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Chemical Datasheet

FORMIC ACID

8 - Corrosive 3 - Flammable liquid

Chemical Identifiers

CAS Number UN/NA Number DOT Hazard Label USCG CHRIS Code
  • 64-18-6   (FORMIC ACID)
  • 1779
  • Corrosive
  • Flammable Liquid
  • FMA
NIOSH Pocket Guide International Chem Safety Card
Formic acid
  • FORMIC ACID
NFPA 704
Diamond Hazard Value Description
2
3 0
Blue Health 3 Can cause serious or permanent injury.
Red Flammability 2 Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperatures before ignition can occur.
Yellow Instability 0 Normally stable, even under fire conditions.
White Special
(NFPA, 2010)
General Description
A colorless liquid with a pungent odor. Flash point 156°F. Density 10.2 lb / gal. Corrosive to metals and tissue.

Hazards

Reactivity Alerts
none
Air & Water Reactions
Fumes in air. Soluble in water with release of heat.
Fire Hazard
Special Hazards of Combustion Products: Toxic vapor generated in fires (USCG, 1999)
Health Hazard
Liquid causes skin and eye burns. Vapors are irritating and painful to breath. Vapor exposure may cause nausea and vomiting. (USCG, 1999)
Reactivity Profile
FORMIC ACID reacts exothmerically with all bases, both organic (for example, the amines) and inorganic. Reacts with active metals to form gaseous hydrogen and a metal salt. Reacts with cyanide salts to generate gaseous hydrogen cyanide. Reacts with diazo compounds, dithiocarbamates, isocyanates, mercaptans, nitrides, and sulfides to generate flammable or toxic gases. Reacts with sulfites, nitrites, thiosulfates (to give H2S and SO3), dithionites (SO2), to generate flammable and/or toxic gases and heat. Reacts with carbonates and bicarbonates to generate carbon dioxide but still heat. Can be oxidized by strong oxidizing agents and reduced by strong reducing agents. These reactions generate heat. May initiate polymerization reactions or catalyze other chemical reactions. A mixture with furfuryl alcohol exploded [Chem. Eng. News 18:72(1940)].
Belongs to the Following Reactive Group(s)
Potentially Incompatible Absorbents

No information available.

Response Recommendations

Isolation and Evacuation
Excerpt from ERG Guide 153 [Substances - Toxic and/or Corrosive (Combustible)]:

As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area in all directions for at least 50 meters (150 feet) for liquids and at least 25 meters (75 feet) for solids.

SPILL: Increase, in the downwind direction, as necessary, the isolation distance shown above.

FIRE: If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions. (ERG, 2016)
Firefighting
Excerpt from ERG Guide 153 [Substances - Toxic and/or Corrosive (Combustible)]:

SMALL FIRE: Dry chemical, CO2 or water spray.

LARGE FIRE: Dry chemical, CO2, alcohol-resistant foam or water spray. Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk. Dike fire-control water for later disposal; do not scatter the material.

FIRE INVOLVING TANKS OR CAR/TRAILER LOADS: Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles. Do not get water inside containers. Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety devices or discoloration of tank. ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire. (ERG, 2016)
Non-Fire Response
Excerpt from ERG Guide 153 [Substances - Toxic and/or Corrosive (Combustible)]:

ELIMINATE all ignition sources (no smoking, flares, sparks or flames in immediate area). Do not touch damaged containers or spilled material unless wearing appropriate protective clothing. Stop leak if you can do it without risk. Prevent entry into waterways, sewers, basements or confined areas. Absorb or cover with dry earth, sand or other non-combustible material and transfer to containers. DO NOT GET WATER INSIDE CONTAINERS. (ERG, 2016)
Protective Clothing
Skin: Wear appropriate personal protective clothing to prevent skin contact.

Eyes: Wear appropriate eye protection to prevent eye contact.

Wash skin: The worker should immediately wash the skin when it becomes contaminated.

Remove: Work clothing that becomes wet or significantly contaminated should be removed and replaced.

Change: No recommendation is made specifying the need for the worker to change clothing after the work shift.

Provide: Eyewash fountains should be provided in areas where there is any possibility that workers could be exposed to the substance; this is irrespective of the recommendation involving the wearing of eye protection. Facilities for quickly drenching the body should be provided within the immediate work area for emergency use where there is a possibility of exposure. [Note: It is intended that these facilities provide a sufficient quantity or flow of water to quickly remove the substance from any body areas likely to be exposed. The actual determination of what constitutes an adequate quick drench facility depends on the specific circumstances. In certain instances, a deluge shower should be readily available, whereas in others, the availability of water from a sink or hose could be considered adequate.] (NIOSH, 2016)
DuPont Tychem® Suit Fabrics
Normalized Breakthrough Times (in Minutes)
Chemical CAS Number State QS QC SL C3 TF TP BR RC TK RF
Formic acid (30%) 64-18-6 Liquid
Formic acid (>95%) 64-18-6 Liquid imm. >480 >480 260 260 >480 >480 >480 >480
> indicates greater than.
"imm." indicates immediate; having a normalized breakthrough time of 10 minutes or less.
A blank cell indicates the fabric has not been tested. The fabric may or may not offer barrier.

Special Warnings from DuPont

  1. Serged and bound seams are degraded by some hazardous liquid chemicals, such as strong acids, and should not be worn when these chemicals are present.
  2. CAUTION: This information is based upon technical data that DuPont believes to be reliable. It is subject to revision as additional knowledge and experience are gained. DuPont makes no guarantee of results and assumes no obligation or liability...

(DuPont, 2018)

First Aid
EYES: First check the victim for contact lenses and remove if present. Flush victim's eyes with water or normal saline solution for 20 to 30 minutes while simultaneously calling a hospital or poison control center. Do not put any ointments, oils, or medication in the victim's eyes without specific instructions from a physician. IMMEDIATELY transport the victim after flushing eyes to a hospital even if no symptoms (such as redness or irritation) develop.

SKIN: IMMEDIATELY flood affected skin with water while removing and isolating all contaminated clothing. Gently wash all affected skin areas thoroughly with soap and water. IMMEDIATELY call a hospital or poison control center even if no symptoms (such as redness or irritation) develop. IMMEDIATELY transport the victim to a hospital for treatment after washing the affected areas.

INHALATION: IMMEDIATELY leave the contaminated area; take deep breaths of fresh air. If symptoms (such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, or burning in the mouth, throat, or chest) develop, call a physician and be prepared to transport the victim to a hospital. Provide proper respiratory protection to rescuers entering an unknown atmosphere. Whenever possible, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) should be used; if not available, use a level of protection greater than or equal to that advised under Protective Clothing.

INGESTION: DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Corrosive chemicals will destroy the membranes of the mouth, throat, and esophagus and, in addition, have a high risk of being aspirated into the victim's lungs during vomiting which increases the medical problems. If the victim is conscious and not convulsing, give 1 or 2 glasses of water to dilute the chemical and IMMEDIATELY call a hospital or poison control center. IMMEDIATELY transport the victim to a hospital. If the victim is convulsing or unconscious, do not give anything by mouth, ensure that the victim's airway is open and lay the victim on his/her side with the head lower than the body. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Transport the victim IMMEDIATELY to a hospital. (NTP, 1992)

Physical Properties

Chemical Formula:
  • CH2O2
Flash Point: 156 ° F (NTP, 1992)
Lower Explosive Limit (LEL): 18 % (90% solution) (NTP, 1992)
Upper Explosive Limit (UEL): 57 % (90% solution) (NTP, 1992)
Autoignition Temperature: 1114 ° F (USCG, 1999)
Melting Point: 47.1 ° F (NTP, 1992)
Vapor Pressure: 35 mm Hg at 68 ° F ; 200 mm Hg at 142.5° F (NTP, 1992)
Vapor Density (Relative to Air): 1.6 (NTP, 1992)
Specific Gravity: 1.22 at 68 ° F (USCG, 1999)
Boiling Point: 213.3 ° F at 760 mm Hg (NTP, 1992)
Molecular Weight: 46.02 (NTP, 1992)
Water Solubility: greater than or equal to 100 mg/mL at 70° F (NTP, 1992)
Ionization Potential: 11.05 eV (NIOSH, 2016)
IDLH: 30 ppm (NIOSH, 2016)

AEGLs (Acute Exposure Guideline Levels)

No AEGL information available.

ERPGs (Emergency Response Planning Guidelines)

Chemical ERPG-1 ERPG-2 ERPG-3
Formic Acid (64-18-6) 3 ppm star-in-circle icon indicates that odor should be detectable near ERPG-1. 25 ppm 250 ppm
star-in-circle icon indicates that odor should be detectable near ERPG-1.
(AIHA, 2016)

PACs (Protective Action Criteria)

Chemical PAC-1 PAC-2 PAC-3
Formic acid (64-18-6) 3 ppm 25 ppm 250 ppm LEL = 180000 ppm
(DOE, 2016)

Regulatory Information

EPA Consolidated List of Lists

Regulatory Name CAS Number/
313 Category Code
EPCRA 302
EHS TPQ
EPCRA 304
EHS RQ
CERCLA RQ EPCRA 313
TRI
RCRA
Code
CAA 112(r)
RMP TQ
Formic acid 64-18-6 5000 pounds 313 U123

(EPA List of Lists, 2015)

DHS Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)

No regulatory information available.

OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard List

No regulatory information available.

Alternate Chemical Names