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Hydrogen Chloride (HCl) Detection

Portable & fixed-point Br2 detectors for healthcare, pharmaceuticals, chemical manufacturing, agriculture, and environmental testing.

About Hydrogen Chloride Detection

Hydrogen chloride (aka chlorane) is a colorless gas with a sharp, pungent odor. The compound fumes strongly in moist air. It is used in the production of fertilizers, dyes, in electroplating, and in the photographic, textile, and rubber industries.

HCl is used in the manufacture of organics such as dichloroethane and vinyl chloride—used to manufacture PVC (polyvinyl chloride). It is used to effectively regulate the pH level of a wide variety of manufacturing processes including the production of drinking water (likewise in swimming pool purification), foods, and pharmaceuticals.

Hydrogen chloride is also employed to “pickle” steel (removing rust and scale from the material), and in the processing of leather.

Occupational Health/Toxicology

Hydrogen chloride is irritating and corrosive to any tissue it contacts. Brief exposure to low levels causes throat irritation. Exposure to higher levels can result in rapid breathing, narrowing of the bronchioles, blue coloring of the skin, accumulation of fluid in the lungs, and even death. Some people may develop an inflammatory reaction to hydrogen chloride. This condition is called reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), a type of asthma caused by some irritating or corrosive substances.

Depending on the concentration, hydrogen chloride can produce from mild irritation to severe burns of the eyes and skin. Long-term exposure to low levels can cause respiratory problems, eye and skin irritation, and discoloration of the teeth. Other effects of exposure include shock, circulatory collapse metabolic acidosis, and respiratory depression.

Full record on hydrogen chloride from Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), a database provided by the US National Library of Medicine.

The hydrogen chloride entry from NIOSH’s Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards.


Hydrogen chloride is utilized as a reagent in the synthesis of various chemicals, including chlorides, fertilizers, and dyes. Its monitoring is crucial to prevent corrosive damage to equipment and protect workers from exposure to HCl fumes, which can be harmful. Read more...

HCl is employed in the pharmaceutical industry to synthesize active pharmaceutical ingredients and adjust pH levels in formulations. Monitoring levels of HCl can prevent contamination of drugs and ensure a safe environment for pharmaceutical workers. Read more...

Hydrogen chloride is used to regulate the pH of water during treatment processes. Monitoring HCl levels is crucial for maintaining water quality and protecting treatment facility workers from harmful exposures. Read more...


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