HEALTH

10 Things You Don’t Know About Bleach (But Really Should)

Famous Japanese manga series, Bleach.

Bleach. I am not talking about the Japanese manga character Ichigo Kurosaki who has superpowers to defend humans from evil spirits, and guide departed souls to the afterlife.

Rather, I am referring to bleach that has the superpower to kill germs and rid unpleasant stains. A standard household item with many uses.

People commonly use bleach to remove laundry stains, whiten clothes, disinfect toilet bowls and sterilize kitchenware. However, most are not aware that bleach is dangerous on its own, as well as, when it comes in contact with other elements.

It is one of the most corrosive and deadly chemicals found in homes and supermarkets.

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Use Of Bleach At Home
#1. Bleach + Urine = Toxic Gas (Poison)

Bleach mixed with ammonia creates a deadly gas. And remember that urine contains ammonia. Hence, using bleach in the bathroom can increase your risk of toxic fume exposure that leads to respiratory malfunction.

#2. Bleach + Dishwashing soap =  Mustard Gas (Poison)

Bleach mixed with soap dish creates another form of toxic gas – called mustard gas. The same deadly poison gas used as a weapon of mass destruction in World War One. Hence, using bleach in the kitchen can also increase your risk of inhaling its toxic vapors, and damage your respiratory organs.

#3. Ability to produce dioxins
Bleach, on its own in gaseous form at room temperature, can produce dioxins. Dioxins are cancer-causing compounds that have a relation to birth defects, miscarriages, infertility, immune disorders, diabetes and more.

#4. Triggers asthma and allergic reactions

Bleach, when inhaled, can trigger asthma and allergy reactions because its toxin fumes fills and attacks the respiratory organs.

#5. Bleach + Organic waste matter = Chloroform

Chloroform is a toxin and well-known carcinogen (a substance with the ability to cause cancer). It causes dizziness, headache, respiratory issues, heart attack, liver and kidney damage and birth defects. Again, using bleach to clean kitchen food waste, blood and other organic matter is potentially harmful to your health.

#6. Bleach + Organic waste water = Trihalomethane

Trihalomethane is a toxin and another well-known carcinogen. It has been linked to breast cancer and numerous fertility abnormalities.

#7. Your pets are at risk!
Your beloved pet at home is most susceptible to the harmful effects of bleach. Due to their small air capacity, it is easier to fill their lungs with the poisonous vapor.

#8. Corrodes the stomach
Ingesting bleach can cause corrosive damage to the tissues of the gastrointestinal tract. So, the next time you decide to disinfect and sterilize your utensils and chopping board with bleach, please think again!

#9. It is VERY hard to be bleach-free at home
There are over 15,000 bleach and bleach-related products being manufactured today for our daily use. This range from kitchen cleaners, bathroom cleaners, sprays, disinfectant wipes, swimming pool cleaners, disposable chopsticks, teeth-whitening products, hair-coloring kits, drain cleaner…etc.

#10. Stay-at-home wives/moms are at risk

We spend more than half our lives at work. This makes stay-at-home women are more exposed to bleach and bleach-related products due to their longer periods of exposure. Some studies have shown that stay-at-home wives and moms have a 54% higher chance of getting breast cancer, than women who work outside of the home.

The next question is, what are the safer bleach alternatives?

For cleaning and disinfecting: Use white vinegar and tea tree oil in your cleaning products is an effective disinfectant and completely natural.
For getting rid of tough spots, stains, food and dirt: Combine baking soda and vinegar can clean effectively without corrosion. Hot boiling water is also a disinfectant, as is the sun.
For stains: Hanging whites in the sun “bleaches” out discoloration. You can also squeeze fresh lemon juice on the stained area. The acid from lemon juice makes a great cleaning agent, with bleaching effect.

If you have a homemade recipe that is a bleach-free alternative, do share it with me!

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