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 CCOHS Chemical Name: Benzoic acid

Record Contents

 CHEMINFO Record Number: 374
 CCOHS Chemical Name: Benzoic acid

Benzenecarboxylic acid
Benzeneformic acid
Benzenemethanoic acid
Dracylic acid
Phenylcarboxylic acid
Phenylformic acid
Flowers of benjamin
Flowers of benzoin

 Chemical Name French: Acide benzoïque
 Chemical Name Spanish: Acido benzoico
 CAS Registry Number: 65-85-0
 RTECS Number(s): DG0875000
 EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 200-618-2
 Chemical Family: Aromatic carboxylic acid / aromatic monocarboxylic acid / benzenecarboxylic acid / benzoic acid
 Molecular Formula: C7-H6-O2
 Structural Formula: C6H5-C(=O)-OH

Status of Record:
The CHEMINFO record for this chemical is complete. The full format provides a detailed evaluation of health, fire and reactivity hazards, as well as recommendations on topics such as handling and storage, personal protective equipment, accidental release and first aid.


 Appearance and Odour:
White powder or crystals; faint, pleasant, slightly aromatic odour.(6,15)

 Odour Threshold:
Not available

 Warning Properties:
Information not available for evaluation.

Benzoic acid is available in industrial (97.5% minimum) and technical (99.0% minimum) grades and in grades meeting specifications of the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) and the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) for pharmaceutical and food additive uses respectively (99.5% and greater). Trace impurities present in commercial benzoic acid include methyl diphenyls and phthalic acids. Industrial and technical grades are available in both molten and solid forms, while USP and FCC grades are available in solid forms (crystals or powder).(16)

 Uses and Occurrences:
The largest use for benzoic acid is as a chemical raw material in the production of phenol, caprolactam, glycol dibenzoates used as plasticizers, sodium and potassium benzoates and other benzoic acid derivatives such as benzoyl chloride and benzoic acid esters. It is also used as a preservative in foods, juices, fats and oils; in alkyd resins; as a down-hole drilling mud additive; for pharmaceutical and medicinal uses; in the synthesis of dyestuffs, pharmaceuticals, perfumes and herbicides; in flavours and cosmetic preparations; as a corrosion inhibitor; as a laboratory reagent; as a standard in analytical chemistry; and an ingredient of antiseptic ointments for the treatment of fungal infections of the skin.(7,16-19)
Benzoic acid in the free state and in the form of simple derivatives is widely distributed in nature. Appreciable amounts are found in gum benzoin and in most berries, such as cranberries. The free acid is found in natural products such as prunes, ripe cloves and oil of anise seeds.(16,18,19)


White powder or crystals with a faint, pleasant, slightly aromatic odour. Can burn if strongly heated. COMBUSTIBLE DUST. May form explosive dust-air mixtures. Causes eye irritation. Can cause redness, swelling and itching (hives) at the point of skin contact.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

In general, high concentrations of dust may cause coughing and mild, temporary irritation. Very high concentrations of benzoic acid dust have caused irritation of the nose, throat and upper respiratory passages in animals. There is no human information available.

 Skin Contact:
Benzoic acid can cause redness and swelling with itching (non-immunological contact urticaria or hives) in most people at the site of application. Individuals can react without having been previously exposed to benzoic acid. The strength of the reaction is dose dependent, ranging from slight redness to extensive redness and swelling with tingling, burning or itching.(1)
A non-allergic hive reaction (reddening, patchy swelling, "burning" sensation and itching) was observed in humans within 30 minutes following application of 0.25% benzoic acid in water or 5% benzoic acid in petrolatum.(2) An immediate non-allergic skin reaction (redness or swelling) was observed in 12 volunteers following application of 15-250 millimolar solutions of benzoic acid in water. Washing the skin twice a day with soap and water intensified the reaction.(3)

 Eye Contact:
Benzoic acid dust or solutions are severely irritating to the eyes, based on animal information. There is no human information available.

Benzoic acid is used, in low concentrations, as a preservative in foods. It is low in acute oral toxicity, based on animal and human information. No harmful effects were observed in one reported case in which an individual ingested about 50 grams (about 750 mg/kg).(4) In another case, death reportedly followed ingestion of about 500 mg/kg.(5) Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

Skin Sensitization:
There is insufficient information available to evaluate one case report of a chemical worker who developed an allergic reaction while being exposed to benzoic acid at work.(6, unconfirmed) Another historical case report describes a baker who developed contact dermatitis following exposure to certain types of flour. Patch testing revealed allergies to several different compounds, one of which was benzoic acid. It is not clear if the reaction being described was contact urticaria or a true allergic response.(7)

INGESTION: Benzoic acid is low in chronic oral toxicity, based on human and animal information. No harmful effects were observed in 6 volunteers fed 300-400 mg benzoic acid in the diet for up to 62 days.(8) Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.


There is no human or animal 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:
There is no human or animal information available.

Reproductive Toxicity:
No harmful effects were observed in one animal study. There is no human information available.

There is no human information available. Positive, negative and inconclusive results have been obtained in tests using bacteria or cultured mammalian cells.

 Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
No synergism was found between benzoic acid and any of a number of food additives following short-term oral administration.(5)

 Potential for Accumulation:
Benzoic acid does not accumulate in the body. It is rapidly absorbed following ingestion from the gastrointestinal tract and metabolized in the liver to form hippuric acid, which is rapidly and almost completely excreted in the urine within 10 to 14 hours. Up to 97% may be excreted in the first 4 hours. When taken in large doses some benzoic acid may be excreted as benzoylglucuronic acid. Very small amounts are excreted as expired carbon dioxide and in the feces.(6,8,9)


If symptoms are experienced, remove source of contamination or have victim move 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. As quickly as possible, flush contaminated area with lukewarm, gently running water for at least 20 minutes, or until the chemical is removed. Obtain medical attention immediately. Completely decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before reuse, or discard.

 Eye Contact:
Quickly and gently blot or brush away excess chemical. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for 20 minutes, or until the chemical is removed while holding the eyelid(s) open. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the non-affected eye or onto the face. Obtain medical attention immediately.

If irritation or discomfort occur, obtain medical advice immediately.

 First Aid Comments:
Provide general supportive measures (comfort, warmth, rest).
All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the material and its conditions of use in the workplace.


 Flash Point:
121 deg C (250 deg F) (closed cup) (15)

 Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
Not available. Airborne dust can be ignited.(21-23) MINIMUM EXPLOSIBLE CONCENTRATION: 11 g/m3.(21,22)

 Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
Not well defined for combustible dusts.

 Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
570-573 deg C (1058-1063.4 deg F) (16,17,20)

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

 Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Like other organic dusts, benzoic acid dust can accumulate a static charge, and under certain conditions, airborne dust can explode when ignited by an electrostatic spark, other high-voltage spark or other ignition source.(21-23)

 Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Incomplete combustion may also produce irritating fumes, such as benzene and phenol, and acrid smoke.

 Fire Hazard Summary:
Benzoic acid can burn if strongly heated. Vapour from molten benzoic acid may form explosive mixtures with air. During a fire, irritating/toxic gases and fumes may be generated. Under certain conditions, a dust cloud of benzoic acid may explode when ignited by a spark or flame. See references 22 and 23 for a list of the main ignition sources of sufficient energy to cause a dust explosion. When evaluating the explosion hazard of a specific process or sample of material, the important factors to consider include: particle size and shape, dust concentration, the nature of any impurities, oxygen concentration, humidity, and extent of containment.(23) IGNITION SENSITIVITY: 5.4 (23) EXPLOSION SEVERITY: 2.1 (23) The EXPLOSIBILITY INDEX is greater than 10. This value indicates that a "severe" explosion could occur. This hazard rating index considers both ignition sensitivity (ignition temperature, concentration, etc.) and explosion severity (explosion pressure, rate of pressure rise).(23) This is compared to a standard material (coal). MINIMUM IGNITION TEMPERATURE: 620 deg C (1148 deg F) (cloud) (23); 600 deg C (1112 deg F) (cloud) (21,22); layer melts (22,23) MINIMUM CLOUD IGNITION ENERGY: 12 millijoules (mJ) (21,22): 20 mJ (23) MAXIMUM EXPLOSION PRESSURE: 524 kPa (76 psi) (23); 655 kPa (95 psi) (22); 660- 680 kPa (6.6-6.8 bar) (21) MAXIMUM RATE OF PRESSURE RISE: 71020 (10300 psi/sec) (22); 74900 kPa/sec (749 bar/sec) (21)

 Extinguishing Media:
Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, alcohol foam, polymer foam, water spray or fog.(15)

 Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or a protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid toxic decomposition products.
Water or foam may cause frothing. The frothing may be violent and could endanger personnel close to the fire. However, a water spray or fog that is carefully applied to the surface of the burning material, preferably with a fine spray or fog nozzle, will cause frothing that will blanket and extinguish the fire. In addition, water spray or fog can be used to prevent dust formation, absorb heat, keep containers cool and protect exposed material. Water spray may be used to flush spills away from ignition sources. Solid streams of water may be ineffective and spread material.
The decomposition products of benzoic acid may be hazardous to health. Do not enter without wearing specialized protective equipment suitable for the situation. Firefighter's normal protective equipment (Bunker Gear) will not provide adequate protection. Chemical resistant clothing (e.g. chemical splash suit and positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (MSHA/NIOSH approved or equivalent) may be necessary.


 NFPA - Health: 1 - Exposure would cause significant irritation, but only minor residual injury.
 NFPA - Flammability: 1 - Must be preheated before ignition can occur.
 NFPA - Instability: 0 - Normally stable, even under fire conditions, and not reactive with water.


 Spill Precautions:
Restrict access to area until completion of clean-up. Ensure clean-up is conducted by trained personnel. Wear adequate personal protective equipment. Extinguish or remove all ignition sources. Notify government occupational health and safety, and environmental authorities.

Do not touch spilled material. Prevent material from entering sewers or waterways. Stop or reduce leak if safe to do so.
SMALL SPILLS OF SOLUTIONS: Soak up spill with absorbent material which does not react with spilled chemical. Put material in suitable, covered, labelled containers. Flush area with water.
Contaminated absorbent material may pose the same hazards as the spilled product.
SMALL SPILLS OF SOLID: Shovel into clean, dry, labelled containers and cover. Flush area with water.
LARGE SPILLS: Contact fire and emergency services and supplier for advice.


This material is a TOXIC (eye irritant) solid. It may be a COMBUSTIBLE DUST and so may be a DUST EXPLOSION HAZARD. Before handling, it is important that engineering controls are operating and that protective equipment requirements and personal hygiene measures are being followed. People working with this chemical should be properly trained regarding its hazards and its safe use.
Avoid generating dusts. Prevent the release of dusts into the workplace air. Use in a well ventilated area, separate from the storage area.
Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, if necessary to avoid contact with this chemical and any contaminated equipment.
Wherever dust clouds may be generated, eliminate sparks flames and other ignition sources. Post "NO SMOKING" signs.
Use the proper tools to open containers. Ripping open a container can cause an uneven tear, thus making spills more likely. Cautiously, transfer into sturdy containers made of compatible materials. Stand upwind of all opening, dispensing and mixing operations. Never return contaminated material to its original container. Use dust-tight labelled containers. Avoid damaging containers. Keep containers closed when not in use.
Good housekeeping is very important to prevent accumulations of dust. Dry sweeping is not recommended. Pre-wet the material or use an explosion-proof vacuum equipped with high efficiency filter(s).
Use only conductive equipment for handling this material (e.g. metal conveyors and piping) and keep all components grounded. Ground clips must contact bare metal. Do not transfer in storage area unless it is segregated by fire- resistant construction.
Do not use with incompatible materials such as oxidizing agents and bases. See Incompatibilities - Materials to Avoid section for more information.
Follow handling precautions on Material Safety Data Sheet. Have suitable emergency equipment for fires, spills and leaks readily available. Maintain handling equipment. Comply with applicable regulations.

Store in a cool area, out of direct sunlight and away from heat and ignition sources.
Store away from oxidizers and corrosives and other incompatible materials such as bases and strong reducing agents. See Incompatibilities - Materials to Avoid section for more information.
Inspect all incoming containers to make sure they are properly labelled and not damaged. Store in suitable, labelled containers (usually the shipping container). Keep containers closed. Protect from damage. It is good practice to keep empty containers in a separate storage area. Empty containers may contain hazardous residues. Keep closed.
Storage facilities should be made of fire resistant materials. Use a grounded, non-sparking ventilation system. Storage area should be clearly identified, clear of obstruction and accessible only to trained personnel. Keep storage area clear of burnable materials (e.g. old rags, cardboard). It is good practice to keep storage area separate from work areas. It is good practice to store away from work process and production areas, elevators, building and room exits or main aisles leading to exits. Inspect periodically for damage or leaks. Have appropriate fire extinguishers and spill clean-up equipment in or near storage area.
Follow any special instructions for storage on Material Safety Data Sheet (e.g. maximum storage quantities).
Store materials according to occupational health and safety regulations and fire and building codes.


NOTE: Exposure to this material can be controlled in many ways. The measures appropriate for a particular worksite depend on how this material is used and on the extent of exposure. This general information can be used to help develop specific control measures. Ensure that control systems are properly designed and maintained. Comply with occupational, environmental, fire, and other applicable regulations.

 Sampling and Analysis:
Use appropriate instrumentation and sampling strategy (location, timing, duration, frequency, and number of samples). Interpretation of the sampling results is related to these variables and the analytical method. Sampling should be carried out by trained personnel.

OSHA CD-ROM (OSHA A95-3). US Department of Labor, June 1995. Not validated. OSHA In-house file. For details contact the OSHA Salt Lake Technical Centre at (801) 487-0267. Collection on Porapak Q sorbent tube. Analysis by gas chromatography using flame ionization detector (FID).

 Engineering Controls:
Engineering control methods to reduce hazardous exposures are preferred. Methods include mechanical ventilation (dilution and local exhaust), process or personnel enclosure, control of process conditions, and process modification. Administrative controls and personal protective equipment may also be required.
Use local exhaust ventilation, and process enclosure if necessary, to control airborne dust. Supply sufficient replacement air to make up for air removed by exhaust systems.

 Personal Protective Equipment:
If engineering controls and work practices are not effective in controlling exposure to this material, then wear suitable personal protective equipment including approved respiratory protection. Have appropriate equipment available for use in emergencies such as spills or fire.

 Respiratory Protection Guidelines:
No specific guidelines are available. Contact the manufacturer/supplier for specific advice.

 Eye/Face Protection:
Chemical safety goggles. A face shield may also be necessary.

 Skin Protection:
Chemical protective gloves, coveralls, boots, and/or other resistant protective clothing.
Have a safety shower/eye-wash fountain readily available in the immediate work area.

 Resistance of Materials for Protective Clothing:
No specific guidelines are available. Contact chemical manufacturer/supplier for advice.

 Personal Hygiene:
Remove contaminated clothing promptly. Discard or launder before rewearing. Inform laundry personnel of contaminant's hazards. Do not eat, drink or smoke in work areas. Wash hands thoroughly after handling this material. Maintain good housekeeping.



 Time-Weighted Average (TLV-TWA): Not established

 TLV Comments:
NOTE: In many jurisdictions, exposure limits are similar to the ACGIH TLVs. Since a TLV has not been established for this substance, appropriate government agencies in each jurisdiction should be consulted to determine which regulations apply.


 Time-Weighted Average (PEL-TWA): Not established

NOTE: The OSHA PEL Final Rule Limits are currently non-enforceable due to a court decision. The OSHA PEL Transitional Limits are now in force.


 Time-Weighted Average (PEL-TWA): Not established


 Molecular Weight: 122.12

 Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 4.98 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.201 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

 Melting Point: 122-123 deg C (251.6-253.4 deg F) (15); begins to sublime at about 100 deg C (212 deg F) (17,19)
 Boiling Point: 249 deg C (480.2 deg F) (15,16,19); begins to sublime at about 100 deg C (212 deg F) (17,19)
 Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 1.321 at 20 deg C (water = 1) (17). Also reported as 1.266 at 15 deg C (water = 1) (24)
 Solubility in Water: Slightly soluble in water (290 mg/100 g at 20 deg C) (16,17)
 Solubility in Other Liquids: Very soluble in absolute ethanol, acetone, diethyl ether and methanol; soluble in benzene, chloroform, toluene and volatile and fixed oils; slightly soluble in hexane and petroleum ether (16,17,19)
 Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Log P(oct) = 1.87 at 20 deg C (18,25)
 pH Value: 2.8 (saturated solution (0.34%) in water at 25 deg C) (16,17,19); 3.1 (0.01 N (0.12%)) (24)
 Acidity: Weak acid; pKa = 4.19 at 25 deg C (Ka = 6.46 x 10(-5)) (24)
 Viscosity-Dynamic: 1.26 mPa.s (1.26 centipoises) at 130 deg C (molten liquid) (16)
 Surface Tension: 31 mN/m (31 dynes/cm) at 130 deg C (molten liquid) (17)
 Vapour Density: 4.2 (air = 1) (6,18)
 Vapour Pressure: Very low at 25 deg C; 0.133 kPa (1 mm Hg) at 96 deg C (16,17,24)
 Saturation Vapour Concentration: Not available at 25 deg C
 Evaporation Rate: Very low at normal temperatures.
 Critical Temperature: 479 deg C (894 deg F) (6)
 Critical Pressure: 4560 kPa (45 atm.) (6)

 Other Physical Properties:
Note: Volatile with steam.(17,19)


Normally stable. Decarboxylation (loss of the carboxyl group) occurs when benzoic acid is heated above 370 deg C. Copper and cadmium accelerate this reaction.(17)

 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 OXIDIZING AGENTS (e.g. perchlorates, peroxides, chlorine) - may react vigorously or violently. Risk of fire and explosion.(15) One source reports that benzoic acid is stable to the usual oxidizing agents including potassium permanganate, chromic acid, hypochlorite and dilute nitric acid.(17)
NITRITES - mixtures with nitrites, such as sodium nitrite, may explode violently on heating.(26)
STRONG REDUCING AGENTS (e.g. phosphorus, tin (II) chloride, metal hydrides) - may react vigorously or violently.(15)
STRONG BASES (including alkalis such as sodium hydroxide) - react vigorously.(15)

 Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported

 Conditions to Avoid:
Generation of dust, heat, flames, sparks, build-up of static electricity and other ignition sources

 Corrosivity to Metals:
Benzoic acid solutions are corrosive to steel, gray cast iron and lead.(27) Not corrosive to types 304 and 316 stainless steels or to nickel-molybdenum and nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloys.(27,28) Type 316 stainless steel is resistant to corrosion at high temperatures and is used to ship molten benzoic acid.(16) Aluminum is generally resistant to acids at room temperature.(27,28)


LC50 (rat): greater than 6.5 mg/m3 (4-hour exposure); cited as greater than 26 mg/m3 (1-hour exposure) (10, unconfirmed)

LD50 (oral, rat): 1700 mg/kg (10, unconfirmed)
LD50 (oral, mouse): 1950 mg/kg (11)

LD50 (dermal, rabbit): greater than 5000 mg/kg (5)

Eye Irritation:

Benzoic acid is a very severe eye irritant.

In a standard Draize test, application of 0.1 mL benzoic acid produced severe irritation in rabbits (maximum average score: 41.3/110 at 24 hours). The corneas of 3/6 animals had not healed by day 35 following exposure.(29)

Skin Irritation:

Mild irritation was observed in rabbits in a standard Draize test.(10, unconfirmed)

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

Upper respiratory tract irritation and other toxic effects were observed in rats following inhalation of very high airborne concentrations (250 or 1200 mg/m3 dust with equivalent aerodynamic diameter 4.7 micrometres (um)) of benzoic acid for 4 weeks. No harmful effects were observed following inhalation of 25 mg/m3.(6, unconfirmed)

Skin Contact:
In a test designed to evaluate the potential of chemicals to cause hives (non-immunological contact urticaria), immediate redness and swelling was observed following application of 0.2-20% benzoic acid to guinea pig ear lobes. However, no irritation was observed following similar application to the back, abdomen or flank.(1)

Convulsions and death were observed following single oral doses of greater than 450 mg/kg benzoic acid to cats. Similar effects were observed following daily doses of greater than 200 mg/kg. The authors conclude that these effects are likely specific to cats.(12)

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

No toxic effects were observed in rats fed a diet containing 1% benzoic acid (equivalent to 500 mg/kg daily) in short- and long-term feeding studies.(5)

Reproductive Toxicity:
No harmful effects on reproduction were observed in rats following ingestion of up to 1% benzoic acid in a multi-generational study.(8)

There is insufficient information available to evaluate the mutagenic potential of benzoic acid. No studies using live animals were located.
Three negative and one positive result have been obtained in tests using bacteria (both with and without metabolic activation).(10,13,14) Inconclusive results were obtained in a test (chromosome test) using cultured mammalian cells.(14)


NOTE : Inclusion of Ecological Information on an MSDS is optional under the US Hazard Communication Standard and the Canadian Controlled Products Regulations (WHMIS). In other jurisdictions, inclusion of Ecological Information may be a requirement. For specific requirements, contact the relevant regulatory authorities in the jurisdiction where the MSDS is intended to be used.

The American National Standard for Hazardous Industrial Chemicals - Material Safety Data Sheets - Preparation (ANSI Z400.1-2004) provides advice on data that could be included in this section.

Databases in CCOHS's CD-ROM and Web collection which contain useful Ecological Information include CESARS, HSDB® (Hazardous Substances Data Bank) and CHRIS (Chemical Hazards Response Information System).


Review federal, provincial and local government requirements prior to disposal. Store material for disposal as indicated in Storage Conditions. Disposal by controlled incineration or secure landfill may be acceptable.



This chemical is not specifically listed in the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. However it may be regulated as a part of a chemical family or group Not Otherwise Specified (N.O.S.) (e.g. LIQUID DYES N.O.S.). Consult the regulation.

NOTE: This information incorporates the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations SOR/2001-286, effective January 2, 2006.


This chemical is not specifically listed in the US Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 - Transportation.

NOTE: This information was taken from the US Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 - Transportation and is effective July 1, 2004.



 CCOHS WHMIS Classification:
D2B - Poisonous and infectious material - Other effects - Toxic


 WHMIS Health Effects Criteria Met by this Chemical:
D2B - Eye irritation - toxic - other

 WHMIS Ingredient Disclosure List:
Included for disclosure at 1% or greater.

Detailed WHMIS Classification According to Criteria:

Class A - Compressed Gas:
Does not meet criteria.
CLASS A - COMPRESSED GAS: Does not meet criteria.

Class B - Flammable and Combustible Material:
Does not meet criteria.
Closed cup flash point: 121 deg C. However, benzoic acid is a combustible dust.

Class C - Oxidizing Material:
Does not meet criteria.

Class D - Poisonous and Infectious Material. Division 1 - Immediate and Serious Toxic Effects:
Does not meet criteria.

Acute Lethality:
Does not meet criteria.
LD50 (oral, mouse): 1950 mg/kg; LD50 (dermal, rabbit) greater than 5000 mg/kg.

Class D - Poisonous and Infectious Material. Division 2 - Other Toxic Effects:
Meets criteria for "Toxic material".
See detailed evaluation below.

Chronic Health Effects:
Does not meet criteria.
No harmful effects observed in humans or animals in long-term studies.

Does not meet criteria. Not included in standard reference lists.

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
Insufficient information.
No human or animal information available.

Reproductive Toxicity:
Insufficient information.
No harmful effects observed in one animal study.

Insufficient information.
No in vivo studies reported.

Respiratory Tract Sensitization:
Does not meet criteria.
Not reported as human respiratory sensitizer.

Skin Irritation:
Insufficient information.
Mildly irritating in an unconfirmed Draize test, but has caused local hives in humans and animals.

Eye Irritation:
Severe irritation in an unconfirmed Draize test.

Skin Sensitization:
Insufficient information.
Has caused non-immunological hive reaction.

Class E - Corrosive Material:
Insufficient information for classification.
Corrosive to steel.

Class F - Dangerously Reactive Material:
Does not meet criteria.


 OSHA Hazard Communication Evaluation:
Meets criteria for hazardous material, as defined by 29 CFR 1910.1200.


 EU Classification:
An official classification for this substance has not been published in Commission Directives as of April 29, 2004.


 Selected Bibliography:
(1) Lahti, A., et al. An animal model for nonimmunologic contact urticaria. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Vol. 76, no. 2 (Nov. 1984). p. 219-224
(2) Nethercott, J.R., et al. Airborne contact urticaria due to sodium benzoate in a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. Journal of Occupational Medicine. Vol. 26, no. 10 (Oct. 1984). p. 734-736
(3) Lahti, A., et al. Immediate irritant reactions to benzoic acid are enhanced in washed skin areas. Contact Dermatitis. Vol. 33, no. 3 (Sept. 1995). p. 177-182
(4) Gosselin, R.E., et al. Clinical toxicology of commercial products. 5th ed. Williams and Wilkins, 1984. p. II-203
(5) Opdyke, D.L.J. Fragrance raw materials monographs. Food and Cosmetics Toxicology. Vol. 17 (1979). p. 715-722
(6) HSDB record for benzoic acid. Last revision date: 97/04/01
(7) Baird, K.A. Allergy to chemicals in flour: a case of dermatitis due to benzoic acid. Journal of Allergy. Vol. 16 (July 1945). p. 195-198
(8) Benzoic acid and its potassium and sodium salts. In: Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Toxicological evaluation of some food additives, including anticaking agents, antimicrobials, antioxidants, emulsifiers and thickening agents. WHO Food Additive Series, 1974, no. 5. World Health Organization, 1974. p. 34-42
(9) Reynolds. J.E.F., ed. Martindale: the extra pharmacopoeia. 29th ed. The Pharmaceutical Press, 1989. p. 1355-1356
(10) RTECS record for benzoic acid. Last updated: 9704
(11) Anonymous. Acute toxicity data. Shell Chemical Company, New York, April, 1961
(12) Bedford, P.G.C., et al. Experimental benzoic acid poisoning in the cat. The Veterinary Record. Vol. 90, no. 3 (Jan. 15, 1972). p. 53-58
(13) Zeiger, E., et al. Salmonella mutagenicity tests: IV. Results from the testing of 300 chemicals. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. Vol. 11, suppl. 12 (1988). p. 1-158
(14) Ishidate, M., et al. Primary mutagenicity screening of food additives currently used in Japan. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Vol. 22, no. 8 (1984). p. 623-636
(15) The Sigma-Aldrich library of chemical safety data. Ed. II. Vol. 1. Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, 1988. p. 360A
(16) Opgrande, J.L., et al. Benzoic acid. In: Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. 4th ed. Vol. 4. John Wiley and Sons, 1992. p. 103-115
(17) Maki, T, et al. Benzoic acid and derivatives. In: Ullmann's encyclopedia of industrial chemistry. 5th completely revised ed. Vol. A 3. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, 1985. p. 555-569
(18) Verschueren, K. Handbook of environmental data on organic chemicals. 3rd ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1996. p. 283-285
(19) Budavari, S, ed. The Merck index: an encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs, and biologicals. 12th ed. Merck and Co. Inc., 1996. p. 183
(20) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325
(21) Field, P. Explosibility assessment of industrial powders and dusts. Building Research Establishment, 1983
(22) Grossel, S.S. Safety considerations in conveying of bulk solids and powders. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries. Vol. 1 (Apr. 1988). p. 62-74
(23) Schwab, R.F. Dusts. In: Fire protection handbook. Edited by G.P. McKinnon. 15th ed. National Fire Protection Association, 1981. p. 4-84 to 4-97
(24) Handbook of chemistry and physics. 66th ed. Edited by R.C. Weast. CRC Press, 1985-1986. p. C-126, D-146, D-161, D-203
(25) Leo, A., et al. Partition coefficients and their uses. Chemical Reviews. Vol. 71, no. 6 (Dec. 1971). p. 576
(26) Urben, P.G., ed. Bretherick's handbook of reactive chemical hazards. 5th ed. Vol. 1. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd., 1995. p. 944-945, 1672
(27) Corrosion data survey: metals section. 6th ed. National Association of Corrosion Engineers, 1985. p. 20-1 to 21-1
(28) Elder, G.B. Materials of construction for organic acids. In: Process industries corrosion: the theory and practice. Edited by B.J. Moniz, et al. National Association of Corrosion Engineers, 1986. p. 287-296
(29) Initial submission: primary eye irritation of benzoic acid to rabbits with cover letter dated 082892. Produced by: Monsanto Co. Date produced: Jan. 17, 1983. EPA/OTS 88-920008107. NTIS/OTS0546102.

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: 1998-01-27

 Revision Indicators:
Resistance of materials 1998-05-01
TDG 2002-06-11
Bibliography 2003-04-18
NFPA (health) 2003-04-18
NFPA (reactivity) 2003-04-18
Toxicological info 2004-02-13
Short-term eye contact 2004-02-13
Resistance of materials for PPE 2004-04-08

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