A network of Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Designated Laboratories for analysis of Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) biomarkers has been established to allow for the analysis of samples from victims of alleged chemical attacks. Using human exposure for verification purposes rather than environmental samples is well suited for chlorine since the main degradation products of chlorine are essentially non-specific and the terminal degradation products are chloride ions, which are abundant in nature.
In this study, two chlorine-specific biomarkers: palmitoyl-oleoyl phosphatidylglycerol chlorohydrin (POPG-HOCl) and the lipid derivative oleoyl ethanolamide chlorohydrin (OEA-HOCl) are shown in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) samples from animal models after chlorine exposure. These biomarkers are formed by the chemical reaction of chlorine with unsaturated phospholipids found in the pulmonary surfactant, which is present at the gas-liquid interface within the lung alveoli.
The results strongly suggest that lipid chlorohydrins are promising candidate biomarkers in the development of a verification method for chlorine exposure.
Phospholipid Chlorohydrins as Chlorine Exposure Biomarkers in a Large Animal Model. Toxicology Letters, 3 December 2023.