What is chlorine poisoning?

Chlorine poisoning can occur when inhaling or ingesting chlorine. It is important to note that chlorine is a chemical that prevents the growth of bacteria in stationary water. It is utilized to sanitize sewage and industrial waste. Additionally, it is an active ingredient in various cleaning products.

Chlorine is known to react with water to form hydrochloric acid and hydrochlorous acid. Both substances are extremely poisonous to humans.

What are the indications?

Always bear in mind that chlorine poisoning can trigger symptoms all over the body. The respiratory symptoms include fluid in the lungs and difficulty breathing. As for the digestive symptoms, it includes:


The respiratory symptoms include fluid in the lungs and difficulty breathing.

  • Throat pain
  • Burning sensation in the mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Swollen throat
  • Vomiting
  • Blood-streaked stools

Exposure to chlorine can impair the circulatory system. The symptoms of this issue include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Changes in the pH balance of the blood
  • Serious eye injury including irritation and burning sensation
  • Skin damage that results to burns, tissue damage and irritation


It is vital to seek medical assistance right away if the child is exposed to chlorine. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by poison control or a healthcare professional.

If the eye or skin was exposed to chlorine, flush the area with running water for at least 15 minutes. In case the chemical was accidentally ingested, drink water or milk right away unless the individual experiences vomiting or convulsions.

Once chlorine is inhaled, move the individual to an area with fresh air. Going to the highest possible area is beneficial since chlorine is heavier than air.

Medical care

Upon admission to the emergency department, the doctor will measure and monitor the vital signs. The doctor might utilize one of the following measures to ease the symptoms to eliminate chlorine:

  • Medications
  • Activated charcoal
  • Oxygen
  • Intravenous fluids

A breathing tube might be inserted if there is difficulty breathing. A special tool is also used to assess the throat and determine if there are serious burns in the airway or lungs. A tube might also be inserted into the stomach to empty its contents.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on chlorine poisoning is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage this type of poisoning, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.


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