What are the risks of exposure to chlorine?

Chlorine is a natural chemical element. This element is used in numerous domestic and industrial products. The use of products containing this chemical is common and special permits and training are not generally required to obtain products containing it. However, that does not mean that it does not pose a threat to human health. Chlorine exposure can lead to problems like difficulty breathing and tissue damage.

The risks of exposure to chlorine depend on the severity. In this case, severity refers to a combination of several factors. First, consider how much chlorine a person is exposed to. Chlorine, in small amounts, can be safely placed in swimming pools or drinking water. However, if those doses increase dramatically, the exposure is likely to have negative consequences.

Second, it is necessary to consider how the person was exposed. For example, if a person inhales large amounts of chlorine, he may experience shortness of breath. Large amounts of chlorine absorbed through the skin can cause inflammation, severe burns, or blisters.

The third factor to consider is the duration of exposure to chlorine. A person can be exposed to enough chlorine gas to induce a cough, for example. If that person leaves the area immediately and is exposed to a large amount of fresh air, the short duration of the exposure is unlikely to produce lasting effects.

A person who has been exposed to chlorine can suffer numerous effects. You may start to cough and experience tightness in your chest. When exposure to chlorine is significant, a buildup of fluid in the lungs can occur.

Chlorine in gaseous form has adverse effects on moist tissues. This includes the eyes and lungs. Chlorine in the air, for example, poses a risk to the eyes.

Exposure to chlorine can cause dermatological damage. When the substance is in a gaseous state, the skin can become sore and a person can develop blisters. In liquid form, the skin injury can be compared to that experienced when a person has frostbite.

Hospital treatment may be necessary in some cases of chlorine exposure. Even if this is the case, a person who experiences a sudden exposure to chlorine will generally not experience permanent effects, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The exception to this, the CDC says, is when therapy is complicated by a condition such as pneumonia. When this happens, a person can develop chronic bronchitis.

The risks of chlorine exposure can often be avoided. Chlorine has a distinct odor, often described as a pungent, egg-like smell. If those who work with or use the chemical are aware of this characteristic, they are likely to be able to identify the presence of the chemical. This can eliminate the chance of hazardous exposure to the chemical.

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