Immediately or shortly after exposure to benzoic acid, the following health effects can occur: Eye damage. Irritation of the skin, resulting in a rash, redness, and/or a burning feeling. Irritation to the nose, throat and lungs if inhaled, which may cause coughing, wheezing and/or shortness of breath. Buy Benzoic Acid SDS. Is benzoic acid poisonous? Overall, low exposure to benzoic acid appears to be non-toxic, but consuming a high amount may be poisonous. However, it would be difficult to consume so much of it in foods (both natural and processed) that it would be lethal. Benzoic acid is also not fat-soluble, so it will not concentrate in body fat.
Does benzoic acid react with water? In the presence of water, though short of ionization, water can hydrogen bond to benzoic acid. Thus: C6H5COOH + H2O → C6H5COO–H–OH2. Such a hydrogen-bonded species may go to the point of ionization. Benzoic acid itself has low toxicity, but there has been concern because of a potential reaction that converts it to benzene. Although benzene is a toxic and carcinogenic compound, the reaction causing this change has a very low chance of occurring in food. Buy Benzoic Acid SDS. Benzoic acid is generally recognized as safe by the FDA.