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Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

Sample Transcript

Chlorine dioxide or ClO2, is a chemical compound that is commonly used in pulp bleaching and water treatment processes. Because it is very unstable and can react violently, chlorine dioxide poses a number of health hazards. Therefore, it should be manufactured, stored, and handled very carefully Pure ClO2 has a boiling point of 52 degrees Fahrenheit at normal atmospheric pressure. This means that at room temperature, pure ClO2 is a gas that is yellow or reddish-yellow in color. Below 52 degrees Fahrenheit, chlorine dioxide is a reddish-brown liquid. And below minus 74 degrees Fahrenheit, it forms into bright orange crystals. A 10 grams per liter solution of chlorine dioxide is a pale greenish liquid. It has a strong, unpleasant odor similar to chlorine. This module describes the uses of chlorine dioxide, the hazards it presents, and how to protect yourself from exposure.

Chlorine Dioxide Awareness

Training Time: 21 minutes

Chlorine dioxide, or ClO2, is a chemical compound that is commonly used in pulp bleaching and water treatment processes. Because it is very unstable and can react violently, ClO2 poses a number of health hazards. Working with or around ClO2 is sometimes unavoidable however, so it is critical that you use the proper PPE, follow standard procedures, and know how to handle leaks, spills, and other emergency situations.

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Required PPE may include protective clothing, such as: gloves, aprons, and sleeves.

Required PPE may include protective clothing, such as: gloves, aprons, and sleeves.

Chlorine dioxide has been assigned a NFPA reactivity rating of 4, the highest reactivity rating possible.

Chlorine dioxide has been assigned a NFPA reactivity rating of 4, the highest reactivity rating possible.

If a spill occurs, have anyone not wearing appropriate PPE remove themselves from the area.

If a spill occurs, have anyone not wearing appropriate PPE remove themselves from the area.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the appearance of chlorine dioxide as a solid, liquid, and gas
  • Describe common uses of chlorine dioxide
  • Identify reactivity, flammability, and health hazards
  • Identify effects of exposure
  • Describe handling precautions and PPE requirements
  • Describe guidelines for spill prevention and clean up
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Chlorine Dioxide Awareness FAQs

What is chlorine dioxide and why is it dangerous?
Chlorine dioxide, or ClO2, is a chemical compound that is commonly used in pulp bleaching and water treatment processes. Because it is very unstable and can react violently, ClO2 poses a number of health hazards. Therefore, it should be manufactured, stored, and handled very carefully.

What is chlorine dioxide used for?
Over 95% of the worldwide production of chlorine dioxide is used to bleach wood pulp. In North America, over 99% of all bleached chemical pulp is bleached in a process that includes ClO2.

What are some of the health effects that can occur if exposed to chlorine dioxide?
Chlorine dioxide can cause severe irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, or skin, and inhalation can cause coughing, wheezing, and respiratory distress. At very high exposure levels, it can be fatal. For these reasons, ClO2has been given a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) health hazard rating of 3.

What makes chlorine dioxide unstable and could potentially cause it to explode?
Chlorine dioxide is very acidic, corrosive, and a strong oxidizer. It is very unstable and can explode if it is: present in high concentrations, impacted, exposed to an ignition source, and heated rapidly.

What PPE is typically required of workers who work with or around chlorine dioxide?
When working with any amount or concentration of chlorine dioxide, wear the personal protective equipment (PPE) required by your facility, which may include the following: protective clothing such as gloves, aprons, and sleeves, safety goggles, face shields, and NIOSH approved respirators.

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