Citric acid caused severe eye damage in man and rabbits, and irritated the skin of rabbits. Consumption of large amounts by man may cause tooth erosion and other local effects including mouth ulceration. One study has reported adverse reactions (including asthma) in an individual after the ingestion of foods containing citric acid. The acid and its sodium salt were of low acute oral toxicity in laboratory animals. Repeated oral administration of citric acid has caused slight degeneration of the spleen and thymus gland in rats. No adverse effects on reproduction or foetal development were seen in laboratory animals fed citric acid. A limited feeding study with citric acid revealed no evidence of carcinogenicity in rats, but its sodium salt, when given orally, enhanced the activity of known carcinogens. Citric acid and its sodium and potassium salts gave no convincing evidence of activity in a variety of genotoxicity screening assays. The citrate ion occurs naturally in the diet and enters normal metabolic pathways.

Date of Publication: 1993

Number of Pages: 10

CAS Number*: 77-92-9










Format: PDF available for immediate download

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