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Chloro compounds are any class of organic compounds that contain a carbonchlorine bond. The chlorine substituent influences the physical properties of organic compounds in many ways, for instance, chlorinated alkanes are denser than water largely due to the high atomic weight of chlorine. Chloroalkanes, being less expensive and more readily available, have become versatile building blocks in organic chemistry. They are important substrates for the synthesis of alcohols, ethers, amines, and thioethers; which occurs through the facile attack of appropriate nucleophiles. They are also used in the Finkelstein reaction to prepare iodoalkanes. Chloro compounds are used in the preparation of synthetically important organometallic reagents like Grignard reagents and Reformatksy adducts.
In the area of pharmaceuticals, chloro compounds are used as intermediates to synthesize a vast variety of drugs. Some chloro compounds themselves are used as drugs, for example, as antibiotics to fight infection. Chloro compounds have a vast array of applications, which includes their use as an anesthetic (e.g. chloroform) and refrigerant (e.g. dichlorodifluoromethane). Polychlorinated biphenyls are employed commonly as electrical insulators and heat transfer agents. Some of them also find application as coolants in vacuum pumps, as paint additives, and in food packaging. Chloro compounds (like dichloromethane, and chlorobenzene) are also employed as solvents in organic chemistry and in cleaning applications, such as degreasing and dry-cleaning.