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Sodium Carbonate Toxicology

Identification and Uses

CAS Number : 497-19-8

Molecular Formula: Na2CO3

Uses and sources of emission


This product is absorbed by the respiratory and digestive tracts.

Acute effects

I. Ocular Contact

Irritation of the eyes.

II. Inhalation

Irritation of the higher respiratory tract, pulmonary irritation.

III. Ingestion :
IV. Skin Contact

It can cause redness, oedema.

V. Aggravation of Preexistent Medical Conditions

The inhalation of the product can worsen preexistent respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.

Skin contact can worsen a preexistent dermatitis.

Effects on development

A study on several animal species suggests the absence of effects on antenatal development.

Effects on reproduction

No data concerning the effects on reproduction has been found in the consulted documentary sources.

Data on mother's milk

No data concerning its excretion or detection in mother's milk has been found in the consulted documentary sources.

Carcinogenic effects

No data concerning a carcinogenic effect has been found in the consulted documentary sources.

Mutagenic effects

No data concerning a mutagenic effect has been found in the consulted documentary sources.

First aid

I. Ocular Contact

Rinse the eyes with water for at least 15 minutes. Seek medical help immediately.

II. Inhalation

Bring the individual into a ventilated place and make sure he is still breathing. If there are respiratory problems, give oxygen if there is any available. If the victim does not breathe, give him artificial respiration. Call a physician.

III. Ingestion

If the individual is conscious, make him drink water. Do not give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Do not induce vomiting, call a doctor.

IV. Skin Contact

Quickly withdraw contaminated clothing. It is necessary to wash skin with water and soap during 5 minutes. Seek medical help if irritation develops.


This product is unstable under the following conditions: it absorbs humidity from air (hygroscopic). Moreover, there is formation of hydrates from contact with humidity.


Wear ocular protection. Avoid any skin contact. Ventilate adequately, if not carry a suitable breathing apparatus.


Store in an airtight container placed in a dry place. Do not store in a container made of aluminium or zinc.


  1. Occupational Medicine,Carl Zenz, last edition.
  2. Clinical Environmental Health and Toxic Exposures, Sullivan & Krieger; last edition.
  3. Sax's Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, Lewis C., last edition.
  4. Toxicologie Industrielle et Intoxications Professionnelles, Lauwerys R.R. last edition.
  5. Chemical Hazards of the Workplace, Proctor & Hughes, 4th edition

By Edouard Bastarache

Related Information

Back side of a bag of sodium carbonate (soda ash).

Causes eye irritation. Prolonged contact with skin may cause irritation.

50 lb bag of soda ash (or sodium carbonate).

Soda Ash is soluble and is thus not useful in most ceramic glazes. However that very solubility makes it very useful to control the electrolytics of ceramic slurries. This is the dense variety, non-hydrous.


Materials Sodium Carbonate Heptahydrate
Materials Sodium Carbonate Decahydrate
Materials Sodium Carbonate
Typecodes Article by Edouard Bastarache
Edouard Bastarache is a well known doctor that has written many articles on the subject of toxicity of ceramic materials and books on technical aspects of ceramics. He writes in both English and French.

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