A low concentration of sodium alginate caused little or no irritation on repeated application to rabbit skin, and was only mildly irritant to rabbit eyes. No irritant effects have been reported in humans, but occasional skin sensitization has apparently occurred. Slight laxative effects have resulted in humans and experimental animals from repeated large oral doses of alginic acid and its sodium salt. Other effects reported in rat and/or mouse feeding studies with sodium alginate at high dose levels include kidney damage, proliferation of the bladder lining, indications of slight liver injury, decreased blood cholesterol and increased intestinal weight. There was no evidence of reproductive toxicity in a limited three-generation rat feeding study with sodium alginate. Carcinogenicity was not detected in a long-term mouse feeding study at a single high dose level, or in three limited rat feeding tests. Injection of alginic acid into the abdominal cavity of male mice in a dominant lethal test provided no evidence of mutagenicity. Sodium alginate did not induce chromosomal aberrations in mammalian cells in culture and was not mutagenic in a bacterial Ames test.

The gastro-intestinal absorption of calcium and certain other essential minerals has been decreased in man by oral doses of sodium alginate, but the decreases observed have generally been small or inconsistent. Absorption of lead and cadmium has been increased in experimental animals by alginic acid and its sodium salt, but conflicting results have been obtained in different studies.

Date of Publication: 1988

Number of Pages: 8

CAS Number*: 9005-32-7




Format: PDF available for immediate download

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