Are you among the millions of consumers who believe that because it is sold on the grocery store shelves it is safe? Well, think again! The dangers of bleach and other cleaning products are well documented and often reported in the news.
There are no regulatory agencies that monitor the products that are brought into your home. There isn’t a Federal Drug Administration for cleaning products. And the manufacturer is protected by trademarks and copyright on the proprietary formula’s of the products.
If you are using bleach in the work place OSHA (Occupational Safety And Health Administration), which regulates the safety of the work place, will require you use a mask and gloves to handle the chemical to protect yourself. Do you use those precautions at home? Were you even aware you needed to?
Did you know that the Sanitation Department will not dispose of full containers of cleaners because they are classified as hazardous material?
The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) recorded many exposures to household cleaning products that were serious enough to require hospitalization and physician care. The largest number of hospital occurrences in 1993 were from exposure to cleaning products such as drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, bleach and detergents.
Bleach is a strong corrosive material. It will irritate the eyes, skin and the respiratory tract from just inhaling the gasses. The dangers of bleach extend to mixing bleach with other cleaners. When this happens a poisonous gas is released that can cause bloody noses, neurological disorders, headaches and even death.
Household bleach, without having been mixed with other products, can cause pulmonary edema, vomitting or coma if ingested.
Chlorine is a common additive to cleaners in the home such as dishwashing detergent. Chlorine was the first agent of chemical warfare in WWI. Since that time it has been added to our water supply and other products used in the home. The dangers of chlorine inhalation increases in the shower as the heat aerosolizes the chlorine.
Exposure to chlorine has also been strongly linked to breast cancer. Scientists will only handle chlorine with gloves, face masks and ventilation. Most cleaners also contain chlorine in a dry form. The number one cause of household poisoning is dish detergent. If swallowed it is corrosive and will permanently damage the mouth and throat and can prove to be fatal.
How can you protect yourself and your family? First – educate yourself. Find safer alternatives to the corrosive materials that now reside under your sink. You’d be surprised how much cleaning and laundry you can do with baking soda, vinegar, lemon and borax.
Next, minimize the use of harsh chemicals in the home and around the children. Clean up spills immediately so you aren’t tempted to pull out the bleach to clean the spots.
Always store cleaning material in their original containers and keep them out of reach of children. Lock the kitchen cabints where the dish detergents and cleaners are kept. Follow the labeled directions and use the minimal amount of the product for the job.
The dangers of bleach are significant to your health and the health of your family. Accidents have happened where one person adds toilet bowl cleaner and another, following behind, will inadvertently add bleach. The noxious gasses have been found to cause fatal injuries. You have options and opportunities to use products that are safer, smell better and are more cost effective. The choice is yours!
Mother Nature NetworK: Is it Safe to Clean with Bleach
Wisconsin Department of Health Services: Chlorine
New Jersey State: Common Cleaning Products May be Dangerous When Mixed
Washington State Department of Health: Dangers of Mixing Bleach with Cleaner
Mercola: The Little-Known Secrets about Bleached flour