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chloropicrin

chloropicrin (klōrˌəpĭkˈrĭn) [key], colorless oily liquid used as a poison gas. It is a powerful irritant, causing lachrymation, vomiting, bronchitis, and pulmonary edema; lung injury from chloropicrin may result in death. Trace amounts in the air cause a burning sensation in the eyes, which serves as a warning of exposure. Chloropicrin is more toxic than chlorine but less toxic than phosgene. It is relatively inert and does not react with the chemicals commonly used in gas masks. It has been extensively used as a vomiting gas by the military. It is also used industrially in small amounts as a warning agent in commercial fumigants and as an insecticide and disinfectant for grain. Chloropicrin has the formula CCl3NO2. It boils at 112°C with partial decomposition to phosgene and nitrosyl chloride.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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