Agent Name

Hypochlorous acid

CAS Number

7790-92-3

Formula

Cl-H-O

Major Category

Toxic Gases & Vapors

Category

Acids, Inorganic

Description

Found only in aqueous solution; Greenish-yellow liquid; [Merck Index] Very unstable; [Hawley] Decomposes exothermically to HCl and O2; [Ullmann]

Sources/Uses

Used as a disinfectant; [Merck Index] Used for textile and fiber bleaching, for water purification, and as an antiseptic; [Hawley] Not used much because of its instability; Hypochlorites are used instead in drinking water and swimming pools; [Ullmann]

Comments

A strong oxidizing agent; [Merck Index] A skin and eye irritant; Weak and unstable acid--exists only in dilute solutions; [Hawley] Hypochlorites are used as bleaching agents and disinfectants (swimming pools); they are derived from hypochlorous acid. "Hypochlorites have caused hand, diffuse, or periulcerous dermatitis . . . " [Kanerva, p. 1803-4] See "Hydrogen chloride."

Reference Link

Allergic contact dermatitis from chlorinated swimming pool water.

Exposure Assessment
Reference Link

Contact sensitivity to calcium hypochlorite.

Links to Other NLM Databases
Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap
Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: