More and more household chemicals are being replaced with greener
options. More and more people are learning just how bad our cleaning
supplies are for us and our environment. However, few of us realize
that even bleach, a household chemical frequently used for generations
is a horrible product. Chlorine based bleach (there are some oxygen
based bleaches that don’t fall into the same category) are really bad
for you, your family, your pets, and the environment!
isn’t a safe option for eliminating germs. While the commercials would
have you believe that bleach and the products it is in are a great way
to keep your family healthier, there are actually a number of health
issues related to bleach. Bleach and the products it is in often cause
respiratory issues (even ones that are common and treated with
medications). It can also cause burns to the skin and even nervous
system damage. Allergies and asthma are often irritated by bleach and
can cause serious reactions in those who have problems with these
conditions already. These are the things that bleach does when first
Potential Chemical Reactions. Many chemicals
cause initial problems (such as those listed above), however that isn’t
where the danger of the chemical stops. Chlorine bleach is a product
that causes some issues on its own, but it has some really dangerous
potential reactions with other chemicals and materials.
Chlorine easily has chemical reactions with ammonia and urine (which is
primarily ammonia). This causes a gas which can cause harm to the
person breathing it in and can even cause death. Mixing of chlorine
bleach often happens on purpose with cleaners, on accidents with left
over cleaners, and even on accident when bleaching the toilet (where
urine may be lurking). Large amounts of the gas is easily visible, but
small doses can go unnoticed and cause a great deal of harm, especially
were there is poor ventilation.
Mustard gas is the chemical that was used in the trenches during World
War I. It worked well because it was lethal and had some fairly quick
reacting side effects. This gas is easy to create. All you need to do
is mix bleach and common household dish detergent (soap). A lot of
people do it for “strong” cleaners and for disinfecting dishes!Chloroform- Bleach
also mixes with organic matter (of several different types) to produce
chloroform. Chloroform is a toxin and a known carcinogen. Mixing bleach
with organics is easy to do while cleaning up blood, mud, pet
accidents, and the bathroom. It is also easy to do while washing
laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and the floors. However, the danger of
this toxin 30 day challenge advocare doesn’t stop there. Chlorine bleach is released into the
environment where it readily mixes with a whole world of organic
products producing chloroform which then builds up in the environment.
isn’t toxic on its own. But because it mixes so easily with so many
other products to produce a wide range of toxins, this is an issue that
many of us should be concerned about. Many of the chemicals produced
through chemical reactions with chlorine bleach are toxins that are
known carcinogens. These chemicals build up in the environment, get
into the water and food supply, and increase our risk for many negative
health issues. While you cutting out bleach isn’t going to be enough to
make the world a better place, every little bit helps and your family
will be safer for it.
Accidents. Poison control is
available if there are accidents with chemicals. Each year thousands of
calls are made for help and of those calls about 1/4th
of them are related to bleach and the household cleaners that contain
them. Many of these accidents involve children and can be potentially
Pets. Many animals are more susceptible to the
fumes that bleach produces, especially when it is producing gases made
from chemical reactions. Birds can easily die from the use of bleach,
but they aren’t alone in the dangers. Other animals can find themselves
with a lung full of fumes and not be able to recover from it.
The Environment. While
it would seem that potential dangers to your health, the health of
those you love (including your pets), and the knowledge that dangerous
toxins were being produced would be enough to eliminate bleach from
your life forever, if it isn’t then consider Mother Earth. The toxins
that bleach can create through chemical reactions build up in the
environment, kill fish, harm animals, get in the water and food supply,
and eventually get back to us!
There are a huge number of
reasons that people should eliminate bleach. It doesn’t have a place in
our society and many non-bleach cleaners can do everything just as well
without the dangers. Consider the following:
Disinfecting- Use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect your home. It kills germs, isn’t dangerous, and can be used all over the house.
Killing mold and mildew-
My mom always bleached mold and mildew that seemed to accumulate in the
bathroom, but Listerine (which is safe and made from alcohol and
essential oils) can kill these things, smells great, and is safe!Whitening your clothes- Bleach
is often used to whiten and brighten clothes. Instead of using bleach
add a 1/2 cup of vinegar and a 1/2 cup of baking soda to your wash.
Your clothes will be brighter then ever, stains will disappear, and you
will be doing your family and the environment a favor.
Use a couple of cups of vinegar to clean your floors. It will disinfect
and is going to clean great. If you can’t stand the smell then add 1
cup of vinegar and 1 cup of lemon juice or add a few drops of your
favorite essential oil to your vinegar and let it set for 24 hours
before you add it to your mop water. Mop as normal, but know that you
are getting floors just as clean or cleaner without the dangers of
All purpose cleaner- Use 1/2
bottle of vinegar and 1/2 bottle of water with a few drops of your
favorite essential oil in it for an all purpose cleaner that is safe to
use anywhere and cleans well!
Many people don’t
understand just how dangerous bleach is to people, animals, and the
environment. We need to take steps each and every day to eliminate it
from our lives so that our future will continue to look bright. Even a
single person can make a difference!