Monday, October 29, 2012

Author Question: Can Chloroform be Sprayed?

Sarah Asks:

Would chloroform, if shot out from a spray toward the victim, be effective for making a person pass out right away?

Jordyn Says:

Chloroform Mask 1865
Depends. Are you inside or outside?
I'm not sure that method of delivery will work for Chloroform. I found this paragraph that explains why. It is from this link:

"Chloroform can easily be carried in water, and when it is exposed to oxygen and sunlight, a chemical reaction forms phosgene, a toxic gas. If chloroform is exposed outdoors, the phosgene will break down and ultimately become harmless, but in enclosed spaces, it can be highly dangerous: in addition to use in modern manufacturing processes, phosgene had a historical use as a deadly chemical weapon in both World War I. In groundwater, chloroform will build up and take a long time to break down, because it is not readily water-soluble. For this reason, most environmental agencies set safety levels for chloroform content, so that water can be routinely evaluated to see whether or not it poses a threat to consumers."

Must the substance be sprayed? I'm not aware of any substance that could be sprayed that would just knock a person out, leaving them relatively unharmed with their breathing intact. After all, the police would probably readily use it in their work as it wouldn't be as irritating as pepper spray, the taser, or as lethal as a bullet.

Any thoughts for Sarah?


  1. OK, I'm just brainstorming, not even sure this would be possible...could chloroform be substituted into an inhaler? The container would keep it stable, but I'd worry about an overdose. Without knowing the scenario, I can't posit too much. I know that when I was a kid, a friend handed me a small bottle and said, sniff this new perfume I found. It wasn't perfume. It was amil nitrate. I was NOT a happy camper. But it did give me a great set-up for a betrayal with something like chloroform.

  2. I'm a little confused, so if it can be deadly when it comes in contact with air, how does knock a person out without death? I'm going on movies, so I'm not sure if they did their homework, but when I see someone with a little brown bottle, and rag, and they put the rag over the mouth of the victim, how does that work? The surface of the rag is coming into contact with air. Unless it needs the sunlight to mak eit deadly from the air combined? I'm curious how it works. A friend who studied to be a mortician told me the only he could think of here in town to get any, would be a veterinarian clinic. I guess it is used on animals and not so much on humans. I'm not sure if this completely true.

  3. Ramona and Dale...

    First, Ramona, how devilish! I never though to load the drug into an inhaler. I'm going to ask around about that.

    Such great questions! I think I'll do some research and post your answers.

    Stay tuned....

  4. Yes, love that inhaler idea!

    I have a short story going right now, I started it before I read this article, oddly enough, and the opening I have a woman waking up after being drugged by chloroform. I've always been curious about it since it is used in so many movies, and books. When I use it I want to make sure I got my facts right :^) Look forward to reading your findings!