Is Acetic Anhydride A Lachrymator?

Solved COOH Caution Acetic Anhydride is a lachrymator, so


Acetic anhydride is a chemical compound used in various industrial processes. It is commonly known as a reagent in the synthesis of cellulose acetate, which is used in the production of photographic films, textiles, and cigarette filters. However, acetic anhydride is also known to be a lachrymator, which raises concerns about its safety.

What is a Lachrymator?

A lachrymator is a chemical substance that causes irritation to the eyes, leading to tearing and discomfort. The term “lachrymator” comes from the Latin word “lacrima,” which means tear. Lachrymators are commonly used in riot control agents, as they cause temporary blindness and incapacitation.

Is Acetic Anhydride a Lachrymator?

Yes, acetic anhydride is a lachrymator. It can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. Exposure to acetic anhydride can lead to symptoms such as tearing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, it can cause chemical burns and permanent eye damage.

How is Acetic Anhydride Used?

Acetic anhydride is used in various industrial processes, including the production of cellulose acetate, aspirin, and other pharmaceuticals. It is also used in the production of dyes, fragrances, and flavors. Acetic anhydride is a highly reactive compound, and it should be handled with care.

How to Handle Acetic Anhydride Safely?

When handling acetic anhydride, it is essential to take appropriate safety precautions. This includes wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and goggles, and working in a well-ventilated area. Acetic anhydride should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from sources of ignition.

What to Do in Case of Exposure?

In case of exposure to acetic anhydride, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of exposure can range from mild irritation to severe chemical burns. If the substance comes in contact with the skin or eyes, flush the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes.


Acetic anhydride is a useful chemical compound, but it can also be hazardous if not handled properly. It is essential to take appropriate safety precautions when working with acetic anhydride to avoid exposure and minimize the risk of harm. If you suspect exposure to acetic anhydride, seek medical attention immediately.