15 July 2010

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Know everything about chlorine gas and side effects, Benefits of chlorine gas –

Know everything about chlorine gas and side effects, Benefits of chlorine gas –
Reality views by sm –
Thursday, July 15, 2010

What is chlorine?

Chlorine is one of the most abundant chemical elements on Earth. It is ubiquitous in soils, minerals, plants and animals.

The discovery of chlorine by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1774 marked the beginning of the modern era of bleaching.
In 1774, in his small experimental laboratory, Swedish pharmacist Carl Wilhem Scheele released a few drops of hydrochloric acid onto a piece of manganese dioxide. Within seconds, a greenish-yellow gas arose.

Although he had no idea at the time, he had just discovered chlorine.

The fact that the greenish-yellow gas was actually an element was only recognized several decades later by English chemist Sir Humphrey Davy. Until that time, people were convinced that the gas was a compound of oxygen. Davy gave the element its name on the basis of the Greek word khloros, for greenish-yellow. In 1810 he suggested the name "chloric gas" or "chlorine."
The most common compound of chlorine, sodium chloride, has been known since ancient times; archaeologists have found evidence that rock salt was used as early as 3000 BC and brine as early as 6000 BC
Chlorine is the chemical element with atomic number 17 and symbol Cl.
It is a halogen, found in the periodic table in group 17 (formerly VII, VIIa, or VIIb)
In its "normal" state, chlorine is a greenish yellow gas, but at -34°C it turns to a liquid.
It is the eleventh most common element in the earth's crust and is widespread in nature
Chlorine is a gas with a very irritating odor.
Chlorination is the process of adding the element chlorine to water as a method of water purification to make it fit for human consumption as drinking water.
Water which has been treated with chlorine is effective in preventing the spread of water born disease.
During the production of paper and cloth, chlorine is used as a bleaching agent. It is also used in cleaning products, including household bleach which is chlorine dissolved in water. Chlorine is used in the preparation of chlorides, chlorinated solvents, pesticides, polymers, synthetic rubbers, and refrigerants.
The production of chlorine results in the co-products caustic soda (sodium hydroxide, NaOH) and hydrogen gas (H2).
Chlorine is a naturally-occurring chemical element, one of the basic building blocks of matter. Scattered throughout the rocks of Earth’s continents and concentrated in its salty oceans, chlorine is an essential nutrient for plants and animals.

A common misconception is that elemental chlorine (Cl2) is present in chlorinated water. During water chlorination, elemental chlorine gas may be added to the water at first; however, the chlorine is quickly transformed into other chemicals, which actually disinfect the water.
Hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite are two of these chemicals that disinfect the water.
Chlorine dissolves in water and is converted into chloride and hypochlorous acid.
If chlorine is spilled into water or onto soil or if it is released from a tank into the air, the chlorine will evaporate very quickly forming a greenish-yellow cloud that is heavier than air and can be carried by the wind several miles from the source.
Chlorine is broken down by sunlight within a matter of several minutes.

The most common method of making chlorine is by passing an electric current through a saltwater solution.
The solution separates into chlorine and two other useful products: sodium hydroxide -- also known as caustic soda or lye -- and hydrogen.

Some of the advantages and chemical/physical properties of chlorine include:

•Chlorine is a yellow-green gas at room temperature.
•Chlorine has a pungent, irritating odor similar to bleach that is detectable at low concentrations.
•Without sodium chloride (salt), there would be no life.
•The density of chlorine gas is approximately 2.5 times greater than air, which will cause it to initially remain near the ground in areas with little air movement.
•Chlorine is not flammable, but may react explosively or form explosive compounds with many common substances (including acetylene, ether, turpentine, ammonia, natural gas, hydrogen, and finely divided metals).
•Chlorine is slightly water soluble, and reacts with moisture to form hypochlorous acid (HClO) and hydrochloric acid (HCl).
•Chlorine is commonly pressurized and cooled for storage and shipment as an amber-colored liquid.
•When we drive a car, use a computer, drink a glass of water, or wear vinyl rain gear, chlorine works for us
•Chlorine plays an important role in harnessing solar energy -- purifying the silicon found in grains of sand and helping transform them into solar panel chips.
•Sodium chloride literally keeps our bodies from drying up, moves our muscles, makes our meals matter, and attacks germs to keep us healthy.

How do we get exposed to chlorine?

1.People who work in places where chlorine is made or used may be exposed to low levels over a period of time.
2.Improper use of swimming pool chemicals.
3.If we mix household chemicals such as toilet cleaner with bleach. Mixing household cleaners containing ammonia with bleach may also release dangerous chemicals into the air.
4.breathing, skin contact, and eye contact if an accident involving chlorine takes place nearby, such as a liquid chlorine spill, a leak from a chlorine tank, or a leak from a facility that produces or uses chlorine.

How chlorine affects the health?

1.Exposure to low levels of chlorine can result in nose, throat, and eye irritation.
2.At higher levels, breathing chlorine gas may result in changes in breathing rate and coughing, and damage to the lungs.
3.Some people may develop an inflammatory reaction to chlorine. This condition is called reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), a type of asthma caused by some irritating or corrosive substances.
4.people who suffer from respiratory conditions such as allergies or hay fever, or who are heavy smokers, tend to experience more severe effects
5.Drinking small amounts of hypochlorite solution (less than a cup) can produce irritation of the esophagus.
6.Drinking concentrated hypochlorite solution can produce severe damage to the upper digestive tract and even death. These effects are most likely caused by the caustic nature of the hypochlorite solution and not from exposure to molecular chlorine.
7.Spilling hypochlorite solution on the skin can produce irritation. The severity of the effects depends on the concentration of sodium hypochlorite in the bleach.
8.Short-term exposures (minutes) to high concentrations of chlorine affect children in the same manner they affect adults
9.We do not know whether exposure to chlorine gas during pregnancy can result in damage to unborn babies because there are no studies of pregnant women or pregnant animals exposed to chlorine gas.

Does chlorine cause cancer?

No, it does not cause cancer.
There are no medical tests to determine whether you have been exposed specifically to chlorine.
Chlorine is transformed in the body into chloride ions, which are normal components of the body.
An enormous amount of chlorine has to be inhaled or ingested in order to detect a significant increase in chloride ions in the blood.

How is chlorine poisoning treated?
There is no antidote for chlorine poisoning.
If contact with liquid chlorine occurs, immediate decontamination of skin and eyes with copious amounts of water is important.
This should be done cautiously for patients whose exposure has resulted in frostbite. Chemical burns which result from chlorine exposure should be treated as thermal burns.

Inhalational chlorine poisoning is treated with supportive care and can include administration of humidified oxygen, bronchodilators and airway management. Pulmonary edema may be delayed and, therefore, patients should be monitored for up to 24 hours following severe inhalation exposures.
It is important to maintain ventilation and oxygenation, monitor arterial blood gases and/or pulse oximetry, and consider positive airway pressure as a treatment option.
Most people recover following exposure to chlorine gas.

Is it possible to use Chlorine as a weapon in war ?
Chlorine gas, also known as bertholite, was first used as a weapon in World War I by Germany on April 22, 1915 in the Second Battle of Ypres.
It was pioneered by a German scientist later to be a Nobel laureate, Fritz Haber of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, in collaboration with the German chemical conglomerate IG Farben, who developed methods for discharging chlorine gas against an entrenched enemy.
Chlorine gas has also been used by insurgents against the local population and coalition forces in the Iraq War in the form of chlorine bombs. On March 17, 2007, for example, three chlorine filled trucks were detonated in the Anbar province killing two and sickening over 350

How we can reduce the risk of exposure to chlorine?
1.Do not mix bleach with other household cleaners such as toilet cleaners because chlorine gas can be released to the air.
2.Do not mix bleach with household cleaners containing ammonia because dangerous chemicals can be released to the air.
3.Chlorine gas can also be released to the air when chemicals used to chlorinate swimming pools are mishandled.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established an environmental air limit of 0.5 ppm.
Exposure to higher levels could result in discomfort and irritation.
Dependent on the concentration, these effects may be reversible when exposure ends.


Anonymous,  July 15, 2010  

OMG!! I never thought about chlorine so much :) Really good info to knw :)

sm,  July 15, 2010  


RNSANE July 15, 2010  

I thought you did an outstanding report on chlorine, sm. Very interesting and people really need to heed the information on NOT mixing household chemicals such as bleach and ammonia!

sm,  July 17, 2010  


Insignia July 19, 2010  

My chemistry book didnt have such elaborate details. Thanks much for the insight

sm,  July 21, 2010  


Anonymous,  October 19, 2012  

I work in a foundry we use chl in the metal one guy got sick from it chest pains for 3 months and one day he didnt come in. I do feel the same chest pains burnning so im going for a check up soon.

Anonymous,  November 14, 2013  

I use chloride of lime 35% ( powder form) to disinfect my household water contained in a cement tank. The tank is about 1000 litres. Am I at risk while doing this because I first make a solution by mixing it in a plastic bowl before I pour the solution into the tank. I mix this with Alum ( flocculant ). The smell is awful. Do I need to wear a special gas mask?