Wikijunior:The Elements/Chlorine

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Shows the position of Chlorine on the periodic chart.
Chlorine's symbol on the Periodic Table

What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?[edit]

This Beaker Contains Table Salt which is made from Sodium and Chlorine

Chlorine as an element is a pale green, poisonous gas with a suffocating odor. Chlorine as a chemical cleaner (in a solution with water) is a liquid, which is colorless with little odor, and a distinctly chemical taste.

How was it discovered?[edit]

Chlorine was discovered in 1774 by Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.

Where did its name come from?[edit]

Chlorine gets its name from the Greek word chloros, which means "pale green".

Did You Know?

  • Chloride, the ionic form of Chlorine, is the most abundant dissolved substance in seawater.

Where is it found?[edit]

In nature, chlorine is mostly found as chloride, the ionic form of chlorine. Chloride is very common in seawater as part of sodium chloride, the scientific name for salt. In a laboratory, chlorine gas can be generated by the rapid combination of a strong base and a strong acid, or by running electricity through a solution of table salt (which is NaCl, the most common salt in seawater and the best-known, and probably the most common, chlorine compound n the world.)

Chlorine is used in swimming pools to kill bacteria.

What are its uses?[edit]

Chlorine is commonly used to purify water so it is clean enough to bath in. Almost all public pools use chlorine as a cleaning chemical for water. Chlorinated water can be toxic at high concentrations. Chlorine as a gas is incredibly dangerous, and has been used as a chemical weapon. Chlorine is also used in bleaches.

Is it dangerous?[edit]

Yes, when chlorine is concentrated in a gaseous form, it is extremely toxic to humans, killing within minutes of exposure. The gas burns lungs when it is inhaled, and victims of inhalation most often die of a combination of axphyxiation and internal bleeding from damage to the airways.