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Synonyms: caprylic acid; n-caprylic acid; C8 acid; 1-heptanecarboxylic acid; light cut fatty acids; n-octoic acid; n-octanic acid; n-octylic acid; Neofat 8
OSHA IMIS Code Number: C725
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 124-07-2
NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: RH0175000
Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 3265 153
Chemical Description and Physical Properties:
clear viscous very faintly yellow liquid
molecular weight: 144.24
vapor pressure: 1 mmHg @ 78°C
molecular formula: C8H16O2
boiling point: 237-238°C
melting point: 16.5°C
110°C closed cup
Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, throat; skin redness, pain, burns, blisters (from contact with liquid); cough, shortness of breath (when vaporized by heating); eye redness, pain, burns, loss of vision (from liquid); INGES. ACUTE: Burning sensation, abdominal pain.
Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Marked (HE14)
Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system
- OSHA does not have a PEL for octanoic acid.
- Octanoic (caprylic) acid is listed by the FDA as a direct food substance affirmed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) when used in foods at concentrations ranging from 0.001 to 0.04% (depending upon the food) according to good manufacturing practice (21 CFR 184.1025).
- Octanoic acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that constitutes as much as 13% of the free fatty acid pool in healthy humans.
- A low potential of octanoic acid to induce developmental toxicity in rats when compared with other 8-carbon fatty acids (e.g., valproic acid) was attributed, in part, to pharmacokinetic characteristics that limited fetal exposure to it after oral administration to pregnant rats.
- The intraperitoneal injection of mice with an octanoic acid dose of 15 µmol/g (43-48 mg/mouse) was reported to cause coma after a 3-4 minute period of drowsiness.
- Studies in rats indicate that octanoic acid is a significant source of oxidative energy in the brain. It has been suggested that impaired oxidation of medium-chain fatty acids like octanoic acid may contribute to neurotoxicity in the Reye syndrome.
- [13C]-labeled octanoic acid is used in a non-invasive method to measure gastric emptying time of a meal with a breath-testing protocol.
- Ebert, D., Haller, R.G. and Walton, M.E.: Energy contribution of octanoate to intact rat brain metabolism measured by 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. J. Neurosci. 23(13): 5928-5935, 2003.
- Hellmig, S., et al.: Gastric emptying time of fluids and solids in health subjects determined by 13C breath tests: influence of age, sex and body mass index. J. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 21(12): 1832-1838, 2006.
- McCandless, D.W.: Octanoic acid-induced coma and reticular formation energy metabolism. Brain Res. 335(1): 131-137, 1985.
- Scott, W.J., Jr., Collins, M.D. and Nau, H.: Pharmacokinetic determinants of embryotoxicity in rats associated with organic acids. Environ. Health Perspect. 102(Suppl. 11): 97-101, 1994.
- Yoshida, Y., Singh, I., Singh, A.K., Tecklenberg, F.W., Brown, F.R., 3rd and Darby, C.P.: Reye syndrome: rate of oxidation of fatty acids in leukocytes and serum levels of lipid peroxides. J. Exp. Pathol. 4(3): 133-139, 1989.
Date Last Revised: 05/30/2007
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