Without going into a ton of detail, due to no fault of my own I unintentionally inhaled bleach fumes because of someone washing a floor nearby with a strong concentration of bleach and water. A lot of bleach fumes. Enough fumes to make me feel "loopy" - that being a technical term. It left me with an allergic reaction that lasted for a few days and believe me I felt and looked crappy. I was actually concerned there for a while. I was wheezing and sneezing so much and my lungs and throat hurt that I was afraid it might affect my singing voice. It's only been a couple of days but my body has done its work and has started to rid me of the toxins I inhaled. We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made and I am trusting that everything is going to be OK.
I was looking online for some details on bleach, in particular inhaling it's fumes and came across the following -
Exposure to High Concentrations of Bleach can result in eyes burning, nose irritation and coughing. Exposure to extremely high levels of bleach, such as 500 ppm (a concentration significantly greater than household bleach), could result in respiratory damage, chronic bronchitis and airway hyperactivity. In some cases, death can occur. Always wear the appropriate equipment and protective masks when working near high concentrations of bleach. According to the Hazardous Substance Emergency Events Surveillance, a report published by the state of Maine, you should always report any symptoms that may occur, including coughing, nausea, shortness of breath, watery eyes, chest pain, irritation to the throat, nose and eyes, and wheezing.
Interestingly enough all of the underlined symptoms were my particular symptoms over the last couple of days.
Today, once I was feeling a bit more human I Googled some more, in between bouts of playing online Scrabble - SIDELINE NOTE: NEVER PLAY SCRABBLE WITH A DOCTOR - THEY KNOW MORE WORDS - and I came across this site. The Hidden Dangers of Cleaning Products. This is a worthwhile and quick read. Obviously the writer has read my prior blog posts., although he's not nearly as funny as me. As a matter of fact I'm sure he wears very sensible glasses. But, is this not what I have been preaching these past few months?
There is a better way. A cleaner, less toxic way to do things. One that doesn't leave you wheezing. One that you don't need to make sure the doors and windows are open for proper ventilation. I should say I do have bleach in the house. I use it maybe twice a year and in really low concentrations. For the most part I use vinegar and baking soda. I should buy stock.
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Straight 5 percent solution of vinegar—the kind you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses). You can drink straight vinegar - I don't recommend it, but you could. You can't drink straight chlorine bleach. Isn't that proof enough?
If people really thought about what they were spraying about their houses, mopping their floors with, washing their dishes, counters and bathrooms with, they would stop dead in their tracks. Please stop dead in your tracks and think before you drop dead in your tracks for good.
This Mama's Floor Cleaner
1 Cup Vinegar
1/4 Cup Baking or Washing Soda
1 Tbsp Liquid Dish Soap
Mop as usual. It's Clean. It's Fresh. It's Easy. It's Cheap. AND it works. No toxins.