Phosgene exposure: mechanisms of injury and treatment strategies

J Occup Environ Med. 2001 Feb;43(2):110-9. doi: 10.1097/00043764-200102000-00008.


Phosgene (carbonyl chloride, CAS 75-44-5) is a highly reactive gas of historical interest and current industrial importance. Phosgene has also proved to be a useful model for the study of those biochemical mechanisms that lead to permeability-type pulmonary edema (adult respiratory distress syndrome). In turn, the study of phosgene-induced adult respiratory distress syndrome has provided insights leading to revised treatment strategies for exposure victims. We summarized recent findings on the mechanisms of phosgene-induced pulmonary edema and their implications for victim management. In light of that research, we also provide a comprehensive approach to the management and treatment of phosgene exposure victims.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Humans
  • Phosgene / poisoning*
  • Poisoning / therapy
  • Pulmonary Edema / chemically induced*
  • Pulmonary Edema / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Edema / therapy
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Triage


  • Phosgene