1: Chemical Product Identification

Product Name: Nitric acid
Catalogue Codes: SLN1963, SLN1549
CAS#: Mixture.
RTECS: Not applicable.
TSCA: TSCA 8(b) inventory: Water; Nitric acid, fuming
CI#: Not applicable.
Synonym:   Nitric Acid
Chemical Name: Not applicable.
Chemical Formula: Not applicable.

2. Composition and Information on Ingredients 

Toxicological Data on Ingredients: Nitric acid, fuming: VAPOR (LC50): Acute: 244 ppm 0.5 hours [Rat]. 344 ppm 0.5 hours [Rat].

3: Hazards Identification

Potential Acute Health Effects: Very hazardous in case of skin contact (corrosive, irritant, permeator), of eye contact (irritant, corrosive), of ingestion, Slightly hazardous in case of inhalation (lung sensitizer). Liquid or spray mist may produce tissue damage particularly on mucous membranes of eyes, mouth and respiratory tract. Skin contact may produce burns. Inhalation of the spray mist may produce severe irritation of respiratory tract, characterized by coughing, choking, or shortness of breath. Prolonged exposure may result in skin burns and ulcerations. Over-exposure by inhalation may cause respiratory irritation. Severe over-exposure can result in death. Inflammation of the eye is characterized by redness, watering, and itching. Skin inflammation is characterized by itching, scaling, reddening, or, occasionally, blistering.

Potential Chronic Health Effects:




DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. The substance may be toxic to lungs, mucous membranes, upper respiratory tract, skin, eyes, teeth. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Repeated or prolonged contact with spray mist may produce chronic eye irritation and severe skin irritation. Repeated or prolonged exposure to spray mist may produce respiratory tract irritation leading to frequent attacks of bronchial infection.

4: First Aid Measures

Eye Contact: Check for and remove any contact lenses. In case of contact, immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Cold water may be used. Get medical attention immediately.

Skin Contact: In case of contact, immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Cover the irritated skin with an emollient. Cold water may be used. Wash clothing before reuse. Thoroughly clean shoes before reuse. Get medical attention immediately.

Serious Skin Contact: Wash with a disinfectant soap and cover the contaminated skin with an anti-bacterial cream. Seek immediate medical attention.

Inhalation: If inhaled, remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical attention immediately.

Serious Inhalation: Evacuate the victim to a safe area as soon as possible. Loosen tight clothing such as a collar, tie, belt or waistband. If breathing is difficult, administer oxygen. If the victim is not breathing, perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. WARNING: It may be hazardous to the person providing aid to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when the inhaled material is toxic, infectious or corrosive. Seek immediate medical attention.

Ingestion: Do NOT induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. If large quantities of this material are swallowed, call a physician immediately. Loosen tight clothing such as a collar, tie, belt or waistband.

Serious Ingestion: Not available.

5: Fire and Explosion Data

Flammability of the Product:                                                       Non-flammable.

Auto-Ignition Temperature:                                                        Not applicable.

Flash Points:                                                                                       Not applicable.

Flammable Limits:                                                                            Not applicable.

Products of Combustion:                                                              Not available.

Fire Hazards in Presence of Various Substances:                 of combustible materials

Explosion Hazards in Presence of Various Substances:     Explosive in presence of reducing materials, of metals, of alkalis. Slightly explosive in presence of combustible materials. Nonexplosive in presence of open flames and sparks, of shocks.

Fire Fighting Media and Instructions:                                       Not applicable.

Special Remarks on Fire Hazards:                                              Flammable in presence of cellulose or other combustible materials. Phosphine, hydrogen sulphide, selenide all ignite when fuming nitric acid is dripped into gas. Phosphine ignites in concentrated nitric acid. Nickel tetra phosphide ignites with fuming nitric acid. Contact with metals may evolve flammable hydrogen gas. A jet of ammonia will ignite nitric acid vapor. Cellulose may be converted to the highly flammable nitrate ester on contact with the vapor of nitric acid as well as the liquid itself.

Special Remarks on Explosion Hazards:                                   Reacts explosively with metallic powders, carbides, cyanides, sulphides, alkalis and turpentine. Can react explosively with many reducing agents. Arsine, phosphine, tetraborane all oxidized explosively in presence of nitric acid. Caesium and rubidium acetylides explode in contact with nitric acid. Explosive reaction with Nitric Acid + Nitrobenzene + water. Detonation with Nitric Acid + 4-Methylcyclohexane. The addition of warm fuming nitric acid to phosphine causes explosion. Addition of water to nitration mixture diluted with an equal volume of water can cause a low order explosion. Cyclopentadiene reacts explosively with fuming nitric acid. Mixtures of fuming nitric acid and acetonitrile are high explosives.  (Nitric acid, fuming)

6: Accidental Release Measures

Small Spill: Dilute with water and mop up or absorb with an inert dry material and place in an appropriate waste disposal container. If necessary: Neutralize the residue with a dilute solution of sodium carbonate.

Large Spill: Corrosive liquid. Oxidizing material. Poisonous liquid. Stop leak if without risk. Absorb with DRY earth, sand or other non-combustible material. Do not get water inside container. Avoid contact with a combustible material (wood, paper, oil, clothing…). Keep substance damp using water spray. Do not touch spilled material. Use water spray curtain to divert vapor drift. Use water spray to reduce vapours. Prevent entry into sewers, basements or confined areas; dike if needed. Call for assistance on disposal. Neutralize the residue with a dilute solution of sodium carbonate. Be careful that the product is not present at a concentration level above TLV. Check TLV on the MSDS and with local authorities.


7: Handling and Storage


Keep locked up. Keep container dry. Keep away from heat. Keep away from sources of ignition. Keep away from combustible material. Do not ingest. Do not breathe gas/fumes/ vapor/spray. Never add water to this product. In case of insufficient ventilation, wear suitable respiratory equipment. If ingested, seek medical advice immediately and show the container or the label. Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Keep away from incompatibles such as reducing agents, combustible materials, organic materials, metals, acids, alkalis, moisture. May corrode metallic surfaces. Store in a metallic or coated fibreboard drum using a strong polyethylene inner package.


Keep container tightly closed. Keep container in a cool, well-ventilated area. Separate from acids, alkalis, reducing agents and combustibles. See NFPA 43A, Code for the Storage of Liquid and Solid Oxidizers. Do not store above 23°C (73.4°F).

8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

Engineering Controls:

Provide exhaust ventilation or other engineering controls to keep the airborne concentrations of vapours below their respective threshold limit value. Ensure that eyewash stations and safety showers are proximal to the work-station location.

Personal Protection:

Face shield. Full suit. Vapor respirator. Be sure to use an approved/certified respirator or equivalent. Gloves. Boots.

Personal Protection in Case of a Large Spill: Splash goggles. Full suit. Vapor respirator. Boots. Gloves. A self-contained breathing apparatus should be used to avoid inhalation of the product. Suggested protective clothing might not be sufficient; consult a specialist BEFORE handling this product.

Exposure Limits: TWA: 2 STEL: 4 (ppm) from ACGIH (TLV) [United States] TWA: 2 STEL: 4 from OSHA (PEL) [United States] Consult local authorities for acceptable exposure limits.

9: Physical and Chemical Properties

Physical state and appearance:                                                  Liquid.

odour:                                                                                                   Acrid. Disagreeable and choking. (Strong.)

Taste:                                                                                                    Not available.

Molecular Weight:                                                                           Not applicable.

Colour:                                                                                                 Colourless to light yellow.

pH (1% soln/water):                                                                        Acidic.

Boiling Point:                                                                                     121°C (249.8°F)

Melting Point:                                                                                    -41.6°C (-42.9°F)

Critical Temperature:                                                                     Not available.

Specific Gravity:                                                                                1.408 (Water = 1)

Vapor Pressure:                                                                                6 kPa (@ 20°C)

Vapor Density:                                                                                   2.5 (Air = 1)

Volatility:                                                                                             Not available.

odour Threshold:                                                                              0.29 ppm

Water/Oil Dist. Coeff.:                                                                   Not available.

Iconicity (in Water):                                                                         Not available.

Dispersion Properties:                                                                    See solubility in water, diethyl ether.

Solubility:                                                                                            Easily soluble in cold water, hot water. Soluble in diethyl ether.

10: Stability and Reactivity Data

Stability:                                                                                               The product is stable.

Instability Temperature:                                                               Not available.

Conditions of Instability:                                                               Incompatible materials

Incompatibility with various substances:                                Highly reactive with alkalis. Reactive with reducing agents, combustible materials, organic materials, metals, acids.

Corrosivity:                                                                                         Extremely corrosive in presence of aluminium, of copper, of brass. Non-corrosive in presence of glass, of stainless steel (304), of stainless steel (316)

Special Remarks on Reactivity:                                                    A strong oxidizer. Reacts violently with alcohol, organic material, terpene, charcoal. Violent reaction with Nitric acid + Acetone and Sulfuric acid. Incompatible with combustible materials, metallic powders, hydrogen sulphide, carbides, aldehydes, cyanides, chromic acid, hydrogen sulphide, metals, metal powders, organic solvents, acetic acid, alcohols. Nitric Acid will react with water or steam to produce heat and toxic, corrosive and flammable vapours.  (Nitric acid, fuming)

Special Remarks on Corrosivity:                                                  In presence of traces of oxides, it attacks all base metals except aluminium and special chromium steels. It will attack some forms of plastics, rubber, and coatings. Nitric Acid corrodes almost all metals except gold, and white gold, forming nitrates. No corrosive effect on bronze. No corrosivity data for zinc, and steel

Polymerization:                                                                                 Will not occur.

11: Toxicological Information

Routes of Entry: Absorbed through skin. Dermal contact. Eye contact. Inhalation. Ingestion.

Toxicity to Animals:

LD50: Not available. LC50: Not available.

Chronic Effects on Humans: Contains material which may cause damage to the following organs: lungs, mucous membranes, upper respiratory tract, skin, eyes, teeth.

Other Toxic Effects on Humans: Extremely hazardous in case of inhalation (lung corrosive). Very hazardous in case of skin contact (corrosive, irritant, permeator), of eye contact (corrosive), of ingestion,

Special Remarks on Toxicity to Animals: LDL – Lowest Published Lethal Dose [Human] – Route: Oral; Dose: 430 mg/kg (Nitric acid, fuming)

Special Remarks on Chronic Effects on Humans: May cause adverse reproductive effects based on animal data (effects on new-born, fetotoxicity)

Special Remarks on other Toxic Effects on Humans: Acute

Potential Health Effects:

Skin: Severely irritates skin. Causes skin burns and may cause deep and penetrating ulcers of the skin with a characteristic yellow to brownish discoloration. May be fatal if absorbed through skin.

Eyes: Severely irritates eyes. Causes eye burns. May cause irreversible eye injury.

Ingestion: May be fatal if swallowed. Causes serious gastrointestinal tract irritation or burns with nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and possible “coffee grounds” appearance of the vomitus. May cause perforation of the digestive tract.

Inhalation: May be fatal if inhaled. Vapor is extremely hazardous. Vapor may cause nitrous gas poisoning. Effects may be delayed. May cause irritation of the mucous membranes and respiratory tract with burning pain in the nose and throat, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath and pulmonary enema. Other symptoms may include nausea, and vomiting.

Chronic Potential Health Effects: Repeated inhalation may produce changes in pulmonary function and/or chronic bronchitis. It may also affect behaviour (headache, dizziness, drowsiness, muscle contraction or spasticity, weakness, loss of coordination, mental confusion), and urinary system (kidney failure, decreased urinary output after several hours of uncorrected circulatory collapse). Repeated exposure may cause discoloration and/or erosion of teeth (dental enamel). Eye irritation and respiratory tract signs and symptoms resembling those of frequent upper respiratory viral infections have been associated with chronic nitric acid exposure.

12: Ecological Information

Ecotoxicity: Not available.

BOD5 and COD: Not available.

Products of Biodegradation: Possibly hazardous short-term degradation products are not likely. However, long term degradation products may arise.

Toxicity of the Products of Biodegradation: The products of degradation are less toxic than the product itself.

Special Remarks on the Products of Biodegradation: Not available.

13: Disposal Considerations

Waste Disposal: Waste must be disposed of in accordance with federal, state and local environmental control regulations.

14: Transport Information

DOT Classification: Class 8: Corrosive material

Identification: Nitric acid (Nitric acid, fuming) UNNA: 2031 PG: II

Special Provisions for Transport: Marine Pollutant

15: Other Regulatory Information

Other Regulations: OSHA: Hazardous by definition of Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200).

Protective Equipment: Gloves. Full suit. Vapor respirator. Be sure to use an approved/certified respirator or equivalent. Wear appropriate respirator when ventilation is inadequate. Face shield.

16: Other Information

References: Not available.

Other Special Considerations: Not available


All information and instructions provided in this Material Safety Data Sheet in respect of the substance is given solely in terms of the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993 and Regulations (“the Act”), is based on scientific and technical knowledge as at the date indicated on this MS Material Safety Data Sheet and is presented in good faith to be correct.

The information and instructions provided in this MSDS apply only to the substance in its present form and not to any formulation or mix, in which event it is the sole responsibility of the user of the substance as formulated and/or mixed to investigate and establish any danger which may arise out of its use, wherever such user may be situated.

It is the sole responsibility of the person in receipt of this Material Safety Data Sheet wherever such recipient may be situated, to ensure that the information provided is communicated to and understood by any person who may come in contact with the substance in any place and in any manner whatsoever. If such recipient produces formulations or mixes using the substance, then it is such recipient’s sole responsibility to comply with the provisions of the Act in respect of the provision of the necessary Material Safety Data Sheet, or to comply with any other applicable legislation.