A Look at Chlorine Pentafluoride

A Look at Chlorine Pentafluoride

Chlorine pentafluoro-acids are corrosive agents used in many industries for various purposes. This chemical is known to be very effective in corrosion of iron, steel, bronze and zinc alloys. However, the most commonly used form of this agent is as a de-icer. Pentafluoro-acids when exposed to air at a temperature above their transformation point (around 160o K) tend to polymerize into compounds having a honey color, called polyfluorinated pentafluoro-acids. These compounds are useful in coating iron and non-ferrous metals to prevent corrosion.


Chlorine Pentafluoride (also known as HCl) is a volatile organic compound having a very sweet flavor. It is produced through reaction of hydrogen and oxygen with the amino acid arginine. The resulting compound has some remarkable chemical properties that make it a useful industrial preservative, oxidizer, deicer, insecticide and antibacterial agent. It is also an antifungal, deodorizing and disinfectant agent.

colorless gas

When chlorinepentafluoride reacts with the oil, such as petroleum jelly, it yields a delicious, sweet odor. Some of the common uses of this odorless, colorless gas are as cleaners and deodorizers in industrial settings, in chemical production, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, and household and personal care products. In workplaces, it may cause serious health hazards, because the eyes, skin, lungs and mucous membranes are exposed to the toxic vapors that are emitted when this chemical interacts with certain organic materials. In fact, some household products made from polymer milks and cotton fabrics contain it.


Containers may violently burst when exposed to high temperatures. That’s why this colorless gas must be treated with care, according to federal regulations. Containers that are not used frequently should be placed in the cabinet under low temperature and never exposed to direct sunlight. In addition, containers with any porous materials, such as liners and some types of plastic should be checked regularly for cracks and ruptures, because these may allow the toxic gases to escape and possibly poison people if exposed.


When industrial or commercial facilities utilize chlorination or other industrial processes using chlorinepentafluoride, they have to be aware of the hazards of its vapors, which are colorless and odorless. These substances are considered hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Studies indicate that inhaling the vapors aggravates asthma and increases the risk of bronchitis. The effects of long-term inhalation may be irreversible, through damages to the ocular system, the respiratory tract, and the central nervous system. Long-term occupational exposure to these chemicals is known to cause cancer.


An interesting side note on this chemical is that the Environmental Protection Agency has recommended that industries desalinate this compound and post warning signs and instructions. The reason is that research indicates that there is an increased risk of tumors among workers exposed to this substance. The amount of chloroform gas produced during processing can reach toxic levels. There are also instances where the vapors become airborne and trigger allergic reactions in people who are asthmatic. In one study, researchers found out that over six hundred thousand workers in the United States have suffered from headaches, nausea, and nasal irritations due to inhaled chloroform.

different types of illnesses

There are different types of illnesses which may occur due to this chemical. It is crucial to note that any type of severe irritation, redness, swelling, or puffiness that does not improve with topical application must be treated in order for it to subside. It is estimated that approximately one hundred and sixty thousand emergency room visits are made each year for problems related to breathing, wheezing, coughing, and swelling of the throat, chest, and stomach due to chlorine pentafluoride. The effects of this chemical can prove to be extremely hazardous to animals and plants, although the most common symptoms reported to occur in animals are vomiting, diarrhea, and nasal congestion. Plants such as spinach, lettuce, strawberries, and parsley can react vigorously to chlorine pentafluoride and result in leaves turning purple and falling from the plant.


If you are dealing with a leak or faucet problem, you should immediately remove the source of moisture and turn the power off. After this, the affected area should be cleaned with soap and water and left to dry. The extent of the reaction will vary depending on the degree of exposure to the chemical and could range from mild to severe. Once the area has dried, it is time to replace the faucet or filter if needed.