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Cl2 exposure: an analysis of respiratory health effects and potential threat of chemical terrorism

Thambireddy, Swetha (2016) Cl2 exposure: an analysis of respiratory health effects and potential threat of chemical terrorism. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Elemental chlorine (Cl2) is a highly reactive toxic chemical. It is largely used for industrial purposes such as bleaching textiles and paper, manufacturing plastics such as PVCs, and disinfection of tap water. Extensive uses of Cl2 in industrial settings demand large quantities to be produced, transported and stored. Although rare, exposure to Cl2 generally occurs in occupational settings. Furthermore, exposure to Cl2 is known to affect the respiratory tracts. This is due to the reactive properties and slight water solubility of Cl2. When Cl2 reacts with water, i.e. moisture in the mucous membrane, it forms hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid. The reaction, along with subsequent biochemical reactions is thought to cause the respiratory effects such as: eye, nasal and throat irritation at low to mild exposures, chest pain, dyspnea and wheezing in moderate levels of exposure, and reactive airway dysfunction syndrome (RADS) and pulmonary edema in high acute exposure. Although exposures resulting in such symptoms are rare in the general population, Cl2 exposure remains to be significant to occupational health due to the large amounts used. Furthermore, potentials of accidental spills and tank ruptures during transportation can be fatal. Thus, Cl2 poses a significant public health concern. Use of Cl2 as a method of chemical terrorism is also of public health relevance as it threatens the safety and well being of the general population.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Thambireddy, Swetha
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPeterson, Jamesjimmyp@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberVan Nostrand, Elizabethschmidte@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 13 May 2016
Date Type: Submission
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Environmental and Occupational Health
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2016 15:16
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 00:56

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