Long-Term Sequelae from Acute Exposure to Chlorine Gas: A Review


  1. Bjarnason, S.G.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
Chlorine (C1 Sub 2; CASRN 7782-50-5) was the first gas to be used as a chemical warfare agent during the First World War and is widely utilised today in industry (e.g. oxidizing agent in water treatment; pulp mills). The immediate effects from acute exposure are well documented but the long term sequelae from an acute exposure are not well understood. Several studies were reviewed that discuss the long term outcome of an acute exposure to chlorine gas and their conclusions appear contradictory. This may be due to different endpoints being assessed, to the existence of lung diseases prior to exposure, or even the effects of smoking. The concentration and duration of chlorine exposure would also play a role in the potential for long term sequelae and few of the studies reviewed provided this information. Animal inhalation toxicology experiments that studied the potential for long term effects after an acute exposure to chlorine noted that the observed effects may resolve over time. An intrinsic limitation of animal studies is the difficulty of extrapolating to humans. Thus, from peer-review human and animal literature, it is difficult to conclusively determine if there are long term effects after an acute exposure to chlorine gas.

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Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-TM-2004-163 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Sep 2004
Number of Pages

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