Over 200 years ago, a young Swedish researcher, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, discovered chlorine. Because of its reactivity and bonding characteristics, chlorine has become an essential chemical building block, leading to a myriad of materials that are used to make the products we use every day for public health, safety, nutrition, security, transportation, lifestyle and high-tech innovation. Drinking water, agricultural abundance, disinfected wastewater, essential industrial chemicals, bleaches and fuels, all depend on chlorine. Pharmaceuticals, plastics, dyes, cosmetics, coatings, electronics, adhesives, clothing and automobile parts are examples of product groups that depend on chlorine chemistry.
A list of chlorine applications includes:
Plastic Bumpers Molding
Water Repellant Fibers
Food Production & Handling
Vitamins B1 & B6
Prescription Eye Wear
Neoprene Wet Suits
Safe Drinking Water
The use of chlorine to disinfect water for drinking and swimming and its use in bleaching are both fairly well known. However, it is not universally recognized that chlorine is an essential chemical building block, leading to a myriad of materials that are used to make the products we use every day for health, safety, nutrition, security, transportation, lifestyle and high-tech innovation. For example, chlorine chemistry is important to the production of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, safety equipment, computers, automobiles, aircraft parts and crop protection chemicals. The list is virtually endless. In fact, chlorine products of all kinds, and their derivatives, contribute more than $46 billion to the U.S. economy each year, through sales of chlorine and other building block chemicals that are used to make thousands of essential products. That's why chlorine is an essential asset deemed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as critical infrastructure.
More information about the economic, health and safety benefits associated with this remarkable and versatile chemical can be found on the Chlorine Tree Web site, which is produced by the Chlorine Chemistry Division of the American Chemistry Council. Using videos, special effects, animation, sound and text, the interactive Chlorine Tree Web site provides a wealth of information about chlorine chemistry and its vital role in our everyday lives.
The Chlorine Chemistry Division and its members support and co-sponsor educational programs and research projects. The Council devotes significant resources to scientific issues and managing risks so society can continue to derive maximum benefit from chlorine chemistry.