Chemical household cleaners are ubiquitous in supermarkets and hardware stores worldwide. It would be rare to find a household that doesn’t have at least one bottle of bleach, ammonia or oven cleaner somewhere in the home. These chemical agents are toxic, hazardous and potentially fatal to humans. Yet, for all the efforts that some families make to maintain health, these chemicals remain a part of the daily lives of those who desire to keep a clean home environment.
Bleach is one of the most common and popular household cleaners in use today. It is relied on for everything from cleaning floors to bleaching chopping blocks. It also holds the dubious title of being the number one cause of accidental poisoning in the United States. Bleach is categorized as a corrosive, and it can literally burn a hole through stainless steel. If you’ve ever used too much bleach in your white laundry load and discovered holes in your garments, you’ve seen firsthand the corrosive power of bleach.
Yet, many products containing bleach that are sold on store shelves today are used by homemakers without any personal protection such as gloves or a face mask. Since bleach is inexpensive and available almost everywhere, most people use it without concern over its health risks.
Overexposure to bleach can cause skin burns, respiratory edema and more. In a recent study by a leading scientific journal, passive exposure to bleach in the home was linked to respiratory illness in young children, coupled with lower I.Q. scores. Even unborn infants are susceptible to this dangerous chemical’s effects, when expectant mothers clean with bleach.