Product name :                                           Formic Acid


UN number :                                                1779


                  Company                                                     Rolfes Chemicals

                                    A Division of Rolfes Group of Companies

                                    Cnr Brammer and Strachan, Industries East


                  Information (Product safety)                Telephone: +27 11 873 0157 Fax: +27 11 8738480

                  Emergency telephone                             South Africa +27 (0)86 044 44 11





Chemical name





R-Phrase Numbers


Formic Acid


85.00 - 90.00

F, C

R10, R35


See Section 15 for European Label Information.

See Section 8 for Exposure Limits (if applicable).




Emergency response data :                 Highly corrosive and can cause severe pain. Causes blisters and burns.                                                               Corrosive to the eyes with a danger of vision impairment/blindness.                                                                                          Ingestion causes burns in the mouth, throat and esophagus. Inhalation of                                                            product may cause irritation, high levels can cause difficulty in breathing                                                                     and possible lung damage. May cause serious permanent damage.                                                                                       Product and its vapours are flammable.


Potential health effects

                  Inhalation :                                 Inhalation of the vapours or concentrated mist may cause irritation and                                                                 damage to the respiratory tract. Although prolonged exposure to high                                                                   concentrations may cause discomfort and even ulceration of the nasal                                                                  passages.


                  Skin :                                            Formic acid solutions are highly corrosive to the skin , and although skin                                                               contact may not lead to immediate pain, damage begins at once. Severe                                                              ulceration and scarring may result in serious cases.


                  Eye :                                             Formic acid is extremely corrosive to the eye and splashes are especially                                                             hazardous. Damage can range from severe irritation and mild corneal                                                                  scarring to fluid accumulation, disintegration, ulceration, and severe                                                                                        corneal scarring and clouding. Permanent blindness may result in severe                                                            cases, and immediate first aid is vital to avoid permanent damage.


                  Ingestion :                                   Ingestion will cause severe mouth burns, and if swallowed, extensive                                                                     damage to the oesophagus and may lead to vomiting, prostration,                                                                          collapse, and constrictive scarring.



Potential environmental:                          Toxic to fish, aquatic organisms and wildlife. Do not discharge into lakes,

                  effects                                          streams, ponds and ground water supply.


See Section 11 for further health effects/toxicological data.




                                    Inhalation :                                 Remove casualty from area of exposure. If unconscious do not give                                                                                                            anything to drink, place in recovery position and administer oxygen. If                                                                                      conscious place the casualty in a semi-upright position. Give oxygen if                                                                                     available. Obtain medical attention immediately.


                                    Skin contact :                              Avoid direct contact with this chemical. Wear impervious protective gloves.                                                                             As quickly as possible, flush contaminated area with lukewarm, gently                                                                                      running water for at least 30 minutes. Under running water, remove                                                                                                           contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods. If irritation persists,                                                                                                          repeat flushing. Obtain medical attention immediately. Completely                                                                                            decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use or discard.


                                    Eye contact :                               Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing                                                                                water for 30 minutes, holding the eyelid(s) open. Take care not to rinse                                                                                   contaminated water into the non-affected eye. If irritation persists repeat                                                                                 flushing. If available a neutral saline solution may be used to flush the                                                                                       contaminated eye(s) an additional 30 minutes. Obtain medical attention                                                                                           immediately.


                                    Ingestion :                                   Never give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, or                                                                                is unconscious or convulsing. Rinse mouth thoroughly with water. Do not                                                                                induce vomiting. If victim can swallow, have him/her drink plenty of water.                                                                                If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim lean forward to reduce risk of                                                                                         aspiration. Repeat administration of water. Obtain medical attention                                                                                                           immediately.


                                    Note to doctors :                        Treat symptomatically.



Extinguishing media :                                Carbon dioxide, foam, dry chemical and water fog.


Special fire fighting:                                   Do not breathe fumes. Respirator with independent air-supply and airtight procedures                                                      garment is required. Fight fire in early stages if safe to do so. Containers                                                               close to fire should be removed immediately or cooled with water. Do not                                                             allow contaminated extinguishing water to enter the soil, groundwater or                                                                         surface waters.


Special protective:                                      For fires in enclosed areas, fire fighters must use Self-Contained

equipment for firefighters                         Breathing Apparatus.


Unusual fire and explosive:                     No specific hazards.



Products of decomposition :                    Fumes, black smoke, carbon oxides.




Procedure if material is:                            Report spills/releases as required to appropriate authorities.

released or spilled


Methods for cleaning up :                        SMALL SPILLS: Ventilate the area and wear chemical resistant overalls,                                                                safety glasses, gloves, and an approved respirator. Neutralise with soda or                                                         slaked lime, mop up with plenty of water and run to waste.                                   

                                                                        LARGE SPILLS: Wear chemical resistant overalls, safety glasses, gloves,                                                               and an approved respirator. Spilled solutions should be contained by                                                                                     diking with inert material, such as sand or earth. Solutions can be                                                                            recovered or carefully diluted with water and cautiously neutralised with                                                                  acids such as acetic acid or hydrochloric acid. Contact fire and emergency                                                         services and supplier for advice. Neutralise residue with soda or slaked                                                        lime. Flush area well with water.


Personal precautions :                              Chemical resistant clothing should be worn, boots, splash suit, apron,                                                                    gloves, safety goggles with side shields, if the possibility of splashing                                                                                        exists a full face shield should be worn. Butyl or natural rubber gloves are                                                            recommended.


Environmental precautions :                                     Dangerous to aquatic life in high concentrations. .Do not allow un-                                                                          neutralized spillage to enter rivers or water systems



Safe handling advice :                              Use protective equipment (see Section 8). Provide adequate ventilation.                                                               Avoid inhalation of vapours and skin and eye contact. Change                                                                                 contaminated or soaked clothing immediately. Wash hands after handling.                                                          Use work methods which minimize aerosol production. Addition of water                                                               directly to this product may cause vigorous reaction/boiling. Always dilute                                                          by carefully pouring the product into the water.


Storage information :                                 Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated bunded area and keep protected from                                                            light and direct sunlight. Avoid electrostatic charges. Keep away from                                                                     bases and oxidizing agents.


Storage and handling :                             Electrical equipment and fittings must comply with local fire prevention

                                                                        procedures regulations for this class of product. Refer to national or local                                                             regulations covering safety at petroleum handling and storage areas for                                                              this product.




Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs)









Formic Acid









10 ppm

5 ppm

5 ppm

5 ppm




Note: Limits Shown for guidance only. Follow applicable regulations.


Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

                  Engineering controls :             Use in well ventilated area. Explosive-proof ventilation equipment with

                                                                        local exhaust is desirable.


                  Respiratory protection :          Approved respiratory equipment must be used when airborne

                                                                        concentrations are unknown or exceed the recommended exposure limit.

                                                                        Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus may be required for use in confined

                                                                        or enclosed spaces.


                  Eye protection :                         Safety glasses with side shields, goggles or full-face shield.


                  Skin and body protection :     If prolonged or repeated skin contact is likely wear solvent-resistant

                                                                        gloves and clothing. Good personal hygiene practices should always be





Appearance :                                               Liquid

Colour :                                                         Water white

Odour :                                                          Acetous

pH :                                                                 2

Boiling point/range :                                  105 °C

Flash point :                                                 56 °C

Autoignition temp :                                     480 °C

Lower explosion limit :                              14.3% (v)

Upper explosion limit :                              34% (v)

Melting Point :                                              Not applicable

Vapour pressure :                                      32 mmHg @ 20 °C

Density :                                                        1.20 g/cm3 @ 20 °C (ASTM D-4052)

Viscosity, kinematic :                                  1.47 mm2/s @ 20 °C





Stability :                                                        Stable under recommended storage conditions.


Conditions to avoid :                                  Sources of ignition.


Materials to avoid :                                                       Oxidizing agents and bases.


Hazardous decomposition :                    Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides.                                                                



Acute oral toxicity :                                      (Rat): LD50: 730 mg/kg


Acute inhalation toxicity :                          (Rat): LC50: 7.85 mg/l; 4h


Acute dermal toxicity :                                No data


Skin irritation :                                              (Rabbits): Severe Irritation. Corrosive


Eye irritation :                                               No data


Other acute toxicity data :                         None


Toxicity to reproduction :                          None


Other toxicological:                                    None.







Elimination information (persistence and degradability)

                  Biodegradability :                     Readily biodgradable


                  Physico-chemical:                    100% DOC reduction; 9 d (OECD 301E/92/69/EEC, C.4-B)


                  Bioaccumulation :                     Not expected


Ecotoxicity effects

Toxicity to fish                                           LC50 Leuciscus idus: 46-100 mg/l; 96 h


Invertebrate Toxicity                               LC50 Daphnia magna: 34.2 mg/l; 48 h


Algal Toxicity                                             (Biomass) Algae,phytoplankton,algal mat (Algae); 26.9 mg/l; 72 h  



Further information on ecology

Assessment of aquatic toxicity:                There is a high probability that the product is not acutely harmful to aquatic                                                          organisms. The inhibition of the degradation activity of activated sludge is                                                            not anticipated when introduced to biological treatment plants in                                                                                    appropriate low concentrations. The product gives rise to pH shifts




Waste disposal :                                         Whatever cannot be saved for recovery or recycling should be handled as                                                          hazardous waste and sent to a RCRA approved waste facility. Processing,                                                            use or contamination of this product may change the waste management                                                             options. State and local disposal regulations may differ from federal                                                                                       disposal regulations. Dispose of container and unused contents in                                                                              accordance with federal, state and local requirements.



Other regulations :                                                       Disposal of unused product may be subject to RCRA regulations (40 CFR

                                                                        261). Disposal of the used product may also be regulated due to

                                                                        ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity as determined by the

                                                                        Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP).




Proper shipping name :                            FORMIC ACID

UN number :                                                1779

Class :                                                            8

Letter :                                                           C

Packing group :                                           II

Labelling number :                                                      8, 3

Product Reportable Quantity :                



Proper shipping name :                            FORMIC ACID

UN number :                                                1779

Class :                                                            8

Letter :                                                           C

Packing group :                                           II

Labelling number :                                                      8, 3

Product Reportable Quantity :                



Proper shipping name :                            FORMIC ACID

UN number :                                                1779

Class :                                                            8

Letter :                                                           C

Packing group :                                           II

Labelling number :                                                      8, 3

Product Reportable Quantity :                



Proper shipping name :                            FORMIC ACID

UN number :                                                1779

Class :                                                            8

Letter :                                                           C

Packing group :                                           II

Labelling number :                                                      8, 3

Product Reportable Quantity :

Marine pollutant :                                       No


Medical First Aid Guide:                            310

(MFAG) table


Emergency Schedule (EmS) :                 F-E, S-C



Static Accumulator (50:                             No

picosiemens or less)




US OSHA Hazard:                                       Product assessed in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200 and

Communication Standard                        determined to be hazardous.


Governmental Inventory :                         All components comply with TSCA, EINECS/ELINCS, AICS, METI, DSL,


Status                                                             KECI, ENCS, PICCS and IECSC.


EU Labelling :                                              Product is dangerous as defined by the European Union Dangerous

                                                                        Substances/Preparations Directives.


                  Symbols: C                                 Corrosive

                                    F                                  Flammable


                  R-Phrase(s) :                             R10 Flammable

                                                                        R35 Causes severe burns


S-phrase(s) :                                                S1/2, S26-S37/39-S45

                                                                        Keep locked out of the reach of children. In case of contact with eyes,                                                                     rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice. Wear                                                                   suitable gloves. Wear eye/face protection. In case of accident or if you feel                                                           unwell, seek medical advice immediately (show label where possible).



U.S. Superfund:                                           This product contains no "EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES".

Amendments and

Reauthorization Act SARA

Title III


SARA (311/312) Reportable:                                    Flammable, Corrosive

Hazard Categories


SARA (313) Toxic Release:                     None





Note:                          Products do not contain PCBs.


INJECTION INJURY WARNING: If product is injected into or under the skin, or into any part of the body,

regardless of the appearance of the wound or its size, the individual should be evaluated immediately by a

doctor as a surgical emergency. Even though initial symptoms from high pressure injection may be minimal or

absent, early surgical treatment within the first few hours may significantly reduce the ultimate extent of



FIRST AID: Wash skin with soap and water. Flush eyes with water. If overcome by fumes or vapour, remove

to fresh air. If ingested do not induce vomiting. If symptoms persist seek medical attention. Read and

understand the MSDS before using this product.


This warning is given to comply with California Health and Safety Code 25249.6 and does not constitute an

admission or a waiver of rights. Refer to product Material Safety Data Sheet for further safety and health





Information given herein is offered in good faith as accurate, but without guarantee. Conditions of use and

suitability of the product for particular uses are beyond our control; all risks of use of the product are therefore

assumed by the user and we expressly disclaim all warranties of every kind and nature, including warranties of

merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose in respect to the use or suitability of the product. Nothing

is intended as a recommendation for uses which infringe valid patents or as extending license under valid

patents. Appropriate warnings and safe handling procedures should be provided to handlers and users.