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Abietic Acid

General Description

  • Synonyms: Abietinic Acid; Sylvic Acid; Rosin Core Solder Pyrolysis Products
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: A616
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 514-10-3
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: TP8580000
  • Chemical Description and Physical Properties:
    • yellow-orange crystalline powder
    • molecular weight: 302.50
    • molecular formula: C20H30O2
    • melting point: 172-175°C
    • flash point: 187°C

Health Factors

  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, nose, and respiratory system; lacrimation; cough, chest tightness; nausea, vomiting; erythematovesicular dermatitis
  • Health Effects: Irritation – Eye, Nose, Throat---Marked (HE14); Asthma (HE9); Allergic contact dermatitis (HE3)
  • Affected Organs: Skin, respiratory system
  • Notes:
    1. Abietic acid is a component of rosin from conifer (pine, fir, spruce) trees and may be found in solder flux, wood dust, paper products, and some wart-removing products, among others. Its biosynthetic pathway has been elucidated.
    2. Skin and respiratory sensitization may be due to hydroperoxy and epoxy oxidation products of abietic acid, rather than to abietic acid itself.

    Date Last Revised: 10/20/2006

  • Literature Basis:
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Rosin.
    • Berge, P.S., Harries, M.G., O'Brien, I. and Pepys, J.: Bronchial provocation studies in workers exposed to the fumes of electronic soldering fluxes. Clin. Allergy 10(2): 137-149, 1980.
    • Estlander, T., Jolanki, R., Alanko, K. and Kanerva, L.: Occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by wood dusts. Contact Dermatitis 44(4): 213-217, 2001.
    • Funk, C. and Croteau, R.: Diterpenoid resin acid biosynthesis in conifers: characterization of two cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenases and an aldehyde dehydrogenase involved in abietic acid biosynthesis. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 308(1): 258-266, 1994.
    • Gäfvert, E., Shao, L.P., Karlberg, A.T., Nilsson, U. and Nilsson, J.L.: Contact allergy to resin acid hydroperoxides. Hapten binding via free radicals and epoxides. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 7(2): 260-266, 1994.
    • Keira, T., et al.: Adverse effects of colophony. Ind. Health 35(1): 1-7, 1997.
    • Sadhra, S., Foulds, I.S. and Gray, C.N.: Identification of contact allergens in unmodified rosin using a combination of patch testing and analytical chemistry techniques. Br. J. Dermatol. 134(4): 662-668, 1996.

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Glass Fiber Filter (37 mm)
  • analytical solvent: Methanol
  • maximum volume: 200 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
  • current analytical method: High Performance Liquid Chromatography; HPLC/UV
  • method reference: (OSHA In-house File)
  • method classification: Not Validated

Column: C18; Mobile Phase: 60:40:0.1 Acetonitrile: Water: Phosphoric acid; Detector Wavelength: 254nm

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