Uses & Benefits
Chlorine chemistry helps keep families healthy and improves our environment:
Chlorine chemistry helps keep drinking water and swimming pools safe. Before cities began routinely treating drinking water with chlorine-based disinfectants, thousands died every year from waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery and hepatitis A. Chlorine-based pool and spa disinfectants help keep recreational waters safe by destroying waterborne pathogens that can result in illnesses, such as diarrhea, swimmer’s ear or skin rashes, including athlete’s foot.
Chlorine chemistry is used to manufacture household chlorine bleach, which whitens and disinfects clothes and disinfects kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Diluted bleach and water solutions are especially effective at killing germs that may be found on household surfaces that make people sick, including the norovirus (also known as the “stomach bug”) and seasonal flu.
Chlorine chemistry helps provide safe and abundant food by protecting crops from pests and keeping kitchen counters and other food-contact surfaces disinfected, destroying E. coli, salmonella and a host of other foodborne germs.
Chlorine chemistry is critical to manufacturing medicines we depend on, including some that help lower cholesterol, control arthritis pain and relieve allergy symptoms. The products of chlorine chemistry can also be found in blood bags, medical devices and surgical stitches. Chlorine chemistry is also used to manufacture contact lenses, safety glasses and respiratory inhalers.
Energy and Environment
Chlorine chemistry plays an important role in harnessing solar energy, purifying the silicon in grains of sand and helping transform them into solar panel chips. Wind turbine blades made from chlorine-based epoxy resins help convert wind power into electricity.
Chlorine chemistry is used to manufacture fast processors that power smart phones, tablets, and computers. Chlorine chemistry is also used to manufacture residential and commercial air conditioning refrigerants, hybrid car batteries and high-performance magnets.
Building and Construction
Plastic foam insulation, manufactured using chlorine chemistry, increases the energy efficiency of home heating and air-conditioning systems, reducing energy bills and conserving natural resources. Energy-efficient vinyl windows reduce heating and cooling costs and GHG emissions. Research indicates manufacturing vinyl windows requires one-third of the energy needed to manufacture aluminum windows. And chlorine chemistry even contributes to the beauty of every room in your home by helping to manufacture durable paints.
Defense and Law Enforcement
Chlorine chemistry is used to manufacture bullet-resistant vests worn by soldiers and police officers. Chlorine chemistry is also used to produce parachutes and night vision goggles as well as cockpit canopies and missile guidance technologies.
Chlorine chemistry is used on planes, trains, automobiles, and boats, in the manufacture of seat cushions, bumpers, brake fluid and airbags that help keep passengers safe and comfortable. Chlorine chemistry is also used to manufacture shatter-resistant windows, wire and cable, steel hulls, and navigation systems.