Sodium hypochlorite, or chlorine bleach, is a disinfecting agent that has been used by parents and businesses for generations, despite its potentially corrosive and dangerous effects. Unfortunately, while bleach hasn’t changed over the years, it has been linked to serious adverse health effects including irritation, burns and poisoning. Cleaning products as a whole are poorly regulated, so the fact that they have been found effective at killing germs and bacteria does not necessarily mean they are safe to use in your home or to come into contact with your skin, eyes or mouth. Recent studies have shown that exposure to these products over the long term is as bad for our respiratory systems as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and others have linked exposure to cleaning products to an increased risk of developing childhood asthma. As we continue to move through this unprecedented time, we’ve got 5 reasons why you need to ditch bleach for your home cleaning and disinfecting – and a better alternative that you can make on-demand in your kitchen.
5 Reasons To Ditch Bleach – For Good
Bleach is a household mainstay, but it’s got to go. Due to the pandemic, we are all disinfecting and cleaning more than ever, so it’s even more important that we are avoiding toxic chemicals. We’re using these products to keep our kids and pets safe from germs, but, sadly, many of them are actually putting us at risk.
• It Can Be A Deadly Poison
One of the leading causes of child and infant death in the US is the ingestion of cleaning products. Poisonings by cleaning products have increased exponentially during the pandemic as disinfectant use has increased. Bleach is a deadly poison when swallowed by children and, when mixed with other powerful cleaning products, like ammonia, it creates chlorine gas which is deadly if inhaled. As with all conventional cleaning products, bleach should never be mixed with any other product unless following the exact instructions of the manufacturer and it should be labeled and stored carefully away from children and pets.
Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach) can be highly corrosive and can cause burns to eyes and skin as well as throat irritation and gastric burns – yikes! Not quite as importantly, but still a consideration, bleach can etch surfaces like marble and other natural stones. Homeowners and businesses will often pour bleach down their pipes to keep drains clear, but they don’t realize that it’s actually a dangerous practice, because bleach can interact with other substances and result in toxic fumes.
• It’s an Allergy and Asthma Trigger – And Worse
Because bleach can be so caustic to our delicate respiratory systems, it can trigger asthma (even in people who have never had asthma) and allergy symptoms and lead to complications for those who suffer from these conditions. These effects last beyond the exposure to bleach, with some asthma sufferers still showing reduced lung function the day after exposure.
• Its Shelf Life Is Shorter Than You’d Think
The rows and rows of bottles on the shelf may lead you to think bleach lasts forever, but, in fact it has a fairly short shelf-life, beginning to lose its efficacy after only six months. Even if you keep it in its original bottle, bleach will lose an additional 20% efficacy each year. If you dilute bleach to use in a DIY solution (which, if you do, make sure you are strictly following the instructions as bleach can emit deadly gases when combined with certain products), it will likely only remain effective for one day. This means you need to mix it on-demand instead of creating a solution and storing it to use over time.
An On-Demand Disinfectant That’s People & Planet Friendly
We know how hard it is to find safe products that you can feel good about using – but also get the job done. We’re proud that our revolutionary cleaning system, Force of Nature, is EPA-registered and appears on the EPA’s list N for disinfectants approved for use against SARS-CoV-2. Our active ingredient, hypochlorous acid (HOCl), is identical to the solution made by our own immune systems to fight infection, and has been used in medical applications for decades. In fact, it’s currently being employed by dermatologists to help treat and heal the “mask-ne” that is caused by face coverings! Force of Nature is certified 100% skin-safe and best for sensitive skin by SkinSAFE, Mayo Clinic’s allergy rating system – is 100% free of top allergens. Learn more about how you can use Force of Nature as a better alternative to bleach for your business or home cleaning and disinfecting.