Clorox Bleach Is Not Appropriate For Cleaning Up A Crime Scene
For years, Clorox bleach has been used to perform a variety of different cleaning tasks around the home. One thing that we found rather startling, however, is that they recently added crime scene cleanup to the list of ways that their bleach can be used. As it turns out, bleach is not the best cleaning agent to use in this situation. We can say that with the utmost of authorities since our company provides some of the leading crime scene cleanup services throughout the country.
Four Reasons Why Clorox Is Not Appropriate For Crime Scene Cleanup
Bleach is effective at cleaning and disinfecting. It also is easy to obtain, inexpensive to purchase, and can be used in a variety of different ways. Although that all sounds great on the surface, bleach is actually extremely dangerous. Industrial-grade bleach is considered to be an environmental toxin. It has the ability to cause birth defects and can increase the risk of developing cancer. Even at lower concentrations like those that are sold for residential use, it can cause major problems. In fact, apart from drugs, bleach is the leading household product that causes people to contact poison control centers.
Understanding The Dangers Of Bleach
The Potential For Toxic Gases
When mixed with ammonia, bleach can give off phosphene gas, a toxic gas that is better known as mustard gas. Ammonia is extremely common. Not only can it be found in cleaning products but also in urine. When ammonia and bleach are mixed together, the following compounds are created:
- Chlorine Gas (Cl2)
- Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)
- Hydrazine (N2H4)
- Chloramine/Phosgene (NH2Cl)
Along with mustard gas, the hydrochloric acid that is created when bleach and ammonia are mixed can do major damage to the skin, organs, or eyes. This damage is not only irreversible but it can even result in death.
Ammonia isn’t the only problem. Other acids that are contained in common cleaning products such as vinegar can also create toxic fumes when combined with bleach.
Bleach Gives Off Fumes That Can Irritate The Respiratory Tract And The Eyes
Bleach gives off intense vapors that can do real damage to your body if you use it in areas that are not properly ventilated. If you breathe in the fumes from bleach, you can wind up experiencing headaches, difficulty breathing, chest pain, neurological symptoms, and nosebleeds. People who suffer from asthma may also find that their symptoms worsen when bleach fumes are present. These problems often persist even after the cleanup process is finished.
Bleach Can Irritate The Skin
Bleach is highly corrosive. You can see this property in action if you happen to leave bleach on fabric for too long. It not only fades the color of the fabric but it can also eat away at the fibers, leaving behind holes. Imagine, then, what it can do to your skin. If you get bleach on your skin, it can cause itchiness and redness along with burning. If the bleach stays on your skin for too long, it can irreparably damage the tissue and can change the color of your skin.
Interestingly, bleach can also damage nonporous surfaces, making them more difficult to clean. Once this damage occurs, cleaning these areas becomes much more difficult since the bleach has to remain on the surface for a longer period of time to eliminate germs.
Bleach Doesn’t Kill Some Types Of Pathogens
There is a common misconception that bleach kills every type of bacteria that is out there. In fact, however, some types of bacteria are not affected by exposure to bleach – especially if the bleach concentration is not high enough. Although it may work on some pathogens, others may escape unscathed.
Interestingly, bleach can also become ineffective if it comes in contact with dirt before coming in contact with bacteria. In essence, it reacts with whatever it comes in contact with. That means that it could lose its ability to fight germs by the time it actually reaches the bacteria.
This can be problematic on surfaces that have been affected by hard water or that are covered with a lot of dirt. To get the best results, these surfaces have to be thoroughly cleaned before using bleach on them to kill the bacteria.
Bleach Is Challenging To Use For Cleaning
Using bleach in a way that is both safe and effective is far more challenging than it may seem. All that you have to do is read the guidelines put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to see just how involved the process is. When used incorrectly, bleach can be extremely dangerous. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives on the market that are far safer and that are every bit as effective. If you are dealing with crime scene cleanup, the best option is almost always to hire a company that specializes in biohazard cleanup.