The German Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area has evaluated succinic acid to derive a maximum concentration at the workplace (MAK value), considering all toxicity endpoints.
The critical effect is severe local irritation as shown with the Draize test in the rabbit eye. Inhalation studies are not available, however, effects on the respiratory tract have to be assumed. Systemic toxicity in rats in the form of reduced body weight gain occurred at 1900 mg/kg body weight/day given in drinking water. After gavage administration, blood urea nitrogen was increased in female rats from 1000 mg/kg body weight/day and urinary protein was increased in males from 300 mg/kg body weight/day. The lower LOAEL in the gavage study as compared with the drinking water study suggests adverse effects on the kidney presumably due to the bolus application.
After comparing succinic acid with other solid acids, a MAK value of 2 mg succinic acid/m3 I has been set in analogy to phosphoric acid, which is considered to be the worst‐case.
As the critical effect is local, succinic acid is assigned to Peak Limitation Category I. In analogy to phosphoric acid an excursion factor of 2 is set.
There is no reason to fear damage to the embryo or foetus when the MAK value is observed; thus, the substance is classified in Pregnancy Risk Group C.
Succinic acid is not genotoxic and not carcinogenic. No contact sensitizing effects have been observed. Skin contact is not expected to contribute significantly to systemic toxicity.