Chlorine Bleach is most known for its ability to keep garments white, to help in eliminating mould and mildew from the bathtub or shower and its stain removing properties. For these purposes, chlorine bleach can be classified as successful; however the dangers of this product and the side effects associated with use of this cleaning product have been discussed in the spotlight. In Australia, there are 90,000 child related calls made to Poisons Information Centres annually and 2500 of these require a child to be hospitalized due to poisoning. It is no surprise that household cleaning products and bleach top the list with the highest poison frequency.
The threat of Chlorine Bleach is printed clearly on the label. It is a corrosive material capable of irritating the eyes, skin and respiratory tract often by inhaling the gases its use emits. This inhalation has been noted to deteriorate the lungs and oesophagus lining in addition to the scarring of the tract. The impact of the chemical is never favourable, especially over a long period.
Bleach is also very harmful towards our environment, every time bleach is used as a cleaning agent, harmful chemicals and toxins get washed down the drain and flushed from our toilets, the chemicals end up in lakes and rivers and spread throughout our environment and into our food resources. Volatile Organic Compounds are toxins formed in the air we breathe; long term exposure can lead to health issues including cancer, asthma and respiratory illnesses.
The Power of Baking Soda, White Vinegar & Lemon
These easy and non-corrosive or poisonous components are true powerhouses when it comes to cleaning around the home. Baking soda is perfect for removing odours and freshening clothes; lemon juice is for cutting through grease excellent and white vinegar is an awesome glass cleaner.
Under the assumption that consumers will continue to use Chlorine Bleach in their households, the following safety precautions are widely recommended:
- Dilute the chlorine bleach with water. The concentration that is lower poses a potentially lesser risk of exposure that is unwanted.
- Wear a safety mask and rubber gloves when working with bleach as a preventative measure.
- Only use chlorine bleach in a well-ventilated area to allow for adequate air flow and to avoid the unwanted gasses from staying stationary in the working area.
- The fourth and final recommendation is especially worth noting because combined with ingredients -such as ammonia -found in some household cleaners the fumes produced can become potentially fatal and even more deadly. Shortness of breath and chest pain, nose bleeds disorders, headaches, are simply a small number of the potential side effects that can be experienced.
As we’ve found with chlorine bleach, there are always choices. Be sure to conduct your research and make decisions about the products you bring into your home and expose you and your loved ones too. Keep in mind that your understanding should go beyond the label! Even cleaning products which are labelled as “natural”, “healthy” or “organic” should always be looked into, and because of the internet, that information is most often easily available.