OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY ASPECTS OF CHLORINE



OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY ASPECTS OF CHLORINE

Chlorine is widely distributed in nature although not as a free gas. Chlorine gas is 2.5 times heavier than air & hence settles down at floor level. It is an important raw material, which finds extensive use in chemical process industry. In refinery it is used in water treatment plant. Because of its toxic nature, chlorine needs to be handled with utmost care.

Chlorine is toxic & primarily a respiratory irritant. It is so intensely irritating that concentration above 3-5 ppm by volume in air is readily detectable by a normal person. TLV for Chlorine is 0.5 ppm. Chlorine gas extremely irritating to mucus membranes, the eyes and the respiratory tracts. If the duration of exposure or concentration is excessive, it will cause restlessness, throat irritation, sneezing and copius salivation. In extreme cases, lung tissues may be attacked resulting in pulmonary edema. Table below shows the hazards of chlorine at different concentration.

Chlorine Concentration in air (PPM)    Degree of Hazards
0.2 - 0.5    No noxious long term effect   
0.5    Slight odour.   
1.0 - 3.0    Definite odour, Irritation of eyes & nose   
6.0    Irritation of throat   
30    Intense Coughing    
40-60    Exposure without effective respirator for 30-40 minutes or more may cause serious damage.   
100    May cause lethal damage   
1000    Danger to life even after a few deep inhalation   

FIRST AID MEASURES    :

*    Evacuated the contaminated zone.
*    Take the victim to occupational health centre.
*    Never attempt to neutralise chlorine with other chemical.
*    If a splash of chlorine occurs; remove the clothing & skin should be washed copiously with soap water.
*    In case of inhalation : If the victim is conscious take him to a quite place and lay him down with the upper part of the body elevated, loosened his clothing. Particularly a tight collar or belt and cover him with a blanket.
*    If the victim is un-conscious but breathing. In addition to the foregoing, let him inhale oxygen at low pressure until attended by a doctor.
*    If the victim is not breathing , quickly stretch him out on the ground, on a blanket if available , loosen his coller & belt and starts artificial respiration without delay . Continue it until the arrival of doctor.

MEASURES SUGGESTED TO CONTROL THE HAZARDS OF CHLORINE

*    Checks should be made daily for any possible leakage.
*    Emergency chlorine handling kit to be kept readily available.
*    In the event of an escape of chlorine, repair should be performed by a qualified person only.
*    Any leaking container should be placed in such a position that only gas and not the liquid can escape.
*    Approach from the windward side so that escaping gas is carried downwind to a lower level.
*    In no circumstances should water or other liquid be directed towards leakingcontainer.
*    Respiratory Personnel protective equipment like canister, BA set should be kept in a prominent location.
*    Employees should be trained in using respiratory Personnel protective equipments.
*    Medical examination of employees exposed to chlorine should take place once in a year.

Comments

  1. With all the regulations being passed in the environmental arena, it would be wise to make sure your Industrial Safety Assessments meet all the requirements.
    Industrial Hygiene

    ReplyDelete

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