Chlorine. Chlorinium. Dephlogisticated Muriatic Acid (Scheele). At ordinary temperature it is a pungent suffocating gas; but by a pressure of 4 atmospheres at 60°, it is converted into a yellow liquid. Sp. Gr. 133.
Med. Prop. and Action. Powerful irritant of the bronchial mucous membrane, causing, when inhaled, a sense of suffocation, violent cough, and spasm of the glottis. Properly diluted, it has proved useful in some pulmonary affections. It is a valuable antidote in poisoning by Hydrocyanic Acid and Sulphuretted Hydrogen. It destroys vegetable colouis, organic odours, and infectious matters, and is hence used as a bleaching agent, deodoriser, and disinfectant.
As a fumigating and disinfecting agent, Chlorine is generally admitted to be of great value. Prof. Faraday * recommends the following mode of application: - One part of common salt, and one part of the Binoxide of Manganese having been placed in a convenient vessel, there is to be added 2 parts of Sulphuric Acid, previously mixed with 1 part by weight of water. The salt should be bruised down, previous to being mixed with the manganese, and the acid and water should be mixed in a wooden bowl, and allowed to stand for some hours, that the heat produced by their combination may be dissipated before they are poured on the other ingredients. Common red pans of a flat form are best suited for the fumigation. Guyton Morveau, one of the first who employed it extensively, found the following quantities sufficient for the perfect disinfection of an uninhabited room, 40 feet by 20: - Oxide of Manganese ij , Common Salt gx., Sulphuric Acid fvj., Water fiv. It appears that Chlorine fumigations fail to arrest the progress of Cholera, Erysipelas, and some other diseases.
Offic. Prep. Liquor Chlori. (See Chlori Liquor.)
In Acute and Chronic Bronchitis, Chlorine inhalations have been found very effectual by Dr. Toul-mouche. He states that, in the prison of Rennes, he has been in the habit of employing this remedy for several years, and directs from 10 to 100 drops of the solution of Chlorine to be poured on hot water, in a common inhaling apparatus, through which the patient breathes. In those cases of chronic bronchitis complicated with emphysema of the lungs, and in pituitous catarrh in which the sputa are generally transparent, little benefit was derived from the inhalation, but in all other cases it was given with advantage. In proof of this, he gives a table of 309 cases, and the results are decidedly in favour of the remedy.
Gannal, in 1817. He states that, being attached to a manufactory of printed calicoes at St. Denis, he observed that those workmen who happened to be affected with phthisical symptoms experienced relief, and many quickly recovered their health, from being exposed to the inhalation of the Chlorine disengaged in the various processes. He communicated this fact to Laennec, who instituted some experiments at the Hos-
* Journal of Arts and Sciences, vol. xviii. p. 92.
Cazutte Medicale, June 1838,
On the Inhalation of Chlorine, &c. translated by Mr. Potter, Lond. 1830.
pital of La Charite in 1823, and the results were, on the whole, satisfactory. It has more recently been employed by Dr. Snow,* •with a few patients in different stages of Phthisis, but with no advantage, although it was continued by some of them for a few weeks. In Ulceration of the Lungs, Albers found it productive of excellent effects.
Pancoast found the vapour of Chlorine highly serviceable in two instances. The Chlorine is readily disengaged by adding, drop by drop, dilute Hydrochloric Acid to a solution of the Chloride of Lime or Soda. Care should be taken that the gas is properly diluted.
Wallace.} He found great benefit from them, and directs the patient to remain in the bath (at an average temperature of 150° F.) for about half an hour at a time. It is deserving of a trial in long-standing cases.