Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

Acetic acid
Identification Number: CASRN | 64-19-7

  Substance Attributes


  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.

  • Soluble in Water

    This substance easily dissolves in water. As such it can be easily transported via waterways. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.

  • Volatile - Evaporates easily

    This substance easily enters the air we breath. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.

  • Has known Side Effects

    This is often the result of long or short term medication use. The same medication can have a range of side effects ranging from none at all to totally debilitating symptoms within different individuals. Reasons for this include individual genetics, individual detoxification capacity, nutrition status, duration of use and total number of medications being taken.


    It becomes very difficult to establish clear causes of symptoms when multiple medications are being taken at once.


    See SIDE EFFECTS LINKOUT at end of this profile.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Food Additives with E Numbers | Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids | Chemicals detected in flowback and produced water - collectively referred to as - hydraulic fracturing wastewater | Cigarette Toxin | Medication or Drug | Pesticide | Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Food Toxin | Natural Toxin | Bacterial Toxin | Odor and Flavour | This Chemical is an Odorant and has a smell like - sour | EAFUS (Everything Added to Food in the United States) | PESTICIDE active ingredient | Herbicide | Inert Pesticide Ingredient USA - Non Food Use Only | Inert Pesticide Ingredient USA - FRAGRANCE ( Generally Not used on Food) | Pesticide approved in USA (California) | Pesticide approved or pending approval in EU | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace | Medication Approved in USA
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Organic Acids and Derivatives | Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives | Carboxylic Acids | Carboxylic Acids
  • SYNONYMS: Acetasol | Acetate | ACETATE ion | Acetic acid | ion(1-) | Azetat | Borofair | CH3-COO(-) | Ethanoat | Ethanoate | Ethanoic acid | Ethylate | Ethylic acid | Glacial acetate | Glacial acetic acid | Kyselina octova | MeCO2 anion | Methanecarboxylate | Methanecarboxylic acid | Vinegar | Vinegar acid | Volsol | VoSoL
  • DESCRIPTION: E Number: E471(a) | Food Additives with E Numbers used in Australia, NZ, UK and the EU. Over 400 in total. | Substance has been approved in: Australia and NZ | Australia and NZ | Natural component of vinegar but generally manufactured from wood. Used as a preservative, acid or colour diluent. | Found in pickles, bottled sauces and chutneys. | Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Buffering agent, additive, gellant, clay control, fracturing, unknown, corrosion inhibitor | Acetic acid is one of the simplest carboxylic acids. It is an important chemical reagent and industrial chemical that is used in the production of plastic soft drink bottles, photographic film; and polyvinyl acetate for wood glue, as well as many synthetic fibres and fabrics. Acetic acid can be very corrosive, depending on the concentration. It is one ingredient of cigarette. In households diluted acetic acid is often used as a cleaning agent. In the food industry acetic acid is used as an acidity regulator. The acetyl group, derived from acetic acid, is fundamental to the biochemistry of virtually all forms of life. When bound to coenzyme A it is central to the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. However, the concentration of free acetic acid in cells is kept at a low level to avoid disrupting the control of the pH of the cell contents. Acetic acid is produced and excreted by certain bacteria, notably the Acetobacter genus and Clostridium acetobutylicum. These bacteria are found universally in foodstuffs, water, and soil, and acetic acid is produced naturally as fruits and some other foods spoil. Acetic acid is also a component of the vaginal lubrication of humans and other primates, where it appears to serve as a mild antibacterial agent.
  • COMMENTS:

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia:

    Flammable liquid and vapour. Causes severe skin burns and eye damage | | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C2H3O2
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | Article-Colborn-2010 | FracFocus | EPA in USA | US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | APPEA | Flavornet | FSANZ and FSA | EAFUS | DPR | EU Pesticides | EPA USA - Pesticide Inerts | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) | Drugbank | USA FDA APPROVED DRUG PRODUCTS
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Acetic acid is corrosive and can cause skin burns and irritation to the mucous membranes. These burns or blisters may not appear until hours after exposure. (L1885)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Concentrated acetic acid is corrosive and can cause skin burns, permanent eye damage, and irritation to the mucous membranes. Ingestion can cause severe damage to the digestive system and a potentially lethal change in the acidity of the blood. (L1885) | Acetic acid is is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and through the lungs. It is completely oxidized by the tissues, with metabolism involving the formation of ketone bodies. The products of acetic acid are used in the formation of glycogen, as intermediates of carbohydrates and fatty acid synthesis, and in cholesterol synthesis. In addition, acetic acid participates in the acetylation of amines and formation of proteins of plasma, liver, kidney, gut mucosa, muscle, and brain. (L1886)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Acetic acid is toxic due to its corrosive nature. In addition to causing skin burns and irritation to the mucous membranes, ingestion can result in severe damage to the digestive system and a potentially lethal change in the acidity of the blood. (L1885) |
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular", "Golgi apparatus", "Mitochondria"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Acetic acid gives vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell. It is an important chemical reagent and industrial chemical, used in the plastic, pharmaceutical, dye, insecticide, textile, rubber, and photographic industries. Water-free acetic acid (glacial acetic acid) is used in the production of certain fragrances. (L1885) Used to treat infections in the ear canal.
  • SEE MEDICATION SIDE EFFECTS

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  Exposure Routes

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