Chlorine gas is greenish-yellow and smells like bleach. It is highly corrosive and reacts violently with petroleum products. It can react with carbon monoxide and other combustible products. Anyone working with or around chlorine gas should have formal training and regular awareness training to know how to safely handle it.
When working with or near chlorine gas be mindful of the following safety reminders and tips:
- Follow the buddy system: If handling chlorine gas have a second person with you. If something should go wrong, the other person can readily call for help.
- Wear a respirator: Equipment should meet OSHA requirements.
- Have an escape plan.
- Equipment should be inspected, tested and refilled regularly. The local fire department can assist with inspecting and testing the units.
- Have PPE available in the form of rubber gloves, protective apron, googles, facemask, eye wash station and deluge shower or access to warm water to shower.
- Have a separate storage room for chlorine. The local fire marshal can serve as a valuable resource to gain information about proper storage of chlorine chemicals.
First aid for Exposure:
- Remove victim away from area and find fresh air.
- Call 9-1-1
- Keep victim warm, in a reclining position with head and shoulders elevated.
- Administer oxygen as soon as possible.
- Monitor breathing and provide rescue breaths if necessary
- Shower victim and remove all contaminated clothing.
- Wash affected area with soap and water.
- Irrigate eyes with water for 15 minutes, holding eyelids wide open.
- Call 9-1-1
- Low concentrations: Burning eyes, nose and throat; facial redness; sneezing and coughing.
- High concentrations: Tightness in the throat and difficulty breathing.
- 1,000 parts per million (ppm) is fatal after a few breaths.
- Even an hour later, 35-51 ppm can be fatal.
- Post numbers for fire, police, and county emergency management