Aluminium chlorohydrate (chemical formula: Al2-Cl-H5-O5), is a group of aluminium salts. It is generally found as fine wate powder that is easily soluble in water.
Aluminium chlorohydrate is found in personal care products and is one of the most common active ingredients in commercial antiperspirant deodorants. The chemical is very effective at reducing sweating by forming insoluble gel plugs within the sweat ducts that temporarily prevent sweat from reaching the skin’s surface.
Aluminium chlorohydrate is also used in the treatment of wastewater, acting as a coagulant to remove any dissolved organic matter.
The routes of exposure for aluminium chlorohydrate include; inhalation, ingestion and skin and eye contact.
Inhalation of aluminium chlorohydrate produces irritation and inflammation of the respiratory system. Those with already compromised respiratory function (conditions such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis), may suffer further disability upon inhalation. Individuals with prior kidney or circulatory/nervous system damage are also susceptible to further risk when handling the chemical.
Ingestion in animals has shown acutely poisoned animals progressively depress until death. Accidental ingestion in humans may also be fatal or produce serious damage to the individual’s health.
Skin contact with aluminium chlorohydrate produces milk skin irritation and inflammation, characterised by redness and swelling that may possibly progress to blistering and scaling of the skin. Other harmful effects may result upon entry into the bloodstream through open cuts or wounds.
Repeated or prolonged eye exposure to the chemical may cause inflammation characterised by redness, temporary vision impairment and other transient eye damage.
If inhaled, remove the patient from the contaminated area to the nearest fresh air source and monitor their breathing. Lay them down and keep them warm and rested. If the patient is not breathing and you are qualified to do so, perform CPR, preferably with a bag-valve mask device. Transport to the hospital or doctor without delay.
If swallowed, urgent hospital treatment is likely to be needed. If medical attention is more than 15 minutes away, vomiting should be induced with fingers down the back of the throat. The patient should lean forward or be on their left side to prevent aspiration.
If skin exposure occurs, remove all contaminated clothing, footwear and accessories and flush the affected area with plenty of soap and running water. Seek medical attention in the event of irritation.
If aluminium chlorohydrate is exposed to the eyes, flush the eyes out immediately with fresh running water, remembering to wash under the eyelids. Removal of contact lenses should only be done by a skilled individual. Seek medical attention without delay.
Emergency eyewash fountains should be accessible in the immediate area of the potential exposure to the chemical and there should always be adequate ventilation to remove or dilute any air contaminants (install local exhaust if necessary).
The PPE recommended when handling aluminium chlorohydrate includes; safety glasses with side shields, chemical goggles, respirator masks, gloves, overalls, PVC aprons and safety boots.
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