Is bleach toxic to humans? Do you use products containing chlorine bleach? Have you considered the effects on the human body, the item you are attempting to clean, pets, etc.? Perhaps the bigger question is have you taken the time to examine what this toxic chemical does to your respiratory system.
Chlorine bleach is a dangerous substance and can cause a multitude of injuries.
- Contact injuries: First and second degree chemical burns to any part of the body, especially the eyes.
- Inhalation injuries: pulmonary edema, angioedema, pulmonary embolism, emphysema, bronchospasm and in cases where gaseous chlorine is released and inhaled (due to mixing with acid), a quick death due to searing of the alveoli.
Ingestion injuries: First and second degree chemical burns to the lining of the mouth and the gums (sometimes causing tooth loss). In large doses, bleach will cause severe gastric damage, such as perforation of the alimentary canal (esophagus, stomach, duodenum) leading to internal bleeding, vomiting, leakage of stomach/intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity, ultimately causing necrosis, sepsis and death.
- When mixed with ammonia, it creates a deadly gas. Remember that urine contains ammonia, so using the products in the toilet increase the risk of creating a toxic gas that can actually stop lung function.
- Chlorine is actually a gas at room temperature, which makes breathing it likely in homes it is used to clean in.
- In its gaseous form (such as at room temperature, mentioned above), chlorine can create dioxins, a known cancer-causing compound also related to birth defects, miscarriage, infertility, diabetes, immune disorders and more.
- It’s highly corrosive to the skin, lungs and eyes, as well as other materials, and can actually cause frost bite to the skin and eyes, as well as chemical burns and ulcerations.
- The oxidation of chlorine may also form hypochlorous acid, which has the ability to penetrate and destroy cell structure.
- It increases asthma and allergy symptoms because of the likelihood of inhalation. It can also cause wheezing, bronchospasm and sometimes noncardiogenic pulmonary edema (a lung condition that prevents enough oxygen from entering the blood).
- Pets and birds are more susceptible because of their small air capacity and the likelihood of filling their lungs with vapors.
- Ingestion of bleach causes corrosive damage to the tissues of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Chlorination of drinking water can oxidize organic contaminants, producing trihalomethanes (also called haloforms), which are carcinogenic (cancer-causing). Thankfully in the state of Nevada they do not chlorinate the water.
- When household bleach is mixed with wastewater it is found to form numerous organic compounds. Two of those compounds are chloroform – which can cause dizziness, headache, respiratory issues, heart attack, liver and kidney damage, birth defects and more – and carbon tetrachloride – which is responsible for nerve damage, liver and kidney degeneration, coma and death.
- Chlorine and wastewater can also create Trihalomethanes, a toxic carcinogen that has been linked to breast cancer122 and miscarriage and other fertility issues in animals123
- Organichlorides, which contain chlorine, stick around in the environment for a long time and have been linked to reproductive issues, immune dysfunction, cancer, hormonal disruption and more
The answer to the question: is bleach toxic to humans?
In other words stop using bleach to clean. There are a great many products out there that have non-toxic bases that work very effectively at killing germs…Hydrogen Peroxide based cleaners are great, they kill bacteria and viruses while not harming you are the ones you love.