Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 85 (2), 105-14

The Toxicology of Chlorine


The Toxicology of Chlorine

C Winder. Environ Res.


Chlorine is a reactive gas used by humanity for over two centuries. Exposure to chlorine has occurred in a number of situations, including as a chemical warfare agent, in industrial and domestic exposures, and as a result of accidents and spills. The toxicology of chlorine is related almost entirely to effects in the respiratory system. A consistent symptomology occurs in both animals and humans. This ranges from sensory irritation, to irritation and bronchospasm, to cellular changes to bronchioles and alveoli, to development of pulmonary disease. While full recovery from such injuries remains the most likely outcome, there is little doubt that permanent loss of function is possible in severe cases. In all industrial applications of chlorine, occupational exposures to chlorine should be controlled to at least the recommended exposure standard. However, a focus of activity on ensuring that excursions (such as leaks or "gassing" incidents) above these values do not occur is likely to be more beneficial. Treatment of chlorine exposure is essentially symptomatic, with the efficacy of some treatments (such as corticosteroid therapy) still not well established.

Similar articles

  • Chlorine: State of the Art
    RB Evans. Lung 183 (3), 151-67. PMID 16078037. - Review
    Chlorine is a widely used industrial chemical. Individuals can be exposed to chlorine through transportation accidents, industrial exposures or misuse of domestic cleaner …
  • Toxic Gas Inhalation
    GA do Pico. Curr Opin Pulm Med 1 (2), 102-8. PMID 15786599. - Review
    Severe toxic fume inhalations, usually accidental due to human error or equipment failure, can result in immediate death from asphyxia or cause mild to severe respiratory …
  • Chlorine Gas Exposure at a Metal Recycling facility--California, 2010
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 60 (28), 951-4. PMID 21775949.
    On June 8, 2010, chlorine gas was released from a ruptured, 1-ton, low-pressure tank being recycled at a California metal recycling facility. A total of 23 persons, inclu …
  • Chlorine Gas Exposure and the Lung: A Review
    R Das et al. Toxicol Ind Health 9 (3), 439-55. PMID 8367885. - Review
    We conducted a review of the literature detailing the respiratory effects of chlorine, an extremely important but toxic halogen. Historically, the heaviest mass inhalatio …
  • [Respiratory Effects of Exposure to Chlorine Vapors During a Swimming Pool Accident in a Recreational Center in Rome]
    A Di Napoli et al. Epidemiol Prev 26 (5), 240-7. PMID 12524934.
    When inhaled, chlorine is a highly irritating gas that can damage larger airways as well as distal lung structure. We examined the short-term respiratory effects of acute …
See all similar articles

Cited by 21 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

LinkOut - more resources