Acetic acid - information sheet
CAS Registry Number 64-19-7
On this page
- About this substance
- Human and ecological exposures
- Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- Risk assessment outcomes
- Related information
- The Government of Canada conducted a science-based screening assessment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) to address the potential for harm to Canadians and to the environment from acetic acid.
- The risk posed by a substance is determined by considering both its hazardous properties (its potential to cause adverse human health or ecological effects) and the amount of exposure there is to people and the environment.
- The ecological hazard and exposure potentials of this substance were classified using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances (ERC) Approach.
- As a result of the screening assessment, the Government concluded that acetic acid is not harmful to human health or to the environment at levels of exposure considered in the assessment.
About this substance
- The screening assessment summarized here focused on the substance acetic acid. It was assessed under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP).
- Acetic acid is human-made.
- According to information gathered by the Government, acetic acid is mainly used in Canada as vinegar in food products and as a food additive.
- This substance may also be used in products, such as cleaners and sanitizers that may be used on food contact surfaces; however, exposure to acetic acid from this use is considered to be negligible. It may also be a component in food packaging materials; however, exposure is not expected.
- Acetic acid may also be found in a range of products available to consumers, including self-care products (cosmetics, natural health products and non-prescription drugs), pest control products, household cleaners, pet shampoos and silicone sealants.
- This substance is also produced by the human body.
Human and ecological exposures
- The main source of dietary exposure to acetic acid is from its use as vinegar in food products. Canadians may also be exposed to this substance from the use of products available to consumers, such as self-care products, household cleaners, pet shampoos and silicone sealants.
- According to information considered under the ERC Approach, acetic acid was identified as having high ecological exposure potential due to its persistence in air (ability to stay in the air over time) and large quantities of use.
Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- No effects on human health have been identified for acetic acid.
- According to information considered under the ERC Approach, acetic acid was identified as having a low ecological hazard potential.
Risk assessment outcomes
- On the basis of the information presented in the screening assessment, the risk to human health from acetic acid is low.
- Based upon the outcome of the ERC Approach, acetic acid is considered unlikely to cause ecological harm.
- The Government of Canada published the Final Screening Assessment for Acetic Acid on January 16, 2021. Public comments received on the draft screening assessment were considered in the development of the final screening assessment, and a summary of public comments and responses was published.
Screening assessment conclusions
- As a result of the screening assessment, the Government concluded that acetic acid is not harmful to human health at levels of exposure considered in the assessment, and that it is not entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment.
- Acetic acid may be found in products available to consumers. Canadians should follow any safety warnings and directions on product labels and dispose of products responsibly.
- Visit Do it for a Healthy Home for more information on chemical safety in and around the home.
- The screening assessment for acetic acid focused on potential risks of exposure to the general population of Canada, rather than occupational exposure. Hazards related to chemicals used in the workplace are defined within the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). For information concerning workplace health and safety and what steps to take in the workplace, Canadians should consult their employer and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Regulator in their jurisdiction.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: