Bleach And Indoor Air Pollution
If you combine bleach with other cleaning products that have orange or lemon scents, you could be putting your family at risk of respiratory problems. Off gassing from bleach containers can accumulate in poorly ventilated homes and react with citrus scents (limonenes) found in some personal care products, cleaners and air fresheners. Researchers from the University of Toronto and Pennsylvania’s Bucknell University recently determined that the interaction of bleach fumes with limonenes in household cleaners can create air particles that when inhaled can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and cause coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath. When exposed to light, these air particles can form pollutants called secondary organic aerosols, which have been linked to respiratory problems and other adverse health effects. To avoid this scenario, when cleaning with bleach and citrus scented products, open windows to make sure your living space is well ventilated.
Chen Wang et al, “Indoor Illumination of Terpenes and Bleach Emissions Leads to Particle Formation and Growth.” Environmental Science & Technology, October 2, 2019; DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b04261
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