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Lung. 2005 May-Jun;183(3):151-67.

Chlorine: state of the art.

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  • 1Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA.


Chlorine is a widely used industrial chemical. Individuals can be exposed to chlorine through transportation accidents, industrial exposures or misuse of domestic cleaners. While most exposed individuals recover normal pulmonary function, chlorine can cause a variety of lung injuries including pulmonary edema, restrictive lung disease, and obstructive disease, including Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome. Residual effects of chlorine exposure are a function of intensity of exposure, minute ventilation during exposure, and host characteristics such as cigarette smoking and atopy. This monograph will summarize uses of chlorine, the potential for accidents, the mechanism of chlorine toxicity in the lung, and review acute and chronic effects of chlorine exposure on the lung, as well as systemic effects of massive chlorine exposure.

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