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Hydrochloric Acid

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Hydrochloric acid, also called muriatic acid, is a clear, colorless and extremely pungent solution of hydrogen chloride in water. The commercial product is used as a corrosive; the gas and the concentrated solution are strong irritants. Hydrochloric acid is also found naturally in gastric acid with a rough pH of 2. It is used in the production of chlorides, fertilizers, and dyes, in electroplating, and in the photographic, textile, and rubber industries. Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure may cause eye, nose, and respiratory tract irritation and inflammation and pulmonary edema in humans. Acute oral exposure may cause corrosion of the mucous membranes, esophagus, and stomach and dermal contact may produce severe burns, ulceration, and scarring in humans. Chronic (long-term) occupational exposure to hydrochloric acid has been reported to cause gastritis, chronic bronchitis, dermatitis, and photosensitization in workers. Prolonged exposure to low concentrations may also cause dental discoloration and erosion.[1]

[1] EPA. Hydrochloric acid (hydrogen chloride). Accessed 2/16/2015 at http://www.epa.gov/airtoxics/hlthef/hydrochl.html

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