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Hydrogen Chloride

Who is at risk?

Hydrogen Chloride is used in many industrial processes such as the tanning of leather products and to make the dyes and pigments for paint.

Exposure mainly occurs in in an industrial setting through accidental releases.


Pungent odour


Hydrogen chloride gas reacts with moisture to create hydrochloric acid which is highly corrosive when it comes into contact with tissue such as the eyes, skin, nose and throat.

Higher concentrations of exposure cause rapid breathing difficulties leading to respiratory failure.

Acute Exposure

Concentration Effect
0.1 – 9 ppm No organic damage or change in respiratory pattern
10 ppm Mild irritation to nose and throat
15-40 ppm Immediate throat irritation
50 - 100 ppm Barely tolerable – severe irritation to eyes skin and throat
1000 - 2000 ppm Immediately dangerous; chest tightness, fever and confusion
1000 ppm Lethal after a few minutes

Exposure Controls & Protection

NFPA 704 Signal

  Hazard Value Description
Health 3 Can cause serious or permanent injury.
Flammability 0 Will not burn under typical fire conditions.
Instability 1 Normally stable but can become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressures.
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