1: Chemical Product Identification

Product Name: Potassium hydroxide
Catalogue Codes: SLP4096, SLP3085, SLP4900, SLP2071
CAS#: 1310-58-3
RTECS: TT2100000
TSCA: TSCA 8(b) inventory: Potassium hydroxide
CI#: Not available.
Chemical Name: Potassium Hydroxide
Chemical Formula: KOH

2. Composition and Information on Ingredients 

Toxicological Data on Ingredients: Potassium hydroxide: ORAL (LD50): Acute: 273 mg/kg [Rat].

3: Hazards Identification

Potential Acute Health Effects:

Very hazardous in case of skin contact (corrosive, irritant), of eye contact (irritant, corrosive), of ingestion, of inhalation.

The amount of tissue damage depends on length of contact. Eye contact can result in corneal damage or blindness. Skin contact can produce inflammation and blistering. Inhalation of dust will produce irritation to gastro-intestinal or respiratory tract, characterized by burning, sneezing and coughing. Severe over-exposure can produce lung damage, choking, unconsciousness or 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:


MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.


DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. The substance may be toxic to

upper respiratory tract, skin, eyes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Repeated exposure of the eyes to a low level of dust can produce eye irritation. Repeated skin exposure can produce local skin destruction, or dermatitis. Repeated inhalation of dust can produce varying degree of respiratory irritation or lung damage

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.


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.


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:                 metals, acids

Explosion Hazards in Presence of Various Substances:

Risks of explosion of the product in presence of mechanical impact: Not available.

Risks of explosion of the product in presence of static discharge: Not available.

Fire Fighting Media and Instructions:                                       Not applicable.

Special Remarks on Fire Hazards:

Violent reaction or ignition under appropriate conditions with acids, alcohols, p-bis(1,3-dibromoethyl) benzene, cyclopentadiene, germanium, hyponitrous acid, maleic anhydride, nitroalkanes, 2-nitrophenol, potassium peroxodisulfate, sugars, 2,2,3,3-tetrafluoropropanol, thorium dicarbide. Molten ortho -nitrophenol reacts violently with potassium hydroxide.

When potassium hydroxide and tetrachloroethane are heated, a spontaneously flammable gas, chloroethylene, is formed.

When phosphorus is boiled in a solution of potassium hydroxide, phosphine gas is evolved which is spontaneously flammable. 1,2-Dichloroethylene and Potassium hydroxide reaction produces chloroethylene which is spontaneously flammable in air. Potassium Persulfate and a little Potassium hydroxide and water will ignite. When wet, attacks metals such as aluminium, tin,

lead, and zinc, producing flammable hydrogen gas.

Special Remarks on Explosion Hazards:

Potentially explosive reaction with bromoform + crown ethers, chlorine dioxide, nitrobenzene, nitromethane, nitrogen trichloride, peroxidised tetrahydrofuran, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene. Reaction with ammonium hexachloroplatiate (2-) + heat forms heat sensitive explosive product. Potassium hydroxide will cause explosive decomposition of maleic anhydride. Detonation will

occur when potassium hydroxide is mixed with n-methyl-nitroso urea and methylene chloride. Nitrogen trichloride explodes on contact with potassium hydroxide.

6: Accidental Release Measures

Small Spill:

Use appropriate tools to put the spilled solid in a convenient waste disposal container. If necessary: Neutralize the residue with a dilute solution of acetic acid.

Large Spill:

Corrosive solid. Stop leak if without risk. Do not get water inside container. Do not touch spilled material. 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 acetic acid. 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 container dry. Do not ingest. Do not breathe dust. 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 organic materials, metals, acids, moisture.

Storage: Keep container tightly closed. Keep container in a cool, well-ventilated area. Do not store above 23°C (73.4°F).

8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

Engineering Controls:

Use process enclosures, local exhaust ventilation, or other engineering controls to keep airborne levels below recommended exposure limits. If user operations generate dust, fume or mist, use ventilation to keep exposure to airborne contaminants below the exposure limit.

Personal Protection:

Splash goggles. Synthetic apron. Vapor and dust respirator. Be sure to use an approved/certified respirator or equivalent. Gloves.

Personal Protection in Case of a Large Spill:

Splash goggles. Full suit. Vapor and dust 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:

CEIL: 2 (mg/m3) from OSHA (PEL) [United States] CEIL: 2 (mg/m3) from ACGIH (TLV) [United States] Consult local authorities for acceptable exposure limits.

9: Physical and Chemical Properties

Physical state and appearance:                                                  Solid. (Solid pellets.)

odour:                                                                                                   Odourless.

Taste:                                                                                                    Not available.

Molecular Weight:                                                                           56.11 g/mole

Colour:                                                                                                 White.

pH (1% soln/water):                                                                        13 [Basic.]

Boiling Point:                                                                                     Decomposition temperature: 1384°C (2523.2°F)

Melting Point:                                                                                    380°C (716°F)

Critical Temperature:                                                                     Not available.

Specific Gravity:                                                                                2.044 (Water = 1)

Vapor Pressure:                                                                                Not applicable.

Vapor Density:                                                                                   Not available.

Volatility:                                                                                             Not available.

odour Threshold:                                                                              Not available.

Water/Oil Dist. Coeff.:                                                                   Not available.

Iconicity (in Water):                                                                         Not available.

Dispersion Properties:                                                                    See solubility in water.

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

10: Stability and Reactivity Data

Stability:                                                                                               The product is stable.

Instability Temperature:                                                               Not available.

Conditions of Instability:                                                               Incompatible materials, dust generation, exposure to moist air or water.

Incompatibility with various substances:

Highly reactive with acids. Reactive with organic materials, metals, moisture.

Corrosivity:                                                                                         Extremely corrosive in presence of aluminium, brass, and zinc. Slightly corrosive in presence of copper, of stainless steel (304).

Non-corrosive in presence of stainless steel (316).

Special Remarks on Reactivity:

Hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from air). When dissolved in water or alcohol or when the solution is treated with acid, much heat is generated. Reacts violently with acids, halogens, halogenated hydrocarbons, maleic anhydride, organic anhydrides, isocyanates, alkylene oxides, epichlorohydrin, aldehydes, alcohols, glycols, phenols, cresols, caprolactam solution. Also incompatible with nitro compounds (nitrobenzene, nitromethane, nitrogen trichloride), organic materials, acid anhydrides, acid chlorides, magnesium, peroxidised tetrahydrofuran, chlorine dioxide, maleic dicarbide, sugars. When wet attacks metals such as aluminium, tin, lead, and zinc.

Special Remarks on Corrosivity:

When wet, attacks metals such as aluminium, tin, lead, and zinc, producing flammable hydrogen gas. Severe corrosive effect on brass and bronze.

Polymerization:                                                                                 Will not occur.

11: Toxicological Information

Routes of Entry: Absorbed through skin. Inhalation. Ingestion.

Toxicity to Animals: Acute oral toxicity (LD50): 273 mg/kg [Rat].

Chronic Effects on Humans:

MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells. May cause damage to the following organs: upper respiratory tract, skin, eyes.

Other Toxic Effects on Humans:

Extremely hazardous in case of inhalation (lung corrosive). Very hazardous in case of skin contact (corrosive, irritant), of eye contact (corrosive), of ingestion,

Special Remarks on Toxicity to Animals: Not available.

Special Remarks on Chronic Effects on Humans: May affect genetic material based on animal data.

Special Remarks on other Toxic Effects on Humans:

Acute Potential Health Effects:

Skin: Causes severe skin irritation and burns.

Eyes: Causes severe eye irritation and burns. May cause irreversible eye injury.

Inhalation: Causes severe irritation and burns of the respiratory tract and mucous

membranes. Irritation may lead to chemical pneumonitis

Ingestion: Harmful if swallowed. May cause severe and permanent damage to the digestive tract. Causes severe irritation and burns of the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract with abdominal pain, vomiting and possible death. May cause perforation of the digestive tract.

Chronic Potential Health Effects: Chronic contact with dilute solutions of potassium hydroxide can cause dermatitis. Inhalation can produce chronic productive cough, and shortness of breath.

12: Ecological Information

Ecotoxicity: Ecotoxicity in water (LC50): 80 mg/l 24 hours [Mosquito Fish].

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: Potassium hydroxide, solid UNNA: 1813 PG: II

Special Provisions for Transport: Not available.

15: Other Regulatory Information

Other Regulations:

OSHA: Hazardous by definition of Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200). EINECS: This product is on the

European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances.

Protective Equipment:

Gloves. Synthetic apron. Vapor and dust respirator. Be sure to use an approved/certified respirator or equivalent. Wear

appropriate respirator when ventilation is inadequate. Splash goggles.

Section 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.