phosphorus chlorine is a common chemical in industrial processes. It is used in the production of insecticides, herbicides, oil preservatives and flame retardants.

The most important of the phosphorus chlorides is PCl3 (phosphorus trichloride) which accounts for hundreds of thousands of tonnes produced annually. The reaction of red phosphorus with chlorine gas produces this colourless fuming liquid.

This chemical is a strong corrosive to eyes, skin and mucous membranes. It generates severe burns if inhaled or ingested.

It is extremely hazardous to the environment and should be handled in a ventilated area away from other flammable or oxidizable substances. It must be stored in tightly closed containers in a cool, well-ventilated area away from sources of ignition.

Ensure that any metal containers involved in the transfer of this chemical are grounded and bonded. It should not be stored in a vehicle.

This chemical is a precursor to several compounds with phosphorus and chlorine such as phosphorus pentachloride, phosphoryl chloride and thiophosphoryl chloride. It also plays an important role in the production of some organophosphate insecticides. It is also used to make glyophosate, a weedkiller that is widely used in products like Roundup. It is produced on a large scale and is controlled by the Chemical Weapons Convention where it is listed in schedule 3.

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