CDC: What Can Happen If You're Exposed to Chlorine Gas

by Serenah McKay  on Monday, Jun. 27, 2011 4:56 pm  

According to the website of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta, the extent of poisoning caused by chlorine depends on the amount a person is exposed to, as well as how and for how long the exposure occurred.

About 300 employees at Tyson Foods Inc.'s Berry Street plant in Springdale were evacuated about 9:15 a.m. Monday after workers were exposed to what turned out to be chlorine gas.

When chlorine gas comes into contact with moist tissues such as the eyes, throat and lungs, an acid is produced that can damage these tissues.

Signs of exposure to dangerous levels of chlorine can include:

  • coughing
  • chest tightness
  • burning sensation in the nose, throat and eyes
  • watery eyes
  • blurred vision
  • nausea and vomiting
  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath (may appear immediately if high concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled, or may be delayed if low concentrations are inhaled)
  • fluid in the lungs within two to four hours

There is no antidote for chlorine exposure. Treatment consists of removing the chlorine from the body as soon as possible and providing supportive medical care in a hospital setting.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.