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As the number of chlorine atoms increases, the electronegativity of that end of the molecule increases, and the molecule adopts a progressively more ionic character: its density, boiling point and acidity all increase.
All of these acids are unusually strong for organic acids, and should generally be treated with similar care as for strong mineral acids like hydrochloric acid. Even neutral salts however, tend to be significantly toxic, because the ions interfere in biological processes (such as the citric acid cycle) that normally process plain acetate ions. Interestingly, the chloroacetate anion is the most toxic, with a rat, oral LD50 of about 0.5 g/kg.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chloroacetic_acids". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|