Iodoform USP


CAS no. 75-47-8

Iodoform is a pale yellow, crystalline, volatile substance. It has a penetrating and distinctive odour.

It is used as an antiseptic agent in some disinfectants as well as dressings for wounds and sores. 

In veterinary it is widely used in ear powders for dogs and cats.

BHM Chemicals is a supplier of high quality USP grade Iodoform suitable for use in veterinary and external use preparations.

Minimum order quantity: 5kg

Iodoform, a pale yellow crystalline powder with a distinct odor, is a chemical compound with a fascinating history and diverse applications in the fields of medicine and chemistry. 


  1. Chemical Composition. Iodoform, with the chemical formula CHI3, consists of one carbon (C) atom, one hydrogen (H) atom, and three iodine (I) atoms. It is a halogenated organic compound belonging to the family of trihalomethanes.
  2. Color and Odor. Iodoform typically appears as pale yellow crystals or a fine powder with a distinct, sweet, and somewhat antiseptic odor. Its color and odor make it easily recognizable in various applications.
  3. Insolubility in Water. Iodoform is practically insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents like ethanol, acetone, ether and chloroform. This property makes it suitable for specific applications where it needs to dissolve in organic compounds.


  1. Antiseptic and Disinfectant. Iodoform has a long history of use as an antiseptic and disinfectant in wound care and surgical procedures. It was widely employed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for its ability to prevent infection and promote healing. Although newer antiseptic agents have largely replaced iodoform, it still finds limited use in certain medical applications.
  2. Dental and Oral Health. Iodoform has been used in dentistry as a component of dental dressings and pastes. It can help alleviate pain and infection following dental procedures, such as root canals. However, its use in modern dentistry has declined due to concerns about potential toxicity and the availability of more effective alternatives.
  3. Sterilization and Preservation. Iodoform's antimicrobial properties have made it valuable for sterilizing and preserving biological specimens, laboratory equipment, and some pharmaceutical products. Its ability to inhibit microbial growth helps maintain the integrity of stored materials.
  4. Chemical Reagent. Iodoform serves as a chemical reagent in various chemical reactions, particularly in organic synthesis. It can participate in reactions such as the iodoform test, which is used to detect the presence of certain types of organic compounds, including methyl ketones.


  1. Antiseptic Properties. Iodoform's antiseptic properties, while not as commonly utilized today, have been historically beneficial in wound care and surgical settings. It can help prevent bacterial infections and promote the healing of minor cuts and wounds.
  2. Sterilization and Preservation. In laboratory and pharmaceutical settings, iodoform plays a vital role in preserving the integrity of specimens and products. Its antimicrobial action helps prevent contamination and ensures the accuracy of scientific experiments and the safety of pharmaceutical formulations.
  3. Chemical Analysis. Iodoform's involvement in chemical reactions, such as the iodoform test, contributes to its utility in analytical chemistry. This test can identify specific functional groups within organic compounds, aiding in their characterization and identification.

Safety Considerations

While iodoform has demonstrated benefits in certain applications, it is essential to consider safety precautions and potential risks associated with its use:

  1. Toxicity. Iodoform can be toxic when ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin in significant amounts. Prolonged exposure to iodoform vapor or dust may result in symptoms of iodine poisoning, such as nausea, vomiting, and thyroid dysfunction. It should be handled with care, and exposure should be minimized.
  2. Sensitization and Allergic Reactions. Some individuals may develop sensitization or allergic reactions to iodoform when it comes into direct contact with the skin. Skin irritation and dermatitis can occur, especially with prolonged or frequent exposure.
  3. Availability of Alternatives. In many modern medical and scientific applications, safer and more effective alternatives to iodoform are available. Healthcare professionals and researchers often choose alternative antiseptics, disinfectants, and sterilization methods to reduce the risk of toxicity and allergic reactions.

Iodoform, with its unique properties and historical significance, continues to play a role in specific medical, dental, and chemical applications. Its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and chemical reactivity properties have made it valuable in the past, although its use has diminished in favor of safer and more effective alternatives in many cases.

When considering the use of iodoform, it is essential to prioritize safety and adhere to recommended precautions. In medical and dental settings, healthcare professionals should weigh the potential benefits against the risk of toxicity and sensitization, and seek alternative treatments when appropriate.

As research and innovation in medicine and chemistry continue, safer and more efficient substances are likely to emerge, further enhancing the safety and effectiveness of various applications.

Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical or chemical advice. Always consult with healthcare professionals or chemists for guidance on the appropriate use and handling of iodoform in specific applications.


  1. Lexi-Drugs. (2021). Iodoform. Lexicomp Online.
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2021). Iodoform. PubChem.
  3. Jansen, J. M., & Schulze, W. (2014). Iodoform. In Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry (pp. 1-2). Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. DOI: 10.1002/14356007.a14_381.pub3.




Content (Assay)


Loss on drying

Residue on ignition

Coloring matter, acids, and alkalies






A lemon-white crystalline powder with characteristic penetrating odour, insoluble in  water, slightly soluble in ethanol (96%), freely soluble in acetone and ether.

99.0% to 100.5% (dried substance)

Conforms to USP tests

Maximum 0.5%

Maximum 0.1%

As per USP test: The filtrate is colorless and is neutral to litmus

Maximum 0.011%

Maximum 0.017%

Non-hazardous chemical

Keep container tightly closed in a cool and dry place and protected from light. Protect from contamination by foreign substances.