Accession Number:



Review and Assessment of Chlorine Mammalian Lethality Data and the Development of a Human Estimate

Descriptive Note:

Journal Article - Embargoed Full-Text

Corporate Author:

US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



New human estimates for chlorine inhalation lethality as a function of exposure duration were derived via a review and statistical analysis of existing mammalian lethality data. Such estimates are needed to support risk assessments and casualty predictions involving airborne releases of chlorine. At present, casualty predictions for such releases are at odds with what has been observed historically the predicted downwind hazard area has often been much larger than what was actually observed. Either the present estimates for median lethal dosages LCT50 are too low, the currently popular atmospheric transport and dispersion ATD models cannot adequately model chlorine releases, or both. LCT50 and quantal response data were analyzed for eight species mouse, rat, guinea pig, rabbit, cat, dog, goat and sheep, for exposure durations from 8 to 235 minutes. The base 10 probit slope concentration was estimated via the weighted average of experimentally measured slopes in mammalian lethality studies. Resulting human lethality military estimates as a function of exposure duration were expressed via the toxic load model. General population estimates were derived from the military estimates using the mathematical method of Crosier 2007. Previous human estimates were reviewed and compared to the new general population estimate. The impact of the new estimate was evaluated through a series of transport and dispersion modeling runs for the catastrophic accidental release of 50 tons of chlorine from a tanker car. The sensitivity of downwind hazard distances was also investigated as a function of median lethal toxic load TL, toxic load exponent and probit slope values.

Subject Categories:

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Toxicology

Distribution Statement: