What is Oxalic Acid Dihydrate?
Oxalic acid is an odorless, crystalline solid that is marked by the NFPA with class 3 health classification, class 1 fire classification and class J personal protection. The DOT Classification for the substance is: Class 8: Corrosive material. Oxalic acid is used in dyeing and bleaching processes, baking powders and more. Learn more about the potential health hazards and how oxalic acid is used in different applications in the article below.
Applications & Use
One of oxalic acid’s common uses is cleaning and acting as a rust removal agent. The substance forms a stable, water-soluble salt with ferric iron which enables it to remove rust effectively. It is also used as a mordant in dyeing processes including fabrics and stains.
Other common uses for oxalic acid is the process of adding solution in sugar syrup to prevent mites as well as a sealant on clay structures. The chemical also has a big part in manufacturing processes when bleaching wood and removing stains due to water penetration.
Hazard Identification and First Aid
Potential acute health effects include skin irritation, eye irritation and inhalation. Eye contact can result in corneal damage or blindness. Skin contact can cause blistering and irritation. Inhalation can product irritation to respiratory tract or gastrointestinal systems; including sneezing and coughing. Severe exposure can cause lung damage and even unconsciousness or death.
Potential chronic health effects depend on the amount of chemicals exposed to and how long one has been exposed to the chemicals. The substance may be toxic to kidneys, the nervous system, brain, eyes, skin, heart, mucous membranes and can cause skin destruction or dermatitis.
Storage and Handling
When handling the substance, utilize a proper breathing apparatus, and PPE to avoid the chance of breathing in dust or becoming exposed to particles. Oxalic acid should always be handled in accordance with good industrial principles.
Safely store oxalic acid inside cool, dry and well ventilated chemical storage buildings. Avoid placing the substance near heat sources including sunlight. All chemical storage containers must be properly sealed before being placed into regulated chemical storage buildings.
Ensure chemical storage buildings are equipped with mechanical ventilation, dry chemical fire suppression systems, and other safety accessories prior to storing oxalic acid.
Oxalic Acid MSDS. WSU.EDU Nov. 14th, 2007. Oxalic Acid.
Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet. NJ Department of Health. Oxalic Acid.
Occupational Health Guidelines. Center for Disease Control. Oxalic Acid.
Oxalic-Acid Information. Oxalic General Information.