Huntington Beach, CA, July 17th, 2018
Chlorine is one of the most commonly manufactured chemicals in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is used in the production of thousands of products and can be found in some household items. Chlorine is also used in drinking water and swimming pools to kill harmful bacteria, and is used as part of the sanitation process for industrial waste and sewage.
The chemical element can be quite unstable and reacts with a variety of chemicals and water when it is released into the environment. It is broken down by sunlight quickly and when dissolved in water is converted into chloride and hypochlorous acid. If chlorine is spilled or if it is released from a tank into the air, it will evaporate quickly forming a greenish-yellow cloud that is heavier than air and can be carried by the wind. Chlorine gas that comes into contact with moist tissues, such as the eyes, throat and lungs, will produce an acid that can cause damage. Exposure to low levels of chlorine gas can result in nose, throat and eye irritation. At higher levels, breathing chlorine gas may result in changes in a person’s breathing rate, coughing and damage to the lungs. During World War I, it was even used as a choking agent.
The CDC reports that during or immediately after exposure to dangerous concentrations of chlorine, the following signs and symptoms may develop:
- Blurred vision
- Burning pain, redness and blisters on the skin if exposed to gas. Skin injuries similar to frostbite can occur if it is exposed to liquid chlorine
- Burning sensation in the nose, throat and eyes
- Coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Fluid in the lungs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Watery eyes
“Workers in industries that utilize chlorine need to be made aware of the dangers associated with exposure,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “To protect workers, the public and the environment from chlorine and other potentially hazardous chemicals, LA Testing offers comprehensive industrial hygiene and environmental testing services, all of the sampling supplies needed, and we even carry a full line of personal protective equipment to guard against exposure risks.”
LA Testing also recently sponsored an educational video about chlorine exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/qVEBVpufRww.
To learn more about chlorine or other air quality, occupational, environmental, health and safety testing services, or access to personal protective equipment (PPE), please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.