CAS RN: 7726-95-6

Toxicity Summary

IDENTIFICATION AND USE: Bromine is a dark reddish-brown, volatile, mobile diatomic liquid; vaporizes at room temperature. Pure bromine is used in the synthesis of a variety of bromine containing substances. Other uses for bromine include flame retardants, cleaning agents, dyestuffs, photography, water sanitation, pharmaceuticals, bleaching fibers and silk. Bromine is registered for use in water filters to purify drinking water aboard US Naval ships and offshore oil well platforms. It is also used as a general disinfectant and sanitizer in indoor, non-food contact areas such as commercial establishments, hospitals and households, to control bacteria and fungi. HUMAN EXPOSURE AND TOXICITY: Inhalation of the irritant bromine vapors or direct contact with the liquid or vapor with skin and mucous membranes will produce direct tissue injury. Injury may occur at various levels of the respiratory tract depending upon the concentration of bromine and the duration of exposure. Pure bromine liquid or vapor is extremely irritating to the skin. Unlike other chemical agents, there is no immediate visible skin reaction after contact. The delay before initial signs or injury become apparent often results in more extreme damage. The most common local effects are blister formation, brownish discoloration of the skin and slow healing ulcers. Exposure to low concentrations produces lacrimation, rhinorrhea, eye irritation, coughing, dyspnea, choking, wheezing, epistaxis and headache. A brownish discoloration of the tongue and buccal mucosa may result and be accompanied by a characteristic breath odor. Inflammatory lesions of the upper airway, photophobia and blepharospasm are noted at higher levels. Upper and lower respiratory tract: delayed or immediate bronchoconstriction and the development of laryngeal spasm, glottal edema and asthma. With increased parenchymal penetration, there may be associated peribronchiolar abscesses, pulmonary infiltrates consistent with chemical pneumonitis, bronchiolitis obliterans and pulmonary edema. Acute obstructive ventilator impairment may lead to acidosis, measles like rash and subsequent death. It should be noted that more severe respiratory symptoms may be delayed for several hours after the exposure. There is a rare cutaneous manifestation of bromide accumulation is known as bromoderma tuberosum which progresses from red papules to pustules that enlarge and develop into indurated lesions. A mild degree of spermatogenic suppression and impaired reproductive performance following paternal exposure to bromine vapor described in the literature. ANIMAL STUDIES: The mortality of mice exposed to 240 or 750 ppm bromine was dependent on the duration of the study. Rats, mice and rabbits inhaling 0.2 ppm bromine developed disturbances in the functions of their respiratory, nervous and endocrine systems. Rats fed bromine (0.01 mg/kg)) for 6 months experienced changes in their conditioned reflexes and several blood indexes. ECOTOXICITY STUDIES: Bromine releases as a consequence of production activities have had serious effects upon vegetation.
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