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December 1965

Ocular Injury Due to Formic Acid

Author Affiliations

New York
From Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, New York.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;74(6):805-806. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970040807013

Grant, in his encyclopedic monograph Toxicology of the Eye, remarks that there is no specific report of ocular injury from splash of formic acid. It is to document just such an occurrence that this case report is written.

Case Report  A 30-year-old research biochemist was involved in titrating with 90% solution of formic acid. He injected 0.8 cc of this concentrated formic acid from a syringe into a conical test tube containing 0.2 cc of 30% hydrogen peroxide.* One drop of the splash, largely consisting of concentrated formic acid, struck his eye. Rinsing under tap water was begun within ten seconds and was continued for two minutes. The eye was then flushed with several centimeters of sterile physiological saline.When first seen by the author half an hour later, there was considerable tearing of the eye and moderate pain. A 4 mm cloud-like, circular lesion was visible in the upper