CAS No. 7647-01-0
Hydrogen chloride (HCl) is a colorless to slightly yellow gas with a pungent odor. Hydrogen chloride can irritate the skin, nose, eyes, throat, and larynx. Exposure to liquid hydrogen chloride may cause frostbite. Workers may be harmed from exposure to hydrogen chloride. The level of harm depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done.
Hydrogen chloride is used in many industries. It’s used to clean, pickle, and electroplate metals, tan leather, and refine and produce a wide variety of products. Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to hydrogen chloride include the following:
- Chemical workers in plants that use it to produce other chemicals
- Factory workers in plants where metals are pickled
- Workers in food processing plants
- Factory workers who manufacture dyes and fertilizers
- Factory workers in the rubber and textile industries
NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries. If you work in an industry that uses hydrogen chloride, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheets for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.
The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to hydrogen chloride. Useful search terms for hydrogen chloride include “anhydrous hydrogen chloride” “aqueous hydrogen chloride,” and “hydrochloric acid.”
The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) helps workers, employers, and occupational health professionals recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.
The NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.
The Health Hazard Evaluation Program (HHE) conducts onsite investigations of possible worker exposure to chemicals. Search the HHE database for more information on hydrogen chloride.
- NIOSHTIC-2 search results for hydrogen chloride—NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable database of worker safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.
- NIOSH Worker Health Study Summaries—NIOSH conducts research to prevent illnesses and injuries in the workplace. The NIOSH Worker Notification Program notifies workers and other stakeholders about the findings of these research studies.
- Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) Value Profile: Hydrogen Chloride—NIOSH reviews relevant scientific data and researches methods for developing IDLH values.
- A summary of health hazard evaluations: issues related to occupational exposure to fire fighters 1990-2001—DHHS (NIOSH) No. 2004-115.
- ATSDR Medical Management Guidelines (MMG): Hydrogen Chloride
- ATSDR ToxFAQs: Hydrogen Chloride
- EPA Chemistry Dashboard
- EPA Air Toxics: Hydrogen Chloride
- EPA Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs): Hydrogen Chloride
- EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS): Hydrogen Chloride
- NLM Hazardous Substance Data Bank: Hydrogen Chloride
- NLM Haz-Map: Hydrogen Chloride
- NLM Household Products Database: Hydrogen Chloride
- NLM Medline Plus: Hydrogen Chloride Poisoning
- OSHA Hazard Communication
- OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Guidelines: Hydrogen Chloride
- OSHA Chemical Sampling Information: Hydrogen Chloride
- New Jersey Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets: Hydrogen Chloride
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS): Search results for hydrogen chloride
- European Chemicals Agency (ECHA): Hydrogen Chloride
- Gestis Substance Database
- IARC Summary: Hydrochloric Acid
- ILO International Chemical Safety Card: Hydrogen Chloride
- IPCS INCHEM: Search results for hydrogen chloride
- OECD Global Portal to Information on Chemical Substances
- UNEP OECD (SIDS): Hydrochloric Acid
- Page last reviewed: November 2, 2018
- Page last updated: November 2, 2018
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division