Characteristics: Silver-white, malleable metal. Mechanical properties are altered by impurities, especially carbon. Iron is highly reactive chemically, a strong reducing agent, oxidizes readily in moist air and reacts with steam when hot to yield hydrogen and iron oxides. Dissolves in nonoxidizing acids (sulfuric and hydrochloric) and in cold dilute nitric acid.
Hazards: Tolerance (as oxide fume): 10 mg/m3 of air. Dust and fine particles suspended in air are flammable and an explosion risk. Tolerance for soluble salts (as Fe), 1 mg/m3 of air.