Chlorine gas is corrosive and irritating to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Chlorine is an oxidizer and may explode or accelerate combustion if in contact with reducing agents.
Skin Contact: Chlorine hydrolyzes very rapidly yielding hydrochloric acid so that skin burns are like that from exposure to HCl. Flush affected area with copious amounts of water for 15 minutes. Seek medical attention immediately.
Eye Contact: Chlorine is corrosive and irritating to the eyes. Flush contaminated eye(s) immediately with copious quantities of water for a minimum of 15 minutes. Seek medical attention immediately.
Inhalation: Chlorine inhalation may cause coughing, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness and difficulty breathing. It may also cause pulmonary edema (build-up of fluid in the lungs) which may be delayed by several hours and can be fatal.
Ingestion: Not a likely route of exposure.
Most metals corrode rapidly with wet chlorine. Systems must be kept dry. Lead, gold, tantalum and Hastelloy are most resistant to wet chlorine. Use only in well-ventilated areas, vented gas storage cabinets, or fume hoods.
Wear chemical splash goggles and PVC, Kel-F or Teflon gloves to prevent eye and skin exposure.
Consider using leak detection and alarm systems. Follow all applicable recommendations for storage and handling of compressed gases.
Chlorine cylinders should be returned to the compressed gas distributor when emptied or no longer used.