Safety Precautions when Working with a Bleach18 Sep 2021 - Flaaim
When disinfecting or cleaning, it is essential to note that most cleaning products, such as bleach, may pose some health hazards. It is essential to learn an excellent way to use these products safely. Remember that bleach is a very strong product that effectively kills most pathogens and bacteria but can harm your hands and jeopardize your health.
Why should you Use Bleach with Caution?
Bleach is classified as a corrosive substance that can burn or irritate your eyes and hands. It can also corrode various metals in your household. When bleach is mixed with cleaners or chemicals, it has the potential of producing very toxic gases which can damage your lungs. What are some of the Safety Precautions to Observe?
Make Sure the Area is Well Ventilated
When using bleach, ensure the area is well ventilated. Remember, the product produces a vapor that can irritate your eyes and lungs. Having a well-ventilated room is entirely intrinsic. Thus ensure you have open doors and windows. Another safety precaution to avoid breathing in the harmful vapor is wearing respirators. In poorly ventilated areas, the corrosive substance can cause lung damage. For people with asthma or other respiratory issues, ensure you avoid cleaning with bleach as the fumes are an irritant to your lungs.
Don’t Mix Bleach with Ammonia
When you mix bleach with ammonia, it will produce very toxic flames, damaging your eyes, hands, and lungs. Some of the household products that contain ammonia include glass cleaners, metal cleaners, or dishwashing liquids. When you mix the corrosive cleaning product with ammonia, it produces some toxic gases such as chloramines. Exposure to chloramines can cause some symptoms such as:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Watery eyes
- Irritation to the eyes and nose
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Also, it is essential to note that chloramines gas can even kill if you breathe it for a prolonged period. The toxic fumes of the gas can overwhelm and cause respiratory failure.
Wear Face Shield and Gloves
Wearing face shields protects your eyes and face. When using the cleaning product, splashes might occur; damaging your face or eyes, and a face shield is a protective gadget. You can also wear gloves such as neoprene or rubber glove. Another protective measure is wearing clothes that will perfectly cover your most vulnerable areas, such as the hands and feet. The clothes will protect your skin in the event of a spill. For industrial use, you can wear protective suits or aprons for added protection. Adhere to the Manufacturer’s Guidelines The manufacturer has set some rules and guidelines on how to use the cleaning product safely. In the instruction set, you can find some basic rules on diluting the cleaning product or storing it. Also, ensure that the container that has the cleaning product is labeled correctly.
It would be best if you took precautions when using bleach to avoid some health hazards. For workers using the cleaning detergent in the industry, there is a need to educate them on various safety precautions.
Safety measures when using bleach
Bleach, also known as “chlorine bleach”, is a common, powerful cleaning agent found in most homes. It is primarily used as an additive for laundry detergents in whitening clothes and sheets. Bleach in its purer chemical form of “sodium hypochlorite” is an effective cleaner, disinfectant, and sanitizer. It is highly effective in killing bacteria, mold, mildew, and viruses on surfaces. As such, using bleach is both helpful and risky. Knowing how to properly and safely handle bleach in cleaning your home is very important to eliminate the risks.
1. Read the instructions before using
Governments require manufacturers to provide clear and easy instructions on how to use their products. They usually come in the form of stickers, labels, or print at the back of the bottle or on the box. Take time to read and understand the instructions. Follow the recommended amount to use for certain materials. And if you have further questions, refer to the provided contact information.
2. Use Personal Protective Equipments
Sodium hypochlorite is a corrosive substance and irritant. You must take precautions by protecting your eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Wear wraparound safety glasses to protect your eyes. Wear rubber household gloves to protect your hands. Make sure you gently pour the chemical on the surfaces to avoid splashes. When it does touch your skin, wash with a gentle stream of water. To avoid inhaling the fumes, ventilate the room by keeping the windows open.
3. Diluting bleach
Bleach is just as effective when diluted as when used at full strength. A one-third cup of bleach can be mixed to a gallon of warm water. And after mixing properly, it can be used.
4. Mixing bleach with other cleaners is dangerous
Mixing bleach with water is the safest way to mix bleach with another substance. Don’t combine sodium hypochlorite with other cleaners found in the house because it can create chemical reactions. For example, when you combine bleach with ammonia, limescale removers, or vinegar, you can create fumes that are toxic and can have side-effects like shortness of breath, chest pains, and even pneumonia.
5. Before using bleach, remove dirt and grime with an all-purpose cleaner
Bleach does not remove grease, dirt, and grime because it is not a cleaner. Use an all-purpose cleaner first. Another alternative is to use an all-purpose cleaner that contains bleach.
6. Don’t spray the bleach
Don’t pour the bleach into a spray bottle unless you’re using a spray cleaner with bleach. Most spray bottles that can be purchased often have metal parts that tend to corrode when it comes to contact with bleach, pure or diluted. The corrosion will reduce the disinfecting strength of the bleach. What is the best way to use bleach? Dip a sponge into the solution, wring it out, and use the sponge on the surface.
7. Don’t use bleach on porous surfaces
You can use bleach in different types of nonporous surfaces from floor to ceiling, from doorknobs to sinks, tubs, countertops, faucets, and toilets. Avoid using bleach on porous materials like upholstery, foam, and bare wood. Bleach can leave stains on upholstery and it can cause wood to swell. As a basic rule of thumb, check the instructions to see what surfaces the bleach can be used on. If in doubt, test it on a small area first.
8. Keep out of the reach of children
Store your bleach where anyone who does not know how to use it cannot easily get access to it. Secure drawers by adding security measures like locks. Inform your kids about what to do when they come in contact with bleach.