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Bleach

The common belief that bleach is not considered 'green' because of its environmental impact and it being man made is mostly a myth or misfact. In fact hundreds, probably thousands, of organic chlorine chemicals are produced by an array of biological and natural chemical processes in our environment ( in fact chlorine is active in our own immune systems. Hypochlorite, a chlorine-containing compound, forms in white blood cells to attack germs and trigger other germ fighting agents. There is also evidence that chlorine is important to the necessary flow of electricity through the human body), so chlorine is not as "anti-green" as many believe.
 
Nor is the environmental impact of bleach is as large as one would think because it breaks down to salt and oxygen/water entirely. Household bleach, used to whiten fabrics or remove mold from surfaces, is a 5% solution of a stabilized form of chlorine. Most of the chlorine that enters lakes, streams, or soil evaporates into the air or combines with other chemicals into more stable compounds. However do note that Chlorine-containing chemicals that seep through soil down into groundwater can remain unchanged for many years. The issue comes in from extreme overuse of chlorine. You really need a very small amount of it to do a job and people tend to use much to much thinking more is better.
 
Although, there are some very good health and safety related reasons not to use chlorine based bleach in your home.
 
The main reason to steer clear of bleach is the health impact. Especially if you have any history of breathing problems or if those in your home do, because bleach vapors are especially caustic to the lungs. You should especially not mix bleach and vinegar, or bleach and any acid or ammonia as it will release very dangerous chemicals in vapor form, again, to be especially avoided by those with any breathing problems such as asthmatics.
 
Here's a list of health concerns and reactions
 
Short-term, high-level exposures:
§         Immediately or shortly after exposure to 30 ppm or more of chlorine gas, a person may have chest pain, vomiting, coughing, difficulty breathing, or excess fluid in their lungs. Exposure to 430 ppm in air for 30 minutes will cause death.
§         The health effects of breathing air that has less than 30 ppm of chlorine are the same as listed below for inhaling liquid bleach vapors.
§         Liquid chlorine bleach and its vapors (at levels of 3-6 ppm in air) are irritating to eyes. At levels of 15 ppm in air people experience nose and throat irritation. Touching liquid chlorine bleach can cause skin irritation. Drinking levels over 4 ppm can cause throat and stomach irritation, nausea and vomiting.
 
Long-term, low-level exposure (e.g. several years of exposure to chlorine):
 
Organ Systems: The main effects of exposure to chlorine gas include diseases of the lung and tooth corrosion. People with previous lung disease, smokers, and those with breathing problems are more sensitive to chlorine.
 
Cancer: There is no information currently available about whether chlorine causes cancer.
 
Reproductive Effects: No reproductive effects from chlorine exposure have been reported.
In general, chemicals affect the same organ systems in all people who are exposed.
A person's reaction depends on several things, including individual health, heredity, previous exposure to chemicals including medicines, and personal habits such as smoking or drinking.
It is also important to consider the length of exposure to the chemical; the amount of chemical exposure; and whether the chemical was inhaled, touched, or eaten. People with preexisting lung or heart disease may be particularly sensitive to the effects of chlorine.


Some Sources On Bleach Information:

http://www.americanchemistry.com/s_chlorine/science_sec.asp?CID=1214&DID=4696&CTYPEID=113
 

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp172-c1.pdf
 

http://oem.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/58/6/399
 

http://www.vngas.com/pdf/g23.pdf
 

http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/products/msds/bleach/cloroxregularbleach0505_.pdf
please make sure to take it with a grain of salt, but remember that there are few better places to get some info on a product then the companies that market them- most of them really know their stuff, just remember that they are only going to show you the better side.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1740147
 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach
 

http://www.westlake.com/_filelib/FileCabinet/pdfs/MSDS_Chlorine.pdf
 

http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/eh/chemfs/fs/chlorine.htm

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Green Options › Articles › Bleach