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Benzoic acid
Last updated: 04/03/2022
(Also known as: dracylic acid; benzeneformic acid; flowers of benjamin)

SUMMARY
Benzoic acid is used as a multi-purpose insecticide, fungicide and preservative sometimes added to food-grade oils. It is highly soluble in water and is non-volatile. It tends not to be persistent in soil systems and is not expected to leach to groundwater. Generally its toxicity to biodiversity is low. It also has a low toxicity to mammals if ingested although there are some concerns regarding its potential as a reproduction/developmental toxin. It is a skin and eye irritant.
Data alerts

The following alerts are based on the data in the tables below. An absence of an alert does not imply the substance has no implications for human health, biodiversity or the environment but just that we do not have the data to form a judgement.

Environmental fate Ecotoxicity Human health
Environmental fate
Moderate alert:
Drainflow: Moderately mobile
Ecotoxicity
Moderate alert:
Fish chronic ecotoxicity: Moderate; Earthworms acute ecotoxicity: Moderate
Human health
High alert:
Reproduction/development effects
GENERAL INFORMATION
Description
Used as a multi purpose insecticide, fungicide and preservative sometimes added to food-grade oils
Example pests controlled
Microbial pathogens
Example applications
Equipment and machinery where incidental food contact may occur; Rooms and buildings where food is grown or stored]
Efficacy & activity
-
Availability status
Current
Introduction & key dates
-
UK regulatory status
UK COPR regulatory status
Approved
Date COPR inclusion expires
31/08/2032
UK LERAP status
None
EC Regulation 1107/2009 (repealing 91/414)
EC Regulation 1107/2009 status
Approved
Dossier rapporteur/co-rapporteur
Hungary/Netherlands
Date EC 1107/2009 inclusion expires
31/08/2032
EU Candidate for substitution (CfS)
No
Listed in EU database
Yes
Approved for use (✓) under EC 1107/2009 in the following EU Member States
ATAustria
BEBelgium
BGBulgaria
CYCyprus
CZCzech Republic
DEGermany
DKDenmark
EEEstonia
ELGreece
             
ESSpain
FIFinland
FRFrance
HRCroatia
HUHungary
IEIreland
ITItaly
LTLithuania
LULuxembourg
   
LVLatvia
MTMalta
NLNetherlands
PLPoland
PTPortugal
RORomania
SESweden
SISlovenia
SKSlovakia
           
Additional information
Also used in
-
Chemical structure
Isomerism
None
Chemical formula
C₇H₆O
Canonical SMILES
C1=CC=C(C=C1)C(=O)O
Isomeric SMILES
No data
International Chemical Identifier key (InChIKey)
WPYMKLBDIGXBTP-UHFFFAOYSA-N
International Chemical Identifier (InChI)
InChI=1S/C7H6O2/c8-7(9)6-4-2-1-3-5-6/h1-5H,(H,8,9)
2D structure diagram/image available?
Yes
Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre diagrams
Common Name Relationship Link
benzoic acid -
General status
Pesticide type
Insecticide, Fungicide, Antimicrobial agent
Substance groups
Aromatic carboxylic acid pesticide
Minimum active substance purity
99%
Known relevant impurities
EU dossier: None declared
Substance origin
Synthetic
Mode of action
Contact action, non-selective
CAS RN
65-85-0
EC number
200-618-2
CIPAC number
622
US EPA chemical code
009101
PubChem CID
243
Molecular mass
122.12
PIN (Preferred Identification Name)
-
IUPAC name
benzoic acid
CAS name
carboxybenzene
Other status information
Food and Feed additive as a acidity regulator (FLAVIS no. 08.021)
Relevant Environmental Water Quality Standards
-
Herbicide Resistance Classification (HRAC)
Not applicable
Herbicide Resistance Classification (WSSA)
Not applicable
Insecticide Resistance Classification (IRAC)
UNM
Fungicide Resistance Classification (FRAC)
None allocated
Examples of recorded resistance
-
Physical state
White crystalline solid
Formulations
Property
Value
Example manufacturers & suppliers of products using this active now or historically
  • Brinkman UK
  • Fargro
Example products using this active
  • Menno Florades
  • MICROL Preservative
  • Tulsa
Formulation and application details
Usually supplied as a soluble concentrate
ENVIRONMENTAL FATE
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Solubility - In water at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
6930
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
High
Solubility - In organic solvents at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
41400
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Carbon tetrachloride
-
556000
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Acetone
-
9400
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Hexane
-
715000
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Methanol
-
Melting point (°C)
122.4
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Boiling point (°C)
249.2
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Degradation point (°C)
>100
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Flashpoint (°C)
- - -
Octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7, 20 °C
P
7.41 X 1001 Calculated -
Log P
1.87
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Low
Density (g ml⁻¹)
1.32
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Dissociation constant pKa) at 25 °C
4.19
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Weak acid
Vapour pressure at 20 °C (mPa)
0.0381
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Low volatility
Henry's law constant at 25 °C (Pa m³ mol⁻¹)
6.714 X 10-04
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Non-volatile
Maximum UV-vis absorption L mol⁻¹ cm⁻¹
pH 2: max @ 230nm
pH 4 max @ 228nm
pH 7 max at 224nm
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Surface tension (mN m⁻¹)
60.0
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
Degradation
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
General biodegradability
-
Soil degradation (days) (aerobic)
DT₅₀ (typical)
0.5
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (lab at 20 °C)
0.5
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (field)
- - -
DT₉₀ (lab at 20 °C)
2.1
A3 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Non-persistent
DT₉₀ (field)
- - -
DT₅₀ modelling endpoint
- - -
Note
EU dossier (RAR 2015) lab studies DT₅₀ range 0.23-0.62 days, Soils=3; General literature give DT₅₀ 1-10 days
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on plant matrix
Value
- - -
Note
-
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on and in plant matrix
Value
- - -
Note
-
Aqueous photolysis DT₅₀ (days) at pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Aqueous hydrolysis DT₅₀ (days) at 20 °C and pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Water-sediment DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Water phase only DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Soil adsorption and mobility
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Linear
Kd
-
CA2 CA = Medical and toxicological databases and information systems e.g. TOXNET (click here )
2 = Unverified data of unknown source
Moderately mobile
Koc
250
Notes and range
Estimated
Freundlich
Kf
1.66
A3 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Slightly mobile
Kfoc
547
1/n
0.9
Notes and range
EU dossier (2015 RAR) scant & incomplete data Kf range 0.23-3.56 mL g⁻¹, Kfoc range 18-1550 mL g⁻¹
pH sensitivity
-
Fate indices
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
GUS leaching potential index
-0.38 Calculated Low leachability
SCI-GROW groundwater index (μg l⁻¹) for a 1 kg ha⁻¹ or 1 l ha⁻¹ application rate
Value
8.02 X 10-05 Calculated -
Note
-
Potential for particle bound transport index
Low Calculated -
Potential for loss via drain flow
Moderately mobile Calculated -
Bio-concentration factor
BCF (l kg⁻¹)
3.16
F4 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
4 = Verified data
Low potential
CT₅₀ (days)
- -
Other known metabolites
Metabolite name and reference
Aliases
Formation medium / Rate
Estimated maximum occurrence fraction
Metabolising enzymes
Benzoylaminoethanoic acid Hippuric acid Human (urinary) - -
Benzoyl-glucuronic acid - Human (urinary) - -
- - - - -
ECOTOXICOLOGY
Terrestrial ecotoxicology
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 2100
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat
Low
Mammals - Short term dietary NOEL
(mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
(ppm diet)
- -
Mammals - Chronic 21d NOAEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
- - -
Birds - Acute LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Birds - Short term dietary (LC₅₀/LD₅₀)
- - -
Birds - Chronic 21d NOEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
- - -
Earthworms - Acute 14 day LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
384
A4 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
4 = Verified data
Ensenia foetida
Moderate
Earthworms - Chronic NOEC, reproduction (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Soil micro-organisms
- - -
Collembola
Acute LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Chronic NOEC (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Non-target plants
- - -
- - -
Honeybees (Apis spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Unknown mode acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Chronic
- - -
Bumblebees (Bombus spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Mason bees (Osmia spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Other pollinators (1)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
- - -
Mode of exposure
-
Other pollinators (2)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
- - -
Mode of exposure
-
Beneficial insects (Ladybirds)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Lacewings)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Parasitic wasps)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Predatory mites)
- - -
Beneficial insects (Ground beetles)
- - -
Aquatic ecotoxicology
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Fish - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
> 120
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Low
Fish - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
90.5
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Oncorhynchus mykiss
Low
Aquatic invertebrates - Acute 48 hour EC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
> 120
a5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Daphnia magna
Low
Aquatic invertebrates - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
55
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Daphnia magna
Low
Aquatic crustaceans - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, static, water (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, sediment (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic plants - Acute 7 day EC₅₀, biomass (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Algae - Acute 72 hour EC₅₀, growth (mg l⁻¹)
> 10
F4 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
4 = Verified data
Scenedesmus quadricauda
Low
Algae - Chronic 96 hour NOEC, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Mesocosm study data
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
HUMAN HEALTH AND PROTECTION
General
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Threshold of Toxicological Concern (Cramer Class)
Low (class I) - -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 2100
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat
Low
Mammals - Dermal LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹ body weight)
2000
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rabbit
-
Mammals - Inhalation LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
> 1.2
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat 6 hr (whole body)
-
Other Mammal toxicity endpoints
- - -
ADI - Acceptable Daily Intake (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
5.0
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat SF=100
-
ARfD - Acute Reference Dose (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
None allocated
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
-
AAOEL - Acute Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
AOEL - Acceptable Operator Exposure Level - Systemic (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
5.0
A5 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
5 = Verified data used for regulatory purposes
Rat SF=100
-
Dermal penetration studies (%)
100
A3 A = EU regulatory and evaluation data as published by EC, EFSA (RAR, DAR & Conclusion dossiers), EMA (e.g. EU Annex III PIC DGD) (EU - Pesticides database; EFSA Scientific Publications )
3 = Unverified data of known source
default
-
Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464
- - -
Exposure Routes
Public
Risks acceptable for intended uses
Occupational
Risks acceptable for intended uses
MRLs
European
EU MRL pesticide database 
Great Britain
GB MRL Register 
Notes
-
Drinking Water Standards
- - -
Drinking Water MAC (μg l⁻¹)
- - -
Mammalian dose elimination route and rate
- - -
Health issues
Specific human health issues
Carcinogen
Genotoxic
Endocrine disruptor
XNo, known not to cause a problem
A3 A = Chromosome aberration (EFSA database)
3 = Negative
;
B0 B = DNA damage/repair (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
C0 C = Gene mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
D0 D = Genome mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
E3 E = Unspecified genotoxicity type (miscellaneous data source)
3 = Negative
XNo, known not to cause a problem
Reproduction / development effects Acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor Neurotoxicant
Yes, known to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
Respiratory tract irritant Skin irritant Skin sensitiser
Yes, known to cause a problem
Yes, known to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
Eye irritant Phototoxicant  
Yes, known to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
 
General human health issues
Large oral doses may cause abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
May cause urticaria, asthma, rhinitis and anaphylactic shock
Possible liver, kidney and brain toxicant
Handling issues
Property
Value and interpretation
General
Not explosive or oxidising
Not expected to autoignite; Not highly flammable
CLP classification 2013
Health: H315, H372, H318
WHO Classification
NL (Not listed)
UN Number
-
Waste disposal & packaging
-
TRANSLATIONS
Language
Name
English
benzoic acid
French
acide benzoique
German
Benzoesäure
Danish
-
Italian
acido benzoico
Spanish
acido benzoico
Greek
-
Polish
-
Swedish
-
Hungarian
-
Dutch
-

Record last updated: 04/03/2022
Contact: aeru@herts.ac.uk
Please cite as: Lewis, K.A., Tzilivakis, J., Warner, D. and Green, A. (2016) An international database for pesticide risk assessments and management. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 22(4), 1050-1064. DOI: 10.1080/10807039.2015.1133242