Chloroacetic acid was corrosive to the skin and gastrointestinal tract of man. Its vapours irritate the respiratory tract and may cause eye damage. Accidental spillage on the skin has caused a number of deaths. Animal studies involving single administration of either the acid or its sodium salt indicated a moderate to high oral, dermal and inhalation toxicity. Repeated oral administration of chloroacetic acid or its sodium salt produced effects on the liver and nervous system of mice, and on the heart, liver, kidney, lung and blood of rats. Foetal malformations were reported when pregnant rats received chloroacetic acid by stomach tube. Long-term studies in which rats and mice were given chloroacetic acid by stomach tube or in the diet generated no convincing evidence of carcinogenicity. In mice, chloroacetic acid produced chromosomal damage and sperm abnormalities when administered by injection. An oral study in mice found no evidence of chromosomal damage. Point mutations and DNA damage have been induced in mammalian cells in culture. No mutagenic activity was reported in bacterial assays (including the Ames test), yeast and fruit flies.

Date of Publication: 1997

Number of Pages: 9

CAS Number*: 79-11-8


Format: PDF available for immediate download

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