• Isn't chlorine dangerous?
    Yes, all forms of chlorine kill bacteria, and can be dangerous., but that's why we use it to kill germs. The better question is which form of chlorine is the most safe; solid, liquid bleach or gas?
  • OK: which form (solid, bleach or gas) is the safest to use?
    Safety regarding chlorine isn't about the chlorine itself (we know it can be dangerous in any form) but about the accidental release of gas, and the ability to contain it if that happens.

    Both the bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and the granules (calcium hypochlorite) can explode and release gas if contaminated. Chlorine gas by itself, however, is not explosive.

    Chlorine gas is delivered in a system designed for gas use. Modern day gas delivery systems are based on a vacuum, instead of pressure, which further ensures safety, since a broken pipe will not exhaust gas in a vacuum-driven system: no gas is released.

  • Why do I hear negative talk about chlorine gas?
    Often because of misinformation. For example, in many cases chemical reactions explosions of sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite are reported as "chlorine gas injures plant workers." Strictly speaking, that's true, but the chlorine gas would not have been released if the hypochlorite had not been involved in a violent, sometimes explosive, chemical reaction.

    In fact, in a recent study of over 50,000 accidental exposures, for every one related to gas itself, there were twice as many accidents with granules and a whopping 7 times as many with bleach.* (*AAPCC Chlorine exposure report 2006)

    From a health and safety, not to mention a liability standpoint, chlorine delivered as a gas is a significantly better choice.

  • But isn't bleach safe?
    Hardly! There are more accidents, injuries and death associated with bleach than almost any other chemical. When accidentally mixed with other chemicals, it can cause a large chlorine gas release.
  • Well then, what about granules?
    In contact with an oily rag, or even just a contaminated scoop, calcium hypochlorite granules can burst into flame. Accidental contact with high heat, like a cigarette or match, will cause an explosion. And uncovered in a warm room, uncontrolled gas fumes can escape. Workers are cautioned to wear protective glasses, gloves and aprons.

  • Isn't chlorine gas federally regulated?
    The government does require RMPs (Risk Management Plans) for water and wastewater facilities storing over 2500 lbs of gas chlorine. OSHA requires similar PSMs (Process Safety Management plans) for the manufacturing sector, if storing over 1500 lbs. We see this as a good thing and to your benefit as such plans enhance safety through planning and prevention.

    Having such a plan in place, and being able to say so is a far stronger position for your facility, than not having one and choosing to use a form of hypochlorite which is up to 7 times more likely to be the source of an accident or explosion.

  • Speaking of the feds: isn't chlorine gas a security risk?
    Yes: people have tried to make bombs of it, with little success. It was mostly unsuccessful in World War One, and Iraq, with only modest success. Remember, chlorine gas is not explosive. (Deaths from such bombs are from the explosion, not the gas.) And the properties of chlorine gas make it an unlikely candidate for chemical weapons.