Chlorine gas

Background

  • Classified as a pulmonary chemical agent, chemical weapon
  • Most common exposure is secondary to mixing household cleaners

Mechanism of Toxicity

  • Direct caustic / corrosive effect upon contact with moist tissue

Clinical Features

  • Smells of a swimming pool or bleach
  • Irritation of conjunctivae, nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and bronchi
  • Rare ocular injury as tears protect mucous membranes from direct damage

Differential Diagnosis

Chemical weapons

Evaluation

  • Based on clinical history
  • Specific levels are not available

Management

  • Individuals with gas exposure may not need decontamination, if skin symptoms absent

See Also

References

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