Pattern of Chlorine Gas Exposures Reported to Texas Poison Control Centers, 2000 Through 2005

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Abstract of Journal Article - March 2008



By Marcia Becker, MPH, CHES, and Mathias Forrester, BS,

Exposure to chlorine gas can result in serious adverse effects including death. From 2000 through 2005, approximately 9000 chlorine gas exposures were reported annually to poison control centers in the United States. Because a review of the literature failed to produce any Texas-specific data concerning chlorine gas exposures, we conducted a retrospective review of Texas poison control center calls and found that 2643 calls related to human exposures to chlorine gas occurred during these 6 years. The number of these calls increased during this period. Of the exposures, 75% occurred at home and 65% occurred during the months of May through August. Inhalation was the primary mode of exposure. While most exposures resulted in no or minor affects, approximately one-fourth required that the affected person be seen at a health care facility. Preventive activities are needed to educate people about the potential dangers associated with products that contain chlorine.



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