Researchers have recently found evidence to support the toxicity of using bleach for household cleaning. Bleach is extensively used for household cleaning, and is considered to leave a fine aura in the vicinity. However, the researchers explain that bleach can mix with a citrus compound found in households to develop toxic airborne particles. The particles are similar to the ones found in smog, and can affect the health of humans and animals. Researchers from Bucknell University and University of Toronto were involved in the study. The results of the study were published in Environmental Science and Technology journal.
Adverse Effects of Limonene
The product formed by the reaction of bleach with citric acid is called Limonene. Despite being a mild compound, Limonene can cause severe irritation in the eyes, throat, skin, and lungs. The impact of the compound becomes more severe during flu and cold seasons. The prevalence of citric compounds in households is due to their presence in beauty care products. Moreover, cleaning agents and wood products also release citric substances that can mix with beach fumes. Air freshers also contain citric compounds in large proportions.
Understanding Indoor Toxicity
In small quantities, Limonene may not cause much harm to human health. However, in larger amounts, it can combine with air to form oxidized compounds that cause skin allergies. Limonene is considered as the most prevalent volatile organic compound (VOC) found indoors. VOCs emit gases that can affect the overall air quality. Hence, excessive formation of Limonene in houses and residential areas can significantly deteriorate the air quality. Moreover, release of Limonene can have a lingering effect on the surrounding.
The reaction between bleach and citric compounds can result in the release of chlorine gases and hypochlorous acid. The release of these substances can also increase the toxicity of indoor spaces.