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In 1912, polyvinylchloride (PVC) was invented without a purpose. B.F. Goodrich later

marketed it and sold it as a shower curtain. In 1915, chlorine was first used as a weapon

in World War I, and in 1922, chlorine was used as liquid bleach for the household. In

1933, Dow Chemical produced Saran (polyvinylidene chloride), and in 1949 it was

marketed as Saran wrap. Throughout the 1990’s, various forms of chlorine have been

used for medicines and developing medical imaging techniques such as x-rays and

similar devices. Today, chlorine can be found in bleach products used for laundry or in

the individual household for cleaning purposes. It can be found in swimming pools and

in the drinking water supply.

Facts about Chlorine

Chlorine is involved in many aspects of the world. Every year, 12 million tons

are produced in North America [Ref. 9]. Economically, chlorine is very important. It

supports 2 million jobs annually in the US [Ref. 9]. Chlorine makes up 25% of the yearly

output of plastics. It is also used for medical products, packaging, and

appliances/electronics. Chlorine is not replaceable in these products, and to date, there is

no known alternative.

Chlorine isotopes

There are nine isotopes of chlorine, but only three are stable including 35Cl, 36Cl,

and 37Cl. 36Cl is radioactive and can be used as a tracer to label compounds. Its half-life

is 3.01 x 105 years. The molecular weight of chlorine is 35.45 g/mol because 35Cl is the

most abundant isotope making up 75.77% of chlorine’s weight.

Routes of Exposure


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