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Chlorine is a gaseous element found in extracellular and intracellular fluids as the chloride ion. It is the principal anion of the extracellular fluid. An average dietary intake of table salt, sodium chloride, easily supplies enough chloride for physiological needs.

Chloride assumes a role in acid-base balance of blood, water balance, saliva, sweat and gastric acid formation.

Chlorine is added to water for the purpose of sterilization; the gas has been used in chemical warfare.

Commonly, agents containing chlorine have the prefix chlor- or chloro-.

Last reviewed 01/2018