FAQs

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Q: What resources do you have available for water treatment plants?
A: The use of chlorine in water treatment facilities is effective in both protecting the drinking water supply to our communities, and in controlling the amount of bacteria released from waste treatment back to the environment. Our leading resources for water and wastewater treatment plants include:

  • Pamphlet 155, Water and Wastewater Operators Chlorine Handbook
  • W-DVD, Chlorine Safety for Water and Wastewater Operators

We also recommend the following resources for additional useful information:

  • Pamphlet 1, Chlorine Basics
  • Pamphlet 5, Bulk Storage of Liquid Chlorine
  • Pamphlet 6, Piping Systems for Dry Chlorine
  • Pamphlet 17, Packaging Plant Safety and Operational Guidelines
  • Pamphlet 64, Emergency Response Plans Chlor-Alkali, Sodium Hypochlorite, & Hydrogen Chloride Facilities Pamphlet
  • Pamphlet 65, Personal Protective Equipment for Chlor-Alkali Chemicals
  • Pamphlet 73, Atmospheric Monitoring Equipment for Chlorine
  • Pamphlet 164, Reactivity and Compatibility of Chlorine and Sodium Hydroxide with Various Materials

These materials are provided free of charge as a public service and can be downloaded from our online bookstore by clicking on the link provided in the last section of this page.

You may also consider contacting the America Water Works Association (AWWA) and submitting a technical inquiry at https://www.awwa.org/about-us/contact-us.aspx . Contact AWWA Customer Service at service@awwa.org or 800.926.7337 (303.794.7711 outside the US and Canada) Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You may also submit your technical inquiry to the National Rural Water Association (NRWA)’s website at https://nrwa.org/about-us/contact-us/.

Q: I have questions about water chlorination.  Why do we need it?  
A: The American Chemistry Council (ACC) maintains an FAQ section on Chlorine and Drinking Water.  This should help provide an understanding of the importance of clean water around our families and the world.

Q: What information can the Chlorine Institute provide to assist me in designing and installing a production and/ or storage facilities for chlorine, sodium and potassium hydroxides, and sodium hypochlorite; and the distribution and use of hydrogen chloride?
A: The Chlorine Institute exists to support the chlor-alkali industry and serve the public by fostering continuous improvements to safety and the protection of human health and the environment connected with the production, distribution and use of chlorine, sodium and potassium hydroxides, and sodium hypochlorite; and the distribution and use of hydrogen chloride and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM).  Specific references available include:

  • Pamphlet 6, Piping Systems for Dry Chlorine
  • Pamphlet 96, Sodium Hypochlorite Manual
  • Pamphlet 155, Water and Wastewater Operators Chlorine handbook
  • Pamphlet 164, Reactivity and Compatibility of Chlorine and Sodium Hydroxide with Various Materials
  • Pamphlet 17, Packaging Plant Safety and Operational Guidelines

These materials are provided free of charge as a public service and can be downloaded without cost from our online bookstore by clicking on the link provided in the last section of this page. In addition, the CI recommends consulting building codes and relevant ordinances and obtaining the services of a relevant Professional Engineer in your jurisdiction.

Q: Does the Chlorine Institute recommend consultants to aid in design, operation and evaluation of facilities?
A: The Chlorine Institute does not recommend consultants but does maintain a list of consultants who have a history of working in the industry and are familiar to the members.  Please contact us at techsvc@CL2.com to discuss this further. 

Q: Does the Chlorine Institute certify equipment for industrial and non-industrial use? (e.g. gaskets)
A: The Chlorine Institute encourages all who work with our mission chemicals to observe the recommendations outlined in our technical pamphlets. These pamphlets contain accumulated technical experience and can be downloaded for free from our online bookstore by clicking on the link provided in the last section of this page (For example, the Institute's Pamphlet 95 contains a list of gaskets that have performed satisfactorily at member facilities).   

The Chlorine Institute does not provide certification of products to equipment manufacturers. Certain equipment may require compliance with federal regulations, such as valves used on hazardous materials transportation packaging. All applicable federal regulations should be reviewed and compliance verified before selecting a component.

Q: We are upgrading our site emergency response procedures.  What information and guidance can we get from the Chlorine Institute for the chlorine we have on site?
A: The chlorine Institute provides an electronic download of Pamphlet 64, Emergency response Plans for Chlor-Alkali, Sodium Hypochlorite, and Hydrogen Chloride Facilities free of charge as a public service in the interest of safety.  This document includes information essential to the preparation or updating of formal, written emergency response which would be utilized during an accidental release or potential accidental release of chlor-alkali products.  This document can be downloaded without cost from our online bookstore by clicking on the link provided in the last section of this page.

Q:  We are preparing to take delivery of chlorine cylinders and want to be prepared if we had a leak.  What would you recommend?
A: If you are purchasing your chlorine through a member of the Chlorine Institute, the provider should be working with you to ensure you are prepared to take delivery.  As a service to the general public and in support of industry safety the Chlorine Institute provides pamphlets, DVDs, checklists and wall charts to aid you. These would include Pamphlet 155, Water and Wastewater Operators Chlorine handbook, Chlorine Cylinder and Ton Container Checklist, B-DVD: (available through your supplier) How to use the Chlorine Institute Emergency Kit “B” for Chlorine Ton Containers, WC-1 Handling Chlorine Cylinders and Ton Containers (available in English, French and Spanish).”  All of the available documents, free and those available for a nominal fee, can be downloaded from our online bookstore by clicking on the link provided in the last section of this page.

Q: Is this emergency preparedness training available to non-USA based people or organizations? Can someone fly into one of the destinations to participate?
A: The Chlorine Institute’s TRANSCAER training events are hosted throughout the U.S., as well as Canada. Anyone is welcome to attend these free training events. Please note CI does not cover the costs of travel expenses for training. It is the individual’s or their organization’s responsibility to cover the travel costs. Current training locations can be found on our website at http://www.chlorineinstitute.org/emergency-preparedness/er-training-outreach/.

Q: Does CHEMTREC/CHLOREP respond outside the U.S./Canada?
A: CHEMTREC is a 24/7 emergency call center available to anyone needing assistance during a hazardous materials incident, free of charge to the caller, including assistance outside of the U.S.  CHEMTREC can be reached at 1-800-424-9300 (toll free) or 1-703-527-3887 (toll).
Activation of the CHLOREP® network response through CHEMTREC is a free service provided by the Chlorine Institute member companies in an effort to provide a rapid and effective response to chlorine emergencies in the U.S. and Canada by ensuring that transportation service providers, end-users, first responders, hazmat teams and others have quick access to accurate information and industry expertise, including assistance in mitigating a chlorine release. While the CHLOREP network cannot be activated to assist in responses outside the U.S. and Canada, CHEMTREC does remain a resource for assistance by phone for international emergencies. 
Another resource available to people outside the U.S. and Canada are CHLOREP Level 3 hazmat contractors, who have verified chlorine response capabilities and international mobility. You can find more about these contractors on CI’s website: https://www.chlorineinstitute.org/emergency-preparedness/chlorep/contractors/.  Note that charges may apply for contractor assistance in a response.

Q: How can I (or my team) train with CHLOREP® teams?
A: One opportunity to train with CHLOREP Teams is to attend the hands-on training events CI conducts throughout the U.S. and Canada (under the TRANSCAER banner) where CHLOREP Team members and other industry stakeholders serve as instructors.  These events provide outstanding training opportunities for first responders and hazmat specialists/technicians to learn more about effective chlorine emergency response considerations from the industry experts.  Current training locations can be found on our website at https://www.chlorineinstitute.org/emergency-preparedness/er-training-outreach/

Q: Do you provide information for any other chemicals besides Chlorine?
The Chlorine Institute’s mission chemicals are chlorine, sodium and potassium hydroxides, and sodium hypochlorite; and the distribution and use of hydrogen chloride and the distribution of vinyl chloride monomer.  Pamphlets with relevant information are provided as a public service and can be downloaded without cost or for a nominal fee from our online bookstore by clicking on the link provided in the last section of this page.

Q: Is chlorine flammable? What kind of fire extinguisher should be used if there is a fire where there’s chlorine?
A: Chlorine is not flammable, but like oxygen, supports combustion.  (Chlorine can take the place of or work in conjunction with oxygen, which alters the chemical chain reaction, and supports the combustion of the fuel.) The choice of a fire extinguisher should be based on the identified fuel of the fire.  Under most conditions, chlorine won’t burn on its own and is thus considered non-flammable.  If a leaking chlorine container is involved in a fire, the source of the fire should first be mitigated so that the chlorine leak can then be handled.  However, chlorine vapors may still persist even if there is no longer a fire.  In this case, you should follow the guidance provided in our Chlorine Emergency Response webinar, The Emergency Response Guidebook provided by US DOT and contact your local CHLOREP team for mitigating chlorine container leaks.   CHEMTREC is a 24/7 emergency call center available to anyone needing assistance during a hazardous materials incident, free of charge to the caller, including assistance outside of the U.S.  CHEMTREC can be reached at 1-800-424-9300 (toll free) or 1-703-527-3887 (toll).  Keep in mind that chlorine reacts with water to form hydrochloric acid and hypochlorous acid, both of which are very corrosive and can create additional unintended issues, such as quickly corroding carbon steel.  While it may be necessary to use water to contain a fire and extinguish the fuel source, you should refrain from spraying water directly on a chlorine leak after the fire has been put out so that conditions do not worsen.

Q:  Where can I find general safety and hazards information on Chlorine?
The Chlorine Institute provides a number of pamphlets with information on safety and the protection of human health and the environment connected with the production, distribution and use of chlorine.  A good place to start would be Pamphlet 1, Chlorine Basics.  This and other relevant pamphlets can be downloaded without cost from our online bookstore by clicking on the link provided in the last section of this page.

Q: Has there been proved chronic effects due chlorine exposure?
A: Most studies indicate no significant connection between adverse health effects and chronic exposure to low concentrations of chlorine. Animal studies provide no evidence of cancer in chronic inhalation studies. Neither the industrial accident follow-up reports nor the occupational exposure literature on chlorine indicate cancer-related outcomes. For more details on health effects, treatment and monitoring of chlorine exposure you can download Chlorine Institute Pamphlet 63, First Aid, Medical Management/Surveillance and Occupational Hygiene Monitoring Practices for Chlorine which can be downloaded for free by following the instructions located at the bottom of this page.

Q: I have questions about store-bought bleach in my home. Can you help me?
A: Chlorine bleach and bleach-containing products, when used according to manufacturer’s directions, are a safe and effective way to deliver the germ-busting power of chlorine chemistry to help control the spread of infectious illness. We recommend the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about this useful disinfecting chemical.

Q:  Are all your publications free?
A: As a service to the general public and in support of industry safety the vast majority are.  Some pamphlets have commercial value and copyrighted information and cannot be provided without a fee. These would include Pamphlet 10, North American Chlor -Alkali Industry Plants and Production Data Report and Pamphlet 72, Properties of Chlorine in SI Units.  Some documents by their nature are members-only documents that are only distributed amongst active members only. 

Q: Do you publish production data?
A: Yes, we publish a monthly production report.  It is a commercial information and not a safety document and available on a subscription-only basis. Please click here to request a subscription.

If your question is not listed in these FAQs, you may submit a tech service request by filling out the Chlorine Institute's Tech Service Question Form here.