You should always wear gloves when using bleach. Here is why.
Why you should always wear gloves when using bleach
You should always wear gloves when using bleach because accidental skin contact could cause irritation at best and potentially serious skin burns at worst. A highly toxic, corrosive substance, bleach can also irritate your eyes, nose and lungs. In addition to severe skin burns, serious health effects of exposure to bleach include:
- Vomiting, migraines and extreme headaches
- Asthma flares and other respiratory problems
- Damage to your nervous system
If bleach is mixed with other chemicals like, for example, vinegar, ammonia or other, acid-type cleaners, resulting chemical reactions may cause highly toxic fumes. These fumes can, if inhaled, cause serious, potentially fatal health issues.
Other dangers of bleach
Toxic to humans (especially children) and animals, bleach also has a detrimental effect on the environment and is a known contributor to the pollution of water. Making its way into water systems, bleach will react with various elements and minerals to create a multitude of long-lasting, highly dangerous toxins. Some of these toxins can take years to dissipate.
The dangers of Dioxin
Dioxin is one of the most frightening by-products of chlorine-based cleaners and bleach. Not breaking down and remaining in the environment for years, dioxins can contribute to:
- Endocrine disorders
- Other serious health conditions
Able to mimic human hormones, dioxins can, for example, cause breast cancer, testicular cancer and low sperm count. Despite these risks, bleach is still used in many homes and by professional cleaners.
Professional cleaners and bleach
Professional cleaning often involves regular use of bleach. To prevent bleach-related illnesses and injuries at work, employers must ensure risks are minimised by ensuring cleaners:
- Are supplied with and wear gloves when using bleach
- Are supplied with and use other suitable personal protective clothing and/or equipment as and when necessary
- Trained in the correct use of bleach and protective equipment
Protective clothing and equipment may, for example, consist of aprons or overalls, breathing masks and/or eye goggles.
Right to claim
You could qualify for work injury compensation if you sustained a bleach-related injury at work because you were:
- Not provided with necessary training and/or protective equipment
- Exposed to bleach due to improper storage
- Injured by bleach due to misuse by another employee
If you had a bleach-related accident in the last three years, call us, Accident Advice Helpline, on 0800 689 0500 from a UK landline phone or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile now.
Date Published: May 4, 2017
Author: Accident Advice