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Dangers of Mixing Bleach with Cleaners | Washington State … – Washington State Department of Health

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Don’t mix bleach with ammonia, acids, or other cleaners. Mixing bleach with common cleaning products can cause serious injuries. Be sure to always read the product label before using a cleaning product.
Sodium Hypochlorite is the active ingredient in chlorine bleach. It is found in household bleach and many other disinfectants. Sodium hypochlorite reacts with ammonia, drain cleaners, and other acids. Many household products state that they contain bleach on the label.
When bleach is mixed with ammonia, toxic gases called chloramines are produced. Exposure to chloramine gases can cause the following symptoms:
Ammonia Products
In addition to using ammonia as a cleaning product, ammonia can be found in some glass and window cleaners, interior and exterior paints, and in urine (use caution when cleaning litter boxes, diaper pails, or toilet bowls).
When chlorine bleach is mixed with an acid, chlorine gas is given off. Chlorine gas and water combine to make hydrochloric and hypochlorous acids.
Chlorine gas exposure, even at low levels and short periods of time, almost always irritates the mucous membranes (eyes, throat, and nose), and causes coughing and breathing problems, burning and watery eyes, and a runny nose. Higher levels of exposure can cause chest pain, more severe breathing difficulties, vomiting, pneumonia, and fluid in the lungs. Very high levels can cause death.
Chlorine can be absorbed through the skin, resulting in pain, inflammation, swelling, and blistering. Hydrochloric acid also causes burns to the skin, eyes, nose, throat, mouth, and lungs.
Acid Products
Products containing acids include vinegar and some glass and window cleaners, automatic dishwasher detergents and rinses, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, rust removal products, and brick and concrete cleaners.
Bleach also reacts with some oven cleaners, hydrogen peroxide, and some insecticides. Pool chemicals frequently contain calcium hypochlorite or sodium hypochlorite and should not be mixed with other cleaning products.
 
Content Source: Indoor Air Quality Program
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