GPS* Safety Summary for Hydrochloric Acid

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1 GPS* Safety Summary for Hydrochloric Acid Select a Topic: Names Product Overview Manufacture of Product Product Description Product Uses Exposure Potential Health Information Environmental Information Physical Hazard Information Regulatory Information Additional Information Names Some common chemical identifiers, names and synonyms include: CAS No Aqueous hydrogen chloride Hydrochloric acid Hydrogen chloride (HCl) Muriatic acid Product Overview SABIC s hydrochloric acid is a transparent, yellow liquid with a strong, irritating odor. Aqueous hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and highly toxic. Hydrochloric acid is a strong acid which reacts with most metals producing explosive hydrogen gas and must therefore be stored and handled with appropriate precautions. For further details, see Product Description. The main uses of hydrochloric acid in the chemical industry are in the production of inorganic salts, in the production of vinyl chloride from acetylene, in the production of alkyl chlorides from olefins, and in the production of dyes, pigments, and pesticides. Additionally, it is used in the manufacture of phosphoric acid and in the production of aluminum chloride. It is used as a catalyst and solvent in organic synthesis, as an alcohol chlorination reagent specifically in the manufacture of fertilizers. For further details, see Product Uses. Products containing hydrochloric acid are widely available to the general public. Products containing hydrochloric acid as an ingredient in a formulation at a significant quantity (e.g. cleaning solutions) require the consumer to use specific protective measures, as described on product labels. In the workplace, adequate general or local exhaust ventilation should be used to keep airborne concentrations below recommended health exposure limits. Personal protective equipment should be used when handling the material. In any situation where Revised: September 9, 2012 Version: 2 *Global Product Strategy Page 1 of 5

2 potential exposure is expected, the use of acid-resistant protective equipment for eyes and skin, and respiratory protective equipment is usually required. Workers that handle hydrochloric acid should be familiar with guidelines in the (Material) Safety Data Sheet. For further details, see Exposure Potential. Contact with hydrochloric acid causes severe burns to all human tissue in which it comes into contact, including skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Hydrochloric acid may be fatal if swallowed or inhaled. For further details, see Health Information. Hydrochloric acid and dissociates readily in water to chloride and hydronium ions, decreasing the ph of the water. As an inorganic chemical, hydrochloric acid is not considered as having a propensity for bioaccumulation. Hydrochloric acid released into water may be toxic to aquatic organisms due to the resulting decrease in ph. For further details, see Environmental Information. Manufacture of Product Capacity In North America, SABIC produces hydrochloric acid in Burkville, Alabama and Mount Vernon, Indiana. Global production capacity for hydrochloric acid is above 100 million tons per year. Process SABIC s hydrochloric acid is produced in brine plant operations and sold as an industrial raw material. Hydrochloric acid is produced through one of three processes: (1) by a direct reaction of hydrogen and chlorine, (2) by reaction of metal chlorides and acids, and (3) as a byproduct from chlorine-using processes to manufacture chlorinated hydrocarbons. This synthesis takes place in closed systems under strictly controlled conditions. Product Description SABIC s hydrochloric acid is a transparent, yellow liquid with a strong, irritating odor. Hydrochloric acid is otherwise a gas. SABIC s product contains 33% w/w hydrochloric acid in water and is of bulk industrial grade. Hydrochloric acid is highly reactive with certain chemicals and must therefore be stored and handled with appropriate precautions. Aqueous hydrochloric acid forms hydrogen gas when in contact with base metals, chlorine gas when oxidized and hydrogen chloride gas when reacted with certain acids. Product Uses The main uses of hydrochloric acid in the chemical industry are in the production of inorganic salts, in the production of vinyl chloride from acetylene, in the production of alkyl chlorides from olefins, in the production of dyes, pigments, pesticides and even in the production of pharmaceutical grade hydrochloride salts. Additionally it is used in the manufacture of phosphoric acid and in the production of aluminum chloride. It is used as a catalyst and solvent in organic synthesis, as an alcohol chlorination reagent specifically in the manufacture of fertilizers. Revised: September 9, 2012 Page 2 of 5

3 Exposure Potential SABIC s hydrochloric acid is used in the production of a large variety of industrial products. Household cleaning products are the most common source of consumer exposure. Consumer Exposure- SABIC does not manufacture hydrochloric acid for consumer use. However, it should be noted that hydrochloric acid is sold in hardware and home improvement stores as muriatic acid, where it finds applications in the construction industry and in a variety of household uses (e.g. toilet bowl cleaners). Measures to reduce consumer exposure to such products are often required due to the corrosive nature of hydrochloric acid and the potential evolution of hydrogen chloride gas during end-use. Consumers should closely follow packaging precautions. In the event of contact with hydrochloric acid, medical attention should be sought immediately. Workplace Exposure- Exposure can occur either in a hydrochloric acid manufacturing facility or in the various industrial or manufacturing facilities that use hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is produced in a closed system under strictly controlled conditions. Those working with hydrochloric acid in manufacturing operations could be exposed during maintenance, sampling, testing or other procedures. The most common worker exposure is inhalation of gas or mist. Each manufacturing facility should have a thorough training program for employees and appropriate work processes, ventilation and safety equipment should be in place to limit unnecessary exposure. For any situation where potential exposure is expected, the use of acid resistant protective equipment for eyes, skin and respiratory protective equipment is recommended because of its corrosive properties. See Health Information. Environmental Release- During manufacturing, hydrochloric acid should not be directly released into waterways in significant quantities, as it is acutely toxic to fish, daphnids and algae. Accidental spills and releases need to be managed by trained professionals. In the event of a spill, the area should be evacuated promptly and the spill should be contained, if it is safe to do so, in order to minimize potential releases to the environment. Personal protective equipment and safe handling practices should be used. For facilities where hydrochloric acid is manufactured or large quantities are processed, a written Emergency Response Plan (ERP) should be developed for OSHA where required, the content of which would vary by facility size and proximity to populated areas. Health Information Contact with hydrochloric acid causes severe burns to all body tissue in which it comes into contact, including skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Hydrochloric acid may be fatal if swallowed or inhaled. Hydrogen chloride gas that may evolve during certain end-uses presents similar hazards to human health. Eye Contact- Eye contact with hydrochloric acid liquid or vapor causes severe irritation, conjunctivitis, corneal necrosis and burns with impairment or permanent loss of vision. Skin Contact- Skin contact with hydrochloric acid may cause severe irritation, inflammation, corrosion, ulceration, necrosis and deep chemical burns. Shock symptoms of over-exposure may develop including rapid pulse, sweating and collapse. Hydrochloric acid is not a skin sensitizer based on an animal study. Inhalation- Hydrochloric acid is toxic by inhalation. Hydrochloric acid inhalation of gas or fumes at levels of 5-35 ppm may cause irritation and burning of the throat, coughing and choking; exposure to ppm may be barely tolerable for one hour. High levels may cause inflammation and occasionally ulceration of the nose, throat or larynx, cause bronchitis, pneumonia, palpitations and Revised: September 9, 2012 Page 3 of 5

4 headache. Higher concentrations may cause necrosis of the tracheal and bronchial epithelium, nasoseptal perforation, atelectasis, emphysema, damage to pulmonary blood vessels and lesions of the liver and other organs. Death may be due to laryngeal spasm, bronchopneumonia or pulmonary edema. Exposures at levels of 1,300-2,000 ppm may be dangerous, even in the event of brief exposure. Symptoms of over-exposure may include fatigue, confusion, headache, dizziness and drowsiness. Very high concentrations may cause unconsciousness or death. Ingestion- Ingestion of hydrochloric acid may cause severe burns of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach with consequent severe pain, uneasiness, nausea, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, shock and intense thirst. Nephritis, fever and perforation of the intestinal tract, and circulatory collapse may occur. Death may be due to esophageal or gastric necrosis. Repeated Exposure- Prolonged or repeated exposure to hydrochloric acid may result in respiratory impairment, bronchitis and gastritis. Mucosal membranes may be severely damaged following repeated exposures, as well as discoloration or corrosion of exposed teeth. In laboratory studies, based on a lack of effects on body weight and a lack of pathological findings except for effects of site-of-contact local irritation, the no-observed adverse effect level for repeated dose inhalation to hydrochloric acid is determined to be 20 ppm for both mice and rats. Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity- There are no adequate specific investigations on the reproductive or developmental toxicity potential of hydrochloric acid. Cancer Information- Carcinogenicity was not evident in a study with rats exposed to hydrochloric acid gas at 10 ppm for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for up to 128 weeks. At the test concentration, no serious local irritation effects were evident. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have not classified hydrochloric acid as carcinogenic. Environmental Information Hydrochloric acid dissociates readily in water to chloride and hydronium ions, decreasing the ph of the water. Hydrochloric acid released into the air will thereby be removed by rainfall. Hydrochloric acid released into water may be toxic to aquatic organisms due to the resulting decrease in the ph level. The decrease in the ph of the water will depend on the amount and concentration of the hydrochloric acid released, the size of the water body, and the assimilative capacity of the local media. For instance, small-scale releases to drains from household cleaning products subject to large dilutions and the buffering capacity of natural waters are not expected to harm the environment. As an inorganic chemical, hydrochloric acid is not considered as having a propensity for bioaccumulation. If released to soil, hydrochloric acid will evaporate from dry soil surfaces and dissociate into chloride and hydronium ions in moist soil. Physical Hazard Information Hydrochloric acid is stable at typical use temperatures. Hydrochloric acid is reactive with many substances and should be stored in a manner that prevents spills. Aqueous hydrochloric acid forms hydrogen gas when in contact with base metals, chlorine gas when oxidized and hydrogen chloride gas when reacted with certain acids. Contact with oxidizing agents, acids and bases and metals Revised: September 9, 2012 Page 4 of 5

5 should be avoided. Contact with fluorine, hexalithium disilicide, metal acetylides or carbides should also be avoided due to the risk of ignition. Regulatory Information Regulations exist that govern the manufacture, sale, transportation, use, and/or physical disposal of hydrochloric acid. These regulations may vary by city, state, country or geographic region. For additional information on the regulatory status of this substance, please refer to the regional (Material) Safety Data Sheet. Classification and Labeling- Substances may be classified according to their physical, health and environmental hazards. Identified hazards may then be communicated via specific labels on the product packaging and the Safety Data Sheet, as well as for transport. Under the initiative of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), hazard classification and labeling is standardized across countries so that the intended audience (workers, consumers, transport workers, and emergency responders) can better understand the hazards of the chemicals in use. Information on the classification and labeling of this substance is available in the regional (Material) Safety Data Sheet. See Additional Information. Additional Information In the USA, a Safety Data Sheet can be made available by contacting the SABIC Customer Service Center at General information on Global Product Strategy (GPS) safety summaries is available via the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA): IMPORTANT: As part of its Responsible Care goals, SABIC has committed to make publicly available safety assessments for its products globally. This Global Product Strategy (GPS) Safety Summary is intended to give general information about the chemical (or categories of chemicals) addressed. It is not intended to provide an in-depth discussion of health and safety information. Additional information is available through the relevant Safety Data Sheet, which should be consulted before use of the chemical. This Safety Summary does not replace required communication documents such as the Safety Data Sheet. Modification of this Safety Summary, unless specifically authorized by SABIC, is strictly prohibited. Unlike a Safety Data Sheet, SABIC makes no commitment to update or correct any information that appears in this Safety Summary. NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, OF MERCHANT ABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR OF ANY OTHER NATURE ARE MADE HEREUNDER WITH RESPECT TO INFORMATION OR THE PRODUCT TO WHICH INFORMATION REFERS. Revised: September 9, 2012 Page 5 of 5

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