride gas or hydrochloric acid aerosols caused extreme irritation to the eyes with erosion and clouding of the cornea, mucous membranes and exposed areas of skin.(20)

Inhalation:
Male mice exposed to 40, 99, 245, 440 or 943 ppm hydrogen chloride gas for 10 minutes exhibited a decrease in respiratory rate with the RD50 (the dose resulting in a decrease in the respiratory rate by 50%) calculated to be 309 ppm.(28) The RD50 is an indicator of sensory irritation (irritation to the eyes and nose). People exposed to the RD50 would experience intolerable burning of the eyes, nose and throat. In a further study, male mice were exposed to 309 ppm (the RD50) for 3 days (6 hr/d). The exposures turned the haircoats yellowish-green and caused high mortality (numbers not reported). Mild lesions in the squamous epithelium at the front of the nose, mild lesions in the olfactory epithelium, severe lesions including ulceration and tissue death in the respiratory epithelium, but no harmful effects on the lungs were observed.(29) Male guinea pigs were exposed head-only to 320, 680, 1040 or 1380 ppm hydrogen chloride gas for 30 minutes. Corneal opacity was seen in 1/4 guinea pigs at 670 ppm, 4/6 at 1040 ppm and 5/5 at 1380 ppm. At 320 ppm, sensory irritation (as evidenced by decreased respiration rate) appeared at 6 minutes, while at 680 ppm and higher it occurred immediately. Pulmonary irritation occurred after 20 minutes exposure to 320 ppm and in less than 4 minutes at 1380 ppm. At 1040 ppm, there was mild bronchitis in the larger conducting airways and areas of inflammation in the alveoli. Mortality was 2/8 at 1040 ppm and 3/8 at 1380 ppm.(27) In a series of experiments, anesthetized adult male baboons (3/group) were exposed head-only to 0, 500, 5000 or 10000 ppm hydrogen chloride gas for 15 minutes. At 5000 and 10000 ppm, the animals held their breath for 10-20 seconds then the respiration rate increased over several minutes. During exposure to 5000 and 10000 ppm, the animals had low blood oxygen and high blood carbon dioxide. Burns of the nose and mouth were seen at 10000 ppm. Detailed examination of the respiratory tract showed a significant increase in pulmonary bleeding, inflammation, edema and fibrosis at 10000 ppm. Also at 10000 ppm, there were significant but inconsistent effects on pulmonary function 1 year after exposure. Baboons (1/exposure) exposed for 5 minutes to concentrations of 16570 or 17290 ppm died several weeks later from bacterial pneumonia.(30,31,32)

Ingestion:
Female rats fed 146 mg/kg/day (cited as 9.5 mMol/day for 250 g rats) in their diet for 8 days consumed 50% less food than controls and developed enzyme changes typical of acidosis.(33)

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

Inhalation:
Rats exposed by inhalation to 10 ppm and higher hydrogen chloride gas for life (6 hr/d, 5 d/wk) had increased cell growth (hyperplasia) in the larynx (22% compared to 2% of controls) and the trachea (26% compared to 6% in controls).(35) In a study for which only the summary is available, rats and mice were exposed to 10, 20 and 50 ppm hydrogen chloride gas for 90 days (6 hr/d, 5 d/wk). At 50 ppm, male rats and mice of both sexes had a significant decrease in body weight. There were no significant effects on blood, serum or urine chemistry. The only reported effect on organ weights was a decrease in liver weight in female rats and both sexes of mice at 50 ppm. Rats had a concentration-related minimal to mild inflammation in the anterior nasal cavity and at 50 ppm mice developed inflammation of the lips.(34) There are no further details available for evaluation. In a study, which is not available in English, guinea pigs exposed to 10 ppm hydrogen chloride gas (cited as 15 mg/m3) for 7 weeks (2 hr/d, 5 d/wk) showed no effects.(17, unconfirmed)

Ingestion:
Rats (4/sex/group) were given 0, 280, 420 or 560 mMol/kg hydrochloric acid in the diet for 7 weeks. Approximate doses were 0, 511-613, 767-920 or 1022-1226 mg/kg/day. Water intake was significantly increased with hydrochloric acid ingestion. There were no significant effects on food intake, body weight gain, hemoglobin, hematocrit or blood pH. As part of the same study, rats were given 0, 312, 625, 937 or 1250 mMol/kg hydrochloric acid in the diet for 9 weeks. Approximate doses were 0, 569-683, 1141-1369, 1710-2052 or 2242-2638 mg/kg/day. The treatments with 937 and 1250 mMol/kg diet resulted in death of all rats with the average survival time being 51.2 and 19.1 days, respectively. Food intake, body weight gain and liver weight were significantly reduced in these groups. At 312 and 625 mg/kg/day, no effects were observed.(36)

Skin Sensitization:
Negative results were obtained in a Guinea Pig Maximization Test and in a Mouse Ear Swelling Test.(37)

Carcinogenicity:
The available evidence is insufficient to conclude that hydrochloric acid is a carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.
Male rats exposed by inhalation to 10 ppm and higher hydrogen chloride gas for life (6 hr/d, 5 d/wk) had no induction of tumours.(7,35) When reviewing this study, IARC stated that the study was not designed to test the carcinogenicity of hydrogen chloride and higher doses may have been tolerated.(17)

Teratogenicity, Embryotoxicity and/or Fetotoxicity:
The limited evidence available does not indicate that hydrochloric acid is a developmental toxin. In a limited study, hydrogen chloride gas caused developmental toxicity in rats exposed by inhalation to concentrations that caused severe maternal toxicity.
Rats were exposed by inhalation to 300 ppm hydrogen chloride gas (cited as 450 mg/m3) for 1 hour either 12 days before mating or on day 9 of pregnancy. The exposures caused death of one third of the mothers with severe effects on lung function and impairment of kidney and liver function. There was a significant increase in mortality in the offspring of mothers exposed during pregnancy and a significant decrease in fetal weight for offspring of mothers exposed before mating. The offspring also had decreased kidney and liver function and increased sensitivity of the lungs to hydrogen chloride.(18) This study is limited by the use of only exposure concentration and by the non-standard exposure protocol.

Mutagenicity:
The available evidence does not indicate that hydrochloric acid is a mutagen. There are no studies available using live animals. Positive and negative results were obtained in cultured mammalian cells and bacteria. Positive results in cultured mammalian cells are believed to be caused by low pH.
Positive results (chromosomal aberrations) were obtained in cultured mammalian cells, in the presence and absence of metabolic activation.(38) Positive results (gene mutations) were also obtained in cultured mammalian cells, in the presence of metabolic activation.(39) These effects are believed to be caused by the low pH.(38,39,40) Negative results (gene mutation, chromosome aberrations, sister chromatid exchange) were obtained in cultured mammalian cells, with and without metabolic activation.(41) Negative results (gene mutation, DNA damage) were obtained in bacteria, with and without metabolic activation.(41) Positive results (DNA damage) were obtained in bacteria.(42)
A positive result (sex-linked recessive lethal) was obtained in fruit flies (Drosophila) following exposure to hydrogen chloride gas.(43)


SECTION 16. OTHER INFORMATION

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Information on chemicals reviewed in the CHEMINFO database is drawn from a number of publicly available sources. A list of general references used to compile CHEMINFO records is available in the database Help.


Review/Preparation Date: 2007-04-11



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