Bromine, a fuming red liquid at room temperature, in nature exists as bromine salts. Dead Sea and Columbia in U.S. are the largest bromine reserves in the world. According to US Government mineral data Bromine was used in fire retardants (40%), drilling fluids (24%), brominated pesticides (12%), water-treatment chemicals (7%), and other products, including photographic chemicals and rubber additives (17%).
Bromine is highly corrosive and also toxic. Observations and properties of bromine as listed in IMDG Code states “Very dark brown, heavy liquid with an extremely irritating odour. Density: 3.1 (pure product). Boiling point: 59°C . Powerful oxidant; may cause fire in contact with organic materials such as wood, cotton or straw. Highly corrosive to most metals. Solutions have the same properties to a lesser degree, depending on concentration. Toxic if swallowed, by skin contact or by inhalation. Causes burns to skin, eyes and mucous membranes.”
IMDG Code requires Bromine to be loaded only on deck and Keep as cool as reasonably practicable. Clear of living quarters. Segregation as for class 5.1, but “Separated from” classes 4.1, 5.1 and 7.
Refer UN 1744 in DGL of IMDG Code for full details on transport by sea.
Watch footage of bromine leakage in Russia
A recent study in Israel on impact of bromine accident during shipping by rail from dead sea to port of Haifa identifies possible harm to at least 6,000 people and if weather is inclement as many as 300,000 may be exposed to the effects of bromine.