hydrogen chloride

Last reviewed 01/2018

Hydrogen chloride is a toxic gaseous compound. Typically, it is produced by the combustion of PVC plastics. It produces protein denaturation and hence cell death. After inhalation, the main injury occurs to alveolar cells. The patient may appear asymptomatic but pulmonary oedema may develop after two to twelve hours. Alternatively, symptoms can include:

  • cough
  • dyspnoea
  • chest pain

Also, it damages the cornea causing intense ocular irritation.

The treatment of inhalational injury is largely supportive.