Storage and Handling

Chlorine should be handled in the laboratory using the "basic prudent practices" described in Chapter 5.C, supplemented by the procedures for work with compressed gases discussed in Chapter 5.H. All work with chlorine should be conducted in a fume hood to prevent exposure by inhalation, and splash goggles and impermeable gloves should be worn at all times to prevent eye and skin contact. Cylinders of chlorine should be stored in locations appropriate for compressed gas storage and separated from incompatible compounds such as hydrogen, acetylene, ammonia, and flammable materials.


In the event of skin contact, immediately wash with soap and water and remove contaminated clothing. In case of eye contact, promptly wash with copious amounts of water for 15 min (lifting upper and lower lids occasionally) and obtain medical attention. If chlorine is inhaled, move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention at once.

In case of accidental release of chlorine gas, such as from a leaking cylinder or associated apparatus, evacuate the area and eliminate the source of the leak if this can be done safely. Full-face supplied-air respiratory protection and protective clothing may be required to deal with a chlorine release. Cylinders with slow leaks should be carefully removed to a fume hood or remote outdoor locations. Chlorine leaks may be detected by passing a rag dampened with aqueous ammonia over the suspected valve or fitting. White fumes indicate escaping chlorine gas.


Excess chlorine in cylinders should be returned to the manufacturer for disposal. For more information on disposal procedures, see Chapter 7 of this volume.

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