By AbBeY gReEr

Chemistry of Chlorofom

Chloroform is made of Carbon, Hydrogen, and Chlorine. The formula of chloroform is CHCl3. Chloroform occurs naturally, but can be produced in a lab.

Uses for Chloroform

Chloroform used to be used for anesthetic, but has harmful side effects such as kidney, heart, and liver failure. It was replaced with a less harmful anesthetic.

It is used in insecticides and fumigants and used to be used as a refrigerant, but is being phased out.

Chloroform is also used as a solvent for floor polishes, adhesives, fat, oils, spot treatment for dry cleaning, and rubber.

Effects of Chloroform on the Human Body

Long Term Exposure to chloroform has been linked to nervous systems problems, kidney failure, liver failure, heart failure, and even cancer.

Symptoms of Chloroform Poisoning include, but are not limited to: eye irritation and burning, dilated pupils, abnormal heart rhythm, acetone breath, heart attack, chemical pneumonia, fluid in lungs, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, enlarged liver, and reduced blood pressure.

Testing for chloroform in the blood is only effective shortly after exposure since chloroform leaves the body quickly.

Possible treatment: Atropine and removal from exposure

Prognosis varies depending on the amount of exposure and reaction. There is a home test for chloroform poisoning, but if you think you have been exposed to a large amount seek immediate medical attention.

Exposure to Chloroform

Exposure to chloroform can be through inhalation, the skin, the eyes, or through ingestion.

Inhalation: headache, dizziness, fatigue. Long term exposure damages kidneys, liver, and may cause cancer.

Skin: sores and lesions, irritation, and long term exposure may cause cancer.

Ingestion: over long periods can damage kidneys, liver, and may cause cancer.

Pimlico Poison Mystery

In 1886 in the Pimlico district of London, Thomas Edwin Bartlett was found dead in his home and his wife Adelaide Blanche Bartlett was the main suspect. Thomas was found with a large quantity of chloroform in his stomach, but no injury to his esophagus or windpipe.

Adelaide had been seeing Reverend George Dyson for spiritual counseling and people believed they were having an affair. Dyson had bought chloroform shortly before Thomas's death. Any large purchase of chloroform had to be documented by the pharmacists (it was an anesthetic at the time), but Dyson's purchase went unnoticed because he bought four small bottles at different pharmacies instead of one large bottle. In court, he claimed he needed it to remove stains from his shirts and did not realize how suspicious his purchase was.

Adelaide was acquitted because they could not prove how she had gotten the Thomas to ingest the chloroform without damaging his throat.

Fun Fact About Chloroform

Despite how it is depicted on TV and in movies, chloroform will not subdue people in a matter of seconds. Chloroform exposure can cause dizziness and headache, but would not make someone unconscious for more than 10 minutes of exposure. In addition, chloroform loses its effects when it is exposed to oxygen so if the attacker had to wait for the perfect moment to strike, the chloroform would have already lost its affect.
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