Railroad accidents can have serious effects on the surrounding people and environment. When a train leaks chemicals, it poses a potentially harmful and even deadly risk to people in close proximity to the chemicals.
One very dangerous chemical is Chlorine Gas. Chlorine Gas is extremely harmful and can even be deadly. Sometimes, Chlorine Gas gets into a city because of a railroad accident or other industrial accident. Recently, this gas leaked out of railroad cars here in Lafayette, near Walker Rd.
Insurgents in Iraq use Chlorine gas in combination with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Most people exposed to chlorine gas make a complete recovery; however, severe exposures can result in death or permanent damage to the lungs and difficulty breathing.
Chlorine is a yellow-green gas at room temperature. It changes to a liquid when under pressure – for example in compressed gas cylinders. Chlorine gas is heavier than air and has a strong irritating odor like bleach. We can smell chlorine at levels much lower than those levels considered harmful.
Chlorine use is widespread in industry (notably in paper mills, chemical manufacturing plants), for disinfecting drinking water and swimming pools, and in household bleach. When used properly and at appropriate levels, chlorine is a safe and effective disinfectant.
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Railroad accidents can have serious effects on the surrounding people and environment.
Chlorine gas is irritating and corrosive to the airways, eyes, and skin.
The effect of chlorine gas exposure to your health depends on the length of exposure, the amount, how it enters or impacts your body, and your body’s response to the chlorine.
Relatively low levels of chlorine gas can cause a sore throat, coughing, and eye and skin irritation, while higher levels can cause burning of the eyes and skin, nausea, temporary blindness, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. At high enough levels, chlorine gas can cause immediate collapse and death.
Emergency measures to limit exposure include rapidly moving as far away from the gas as possible.