Facts About Chlorine

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Chlorine is a gaseous substance that is part of the halogen group. Being a halogen group, this chemical substance is capable of forming salts when combined with other elements or exposed to specific conditions.  Many people are familiar with chlorine as a disinfectant to drinking water and swimming pools.  Aside from this property, the following are some facts related to this element:

Fact 1:  Chlorine is a toxic and poisonous gas.  Exposure to this chemical is considered dangerous to the body and this is the reason why this element is used as a weapon during World War 1.  Known as bertholite, the Germans were attributed as the first to use chlorine against their enemies for its high toxicity.

Fact 2: Pure chlorine gas is yellowish to greenish in color.  Its name is also sourced from the Greek word “chloros” which means “green”.

Fact 3:  Chlorine is useful in various industries including the manufacture of plastics and PVC pipes.  As much as 20% of chlorine for industrial purposes is used in making these special pipes that are used for buildings and drainage projects.

Fact 4:  Chlorine cannot be found alone in the Earth’s atmosphere but instead is typically combined with other elements.  These combined elements need to be processed in order to separate or extract their chlorine content.

Fact 5:  The properties of chlorine make it a good oxidizing agent.  Oxidation occurs when the electrons of various other elements are exposed to chlorine and when this happens a chemical change will occur.  In the case of metals, rusting will develop with exposure to chlorine.

Fact 6:  Being a toxic gaseous element, even low levels of chlorine exposure can lead to irritation.  Liquid compounds that contain toxic levels of chlorine may cause itching of the eyes and skin.  When inhaled in small amounts, some irritation may also occur in the airways.

Fact 7:  High levels of chlorine exposure will cause serious symptoms like breathing difficulties and choking.  Some people may also get skin burns and ulcerations with extreme exposure to this hazardous chemical.

Fact 8:  No actual treatment exists for chlorine poisoning.  Treatment and management is basically aimed at relieving the symptoms like irritations or burns to the skin, eyes, or airways.

Fact 9:  Chlorination of swimming pools is linked to the high incidence of childhood asthma.  Many studies have shown that children who are frequently exposed to chlorinated pools have a higher tendency to develop respiratory problems like asthma.  There are also studies linking pool chlorination to increased reports on ocular irritation and related problems.

 Fact 10:  The use and handling of chlorine is highly regulated in many countries.  This is simply due to the fact that this gaseous substance is very toxic and could cause serious illness to people when exposed to very high levels.  Its used in various cleaning products for example are monitored and checked to ensure that only healthy amounts of the chemical is being used.  Various guidelines are also typically issued in terms of handling chlorine in various industrial or experimental setups.

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