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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Reactive airways dysfunction and systemic complaints after mass exposure to bromine.

Occasionally children are the victims of mass poisoning from an environmental contaminant that occurs due to an unexpected common point source of exposure. In many cases the contaminant is a widely used chemical generally considered to be safe. In the following case, members of a sports team visiting a community for an athletic event were exposed to chemicals while staying at a local motel. Bromine-based sanitizing agents and other chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, which were used in excess in the motel's swimming pool, may have accounted for symptoms experienced by the boy reported here and at least 16 other adolescents. Samples of pool water contained excess bromine (8.2 microg/mL; ideal pool bromine concentration is 2-4 microg/mL). Symptoms and signs attributable to bromine toxicity included irritative skin rashes; eye, nose, and throat irritation; bronchospasm; reduced exercise tolerance; fatigue; headache; gastrointestinal disturbances; and myalgias. While most of the victims recovered within a few days, the index case and several other adolescents had persistent or recurrent symptoms lasting weeks to months after the exposure.[1]


  1. Reactive airways dysfunction and systemic complaints after mass exposure to bromine. Woolf, A., Shannon, M. Environ. Health Perspect. (1999) [Pubmed]
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