What should you do if you get bleach on your skin?
Bleach is a basic cleaning and disinfection product that many people use in their homes. It is effective against the majority of viruses, bacteria, molds, mildew, and algae. Bleach can also be used to lighten or whiten the color of some materials.
The sodium hypochlorite in household bleach typically contains 3–8% Trusted Source sodium hypochlorite. Although it is not normally hazardous to the skin, it can irritate the skin, eyes, and other body parts. If it’s mixed with other home chemicals, like toilet cleanser, or if someone inhales it, it can be even more dangerous.
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What to do if bleach gets into close contact with the skin or eyes is the subject of this article. It will also go over when you should see a doctor and how to use bleach properly.
Effects on the skin and other parts of the body
If a person gets bleach on their skin, they should wash it off with water and mild soap.
Household bleach is caustic, but it is usually not harmful if used as directed on the label.
The consequences of bleach exposure vary depending on which area of the body is affected, the bleach concentration, the period of exposure, and the volume.
Bleach exposure can have the following effects on these body parts:
Bleach exposure can cause the eyes to become red and inflamed. The damaged eye may tear up, and the person’s vision may become fuzzy.
Mouth and throat: Bleach may irritate the mouth and throat, although it is unlikely to cause any harm.
The skin may get inflamed and seem red.
Stomach and gastrointestinal (GI) tract: Bleach rarely harms the stomach or GI tract because these organs are extremely resistant to such toxins.
The lungs might be irritated by inhaling bleach fumes. Bronchospasm, for example, is a condition in which a person’s airways get constricted. Bronchospasm creates a tightening of the chest and makes it difficult to catch one’s breath.
If bleach is used with other home chemicals, it can be harmful or even fatal. Because of the higher concentration, bleach produced outside of the United States may be considerably more harmful.
Bleach, for example, produces a hazardous gas called chloramine when coupled with ammonia. The gas can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Chloramine gas exposure at high quantities can be lethal.
Chloramine gas exposure can induce a variety of symptoms, including coughing and nausea.
eyes that are watering
Chest ache, throat irritation, nose irritation, and eye irritation
pneumonia fluid in the lungs wheezing
What to do if you’ve been exposed to bleach
Most of the time, diluting the bleach with water is sufficient to alleviate the skin discomfort it produces. If bleach goes into someone’s eyes or lungs, they should seek medical help right away. If someone ingests bleach, they should call Poison Control right away.
The following is first aid recommendations for bleach exposure, depending on the location of the body it affects:
Eyes: Rinse your eyes with cold water. Then go see a doctor right away.
Wash the exposed skin with water and mild soap.
If a person has ingested a large amount of bleach or an unknown amount, they should contact Poison Control immediately. They must also consume plenty of water. The irritation may be relieved by drinking milk. People should never force themselves to vomit, as this will only worsen the situation.
Lungs: Anyone who has inhaled bleach and is having problems breathing, especially if they have asthma, should visit a doctor.
When should you see a doctor?
After cleaning the area with tap water, anyone who gets bleach in their eyes should seek medical assistance right away.
People with asthma who inhale bleach should seek medical attention right once, especially if they develop respiratory problems.
When bleach is applied to the skin for a short period of time, it is usually not harmful. However, if the discomfort does not go away within a few days or gets severe, you should see a doctor.
When bleach is used with other home chemicals, particularly ones that include ammonia or acid, the result can be extremely dangerous. If someone has been exposed to chloramine gas, they should seek medical help immediately.
How to Use Bleach Safely
To avoid unintentional exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends reading and following the safety instructions on any household cleaning product.
The following are the most important points to remember when using bleach:
Bleach should never be mixed with ammonia or any other cleaning.
To preserve the skin on your hands, always use rubber gloves.
Protect your eyes with goggles or any type of eye protection.
Avoid inhaling product fumes.
To ventilate the space, keep the windows and doors open.
Keep it out of reach of youngsters.
Beyond Toxics, an environmental advocacy group, warns about bleach’s negative impact on the environment. According to them, the bleach manufacturing process releases dioxin, an extremely harmful toxin.
Dioxin, when consumed in excessive amounts, can cause reproductive and developmental problems.
cause harm to the immune system
hormones are disrupted
cause cancer to develop
In sewers, discarded bleach can react with ammonia or acid-based goods, releasing deadly chloramine gas.
Hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice are some alternatives to bleach for cleaning and whitening goods.
In most cases, household bleach is not hazardous, though prolonged exposure might cause discomfort.
If bleach is spilled on someone’s skin, they should wash it off with soap and water.
If bleach gets into one’s eyes, they should first flush them with water before seeking medical help.
Bleach can produce a harmful gas called chloramine when coupled with other chemicals in household cleaning goods. Chloramine gas is dangerous and can possibly be lethal. Anyone who has been exposed to chloramine should seek medical advice.
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