Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Hydrogen Chloride

Overview

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.”

NIOSH Chemical Resources

Logo of NIOSH Pocket Guide

NIOSH Pocket Guide

The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) helps workers, employers, and occupational health professionals recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.

Logo of Manual of Analytical Methods.

Manual of Analytical Methods

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.

Logo of Health Hazard Evaluations consisting of three letters: HHE

Health Hazard Evaluations

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.

Related NIOSH Resources

Selected Publications

Related Resources

International Resources

TOP