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135-EN, General section

Alternative to lead acetate in sugar cane and sugar beet analyses


Lead acetate may be replaced by aluminium sulphate in analyzing sugar cane and sugar beet.
Using alternative analytical methods that do not involve lead acetate is also possible.

Substituted substance(s)

  1. Lead acetate, basic

    CAS No. 1335-32-6 EC No. 215-630-3 Index No. 082-007-00-9

Alternative substance(s)

  1. Aluminium sulphate

    CAS No. 10043-01-3 EC No. 233-135-0 Index No. 
  2. Diatomite

    CAS No. 61790-53-2 EC No.  Index No. 

Other type of alternative

Infrared polarimetry

Reliability of information

Internet information: data are from an internet document and only a basic and partial evaluation could be performed

Hazard assessment

Aluminium sulphate is notified in ECHA C&L Inventory as eye, skin and respiratory irratiating . It is also hazardous for aquatic environment.
Diatomite may also cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation, according to C&L Inventory.

» Check the Substance Database according to SUBSPORT Screening Criteria (SDSC)

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Substitution description

Lead acetate basic is used as clarifying agent  in the  polarization method (visible light range)  for analyzing sucrose in  sugar cane and beet juice. Because it is reprotoxic and suspected carcinogen it should be substituted. It can be replaced by aluminium sulphate. In the case of very turbid juices, diatomite may be used to improve clarity.
Avoiding lead acetate may be also achieved by choosing a different type of analytical method: filtering the juice with diatomite and then using a polarimeter at 825 nm or using infrared spectrophotometry.
All these methods represent alterations of the official one in France and therefore need to be validated.

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Case/substitution evaluation

Aluminium sulphate and diatomite can be used to replace more hazardous lead acetate. If the diatomite is the flux- calcined type it may contain high levels of crystalline silica, a carcinogen.

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Other solutions

Further information

Arrêté du 24 février 2006 (in French):,t123762.html

Further languages available

Who provided the information

Type of information supplier


INRS – INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE ET DE SÉCURITÉ pour la prévention des accidents du travail et des maladies professionnelle , France,,

Publication source

The Fact sheet was developed by CNAMTS and INRS , France and published by INRS  in 2011

Type of publication and availability 

Fact sheet

Original document: click here
Archived copy: click here

Comments from SUBSPORT users

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Publication or last update: 30.03.2012