Chlorinated Inorganic Compounds Website

Dr. Ziem has numerous patients who have developed toxic encephalopathy, disabling fatigue,
widespread musculoskeletal aching, reactive airways, neural sensitization with systemic intolerance to
irritants and pollutants from inorganic chlorine products. This includes a cohort of fourteen individuals
who developed this syndrome with exposure to sodium hypochlorite, multiple faculty persons who
developed this syndrome with exposure to tight building and indoor chlorinated swimming pool with
offices located relatively near the swimming pool, and a patient with daily exposure to a 10 percent
Clorox solution used daily for floor cleaning. Another 13 individuals developed this syndrome with
exposure to chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide exposure has also been documented in the peerreviewed mainstream medical literature as being associated with chronic illness and heightened
sensitivity to chemicals.1 Irritant exposure to chlorine dioxide has been shown to cause loss of the
protective nasal epithelial cells, increased permeability (which would allow future irritants to enter
more readily), chronic inflammatory changes and an increase in nasal nerve fiber endings (which help
heighten neurologic and bodily effects from future exposures) on biopsy.2
Chlorinated chemicals in the presence of organic debris are known to form chloroform, which is
known to be neurotoxic,3,,4 hepatotoxic4 and nephrotoxic, ,that can induce fatigue. Chlorine exposure
has also been shown to induce chronic toxic encephalopathy in 14 exposed persons, confirmed by
neurocognitive and neurophysiologic testing.5 Overexposure to chlorine in a spill caused abnormal lung
function and impairment of balance, cognitive function, autonomic nervous system function and severe
fatigue, sleep disturbance, headaches, respiratory irritation, reduced memory and concentration and
other serious debilitating effects which were found on evaluation and persisted long after cessation of
exposure. These changes were documented by epidemiologic study and comparison with a control
Brain and respiratory system impairment have been shown in individuals who were exposed to chlorine
gas.6 7 Chlorinated bleach has also been shown to cause chronic brain and respiratory damage with
occupational exposure.8 A detailed study of 22 chlorine-exposed individuals, including exposure from
chlorine and water chlorination products showed persistent respiratory and neurologic effects including
impaired memory, difficulty with concentration, balance impairment, many months and even years
after the cessation of exposure. Neurologic testing showed impaired function compared to controls,
including impaired balance, reaction time, color discrimination, visual field performance, hearing, grip
strength, and cognitive performance on multiple tests. Respiratory effects were also prominent in this
group and included statistically increased prevalence of chest tightness, shortness of breath, dry cough,
cough with mucus or blood, throat tightness, and eye irritation. Lung function testing on these
individuals showed reduced vital capacity compared to controls.9 NIOSH has proposed that chlorine
exposure not exceed 0.5 ppm during any 15 minute period.
A .L. Davidoff and P.M. Keyl, "Symptoms and health status in individuals with multiple chemical sensitivity from four reported sensitizing exposures
and a general population comparison group," Arch. Environmental Health, 51:201-213, 1996.
WJ Meggs et al., “Nasal pathology and ultra structure in patients with chronic airway inflammation (RADS and RUDS) following an irritant
exposure”, Clinical Toxicology 34(4): 383-396, 1996.
J. L. O’ Donohue, Editor, Neurotoxicity of Industrial and Commercial Chemicals, CRC Press, 1985.
Toxicological Profile for Chloroform, US Dept. Health and Human Services, ATSDR, 1993.
K. H. Kilburn, Chemical Brain Injury, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1998.
J.M. Levy, et al., "Detection of the cerebral lesions of chlorine intoxication by magnetic resonance imaging," Magnet. Reson. Imag., 4:51-52, 1986
K. H. Kilburn, "Evidence that inhaled chlorine is neurotoxic and causes airways obstruction," Int. J. Occup. Med. Toxicol.,
4:267-70, 1995
K .H. Kilburn, "Chronic neural and pulmonary effects from inhaled chlorine: 4.5 years after exposure," J. Occup. Environ. Med., 1996
K. H. Kilburn, "Chlorine-induced damage documented by neurophysiological, neuropsychological, and pulmonary testing,"
Archiv. Environ. Health, 55:31-37, 2000