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CHEMINFO Record Number: 583
CCOHS Chemical Name: Zinc naphthenate

Naphthenic acid, zinc salt
Naphténate de zinc
Acide naphténique, sel de zinc

Trade Name(s):
Zinc uversol
Cuprinol clear

CAS Registry Number: 12001-85-3
RTECS Number(s): QK9275000
Chemical Family: Zinc and compounds / organic zinc compound / zinc salt / alicyclic and aliphatic carboxylic acid salt / naphthenate
Molecular Formula: Complex mixture
Structural Formula: Not applicable


Appearance and Odour:
Amber viscous liquid (8 to 10% zinc) or waxy solid (16% zinc) (3)

Odour Threshold:
Not available

Warning Properties:
Information for evaluation not available

Zinc naphthenate is the zinc salt of naphthenic acid. The amount of zinc (typically 8%) depends on the acid value of the naphthenic acid from which it was derived. Naphthenic acid is a complex mixture of low-molecular-weight fatty acids and cyclopentanoic acids. It is a by-product of petroleum refining and is variable in composition. Consequently, some grades of zinc naphthenate may be acidic. To reduce viscosity and facilitate handling, zinc naphthenate is sometimes supplied with petroleum solvents as a diluent.

Uses and Occurrences:
Preservative (fungicide, insecticide, mold-proofing and waterproofing agent for wood, textiles and insulating materials); drying agent for paints, varnishes and resins.(3)



Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Mists may be irritating to the nose, throat and respiratory tract. Zinc naphthenate does not form a vapour; thus there is practically no vapour inhalation hazard. It is often used as a solution in organic solvent and solvent vapour may cause specific health effects.

Skin Contact:
No information is available. Zinc naphthenate may cause minor redness or irritation.

Eye Contact:
No specific information is available for zinc naphthenate. Other water insoluble zinc salts (such as zinc sulfide) have caused essentially no irritation to the eye.(4)

No human information is available. Animal toxicity values suggest that zinc naphthenate is relatively non-toxic by this route of exposure. If zinc naphthenate is used as a solution in solvent, there may be the risk of aspiration, due to the solvent.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

No information available. Chronic poisoning by zinc salts from industrial exposure is unlikely.


No information available

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has not evaluated the carcinogenicity of this chemical.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has no listing for this chemical.

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

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
No information available

Reproductive Toxicity:
No information available

It is unlikely that zinc naphthenate would cause mutagenic effects through industrial exposure. No specific information is available, but zinc compounds generally are not mutagenic in short-term or animal tests. Chromosome abnormalities have been observed in workers with combined exposure to zinc, cadmium and lead compounds.(5)

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
No information available

Potential for Accumulation:
Probably does not accumulate. No specific information is available for zinc naphthenate. Zinc is an essential element in the body. Ingested or absorbed zinc in excess of normal requirements is eliminated in the feces and urine.(5) Naphthenate is likely metabolized (broken down) as are other carboxylic acids found in the body.


If symptoms are experienced, remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. If symptoms persist, obtain medical advice immediately.

Skin Contact:
Remove contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Gently blot or brush away excess chemical quickly. Wash gently and thoroughly with water and non-abrasive soap. If irritation persists, obtain medical advice immediately. Completely decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use or discard.

Eye Contact:
Gently blot or brush away excess chemical quickly. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 10 minutes, by the clock, holding the eyelid(s) open. If irritation persists, obtain medical attention immediately.

Have victim rinse mouth thoroughly with water. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 240 to 300 mL (8 to 10 oz.) of water. If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim lean forward to reduce risk of aspiration of the petroleum solvent (if any). Repeat administration of water. Obtain medical attention immediately.

First Aid Comments:
Consult a physician and/or the nearest Poison Control Centre for all exposures except minor instances of inhalation or skin contact.
All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a physician familiar with the material and its conditions of use in the workplace.


Flash Point:
Not applicable (does not form vapour)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
Probably not applicable

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
Probably not applicable

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
Not available

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

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Not available

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Possible zinc oxide fume.

Fire Hazard Summary:
Zinc naphthenate aerosols (mists and dusts) may be flammable. No specific information is available, but certain organic salts of zinc can form flammable or explosive aerosols.

Extinguishing Media:
Carbon dioxide, alcohol foam, dry chemical, dry powder, halons. Water may be ineffective.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Zinc naphthenate products often contain organic solvents which may be flammable or combustible. Use extinguishing media and fire fighting procedures appropriate to the solvent.


NFPA - Comments:
NFPA has no listing for this chemical in Codes 49 or 325.


Molecular Weight: Not applicable

Conversion Factor:
Not applicable

Melting Point: No information available.
Boiling Point: No information available.
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): Not available
Solubility in Water: Not soluble (3)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Miscible with most organic solvents (3)
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Not available
pH Value: Not applicable
Vapour Density: Not applicable
Vapour Pressure: Practically zero
Saturation Vapour Concentration: Not applicable
Evaporation Rate: Not applicable
Critical Temperature: Not applicable



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.

STRONG OXIDIZERS - increased risk of fire or explosion.

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
Insufficient information

Corrosivity to Metals:
Insufficient information. Some grades of naphthenic acids are corrosive to metals. The zinc salts of these acids may also be slightly corrosive to metal if contact is prolonged.


LD50 (oral, rat): 4920 mg/kg (1)
LD50 (oral, rat): 6000 mg/kg (zinc naphthenate with 8% zinc). Death was attributed to gastro-intestinal failure. Toxic effects included loss of appetite, lethargy and diarrhea.(2)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Smyth, H.F., et al. Range-finding toxicity data : list VII. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. Vol. 30 (1969). p. 470
(2) Rockhold, W.T. Toxicity of naphthenic acids and their metal salts. American Medical Association Archives of Industrial Health. Vol. 12 (Nov. 1955). p. 477-482
(3) Hawley's condensed chemical dictionary. 11th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1987. p. 1254
(4) Grant, W.M. Toxicology of the eye. 3rd ed. Charles C. Thomas, 1986. p. 991-992
(5) Handbook on the toxicology of metals. Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press, 1979. p. 677-685

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: 1989-09-28

Revision Indicators:
PEL-TWA 1993-03-01
WHMIS (disclosure list) 1993-03-01
Trans PEL-TWA 1993-04-01
TDG 1994-02-01
Sampling 1996-06-01
Resistance of materials 1996-06-01
US transport 1996-06-01
EU class 1996-06-01

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