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How Bleach May Be Harming Your Children


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How Bleach May Be Harming Your Children

How Bleach May Be Harming Your Children

Bleach is a chemical we often use to sterilize and whiten everything from our clothing to our countertops, so we’re in contact with it quite a bit in our everyday lives.

This chemical, however, can be hazardous not only to our health, but to the health of our children as well. When inhaled, the corrosive qualities in bleach can cause some serious health issues.

A recent study in Europe has revealed that children who were regularly exposed to environments cleaned with bleach had an increased rate of respiratory tract infections.

“We should be aware that some of the products (like bleach) that we use in our homes for cleaning are chemicals that may have also some effect on our health and also on our children’s health,” said Lidia Casas of the Center for Environment and Health in Belgium, who led the study.

The research team who conducted this study contacted the parents of over 9,000 children between the ages of 6 and 12 who attended schools in Finland, Spain and the Netherlands.

They administered a questionnaire inquiring about the frequency in which their children had experienced respiratory infections such as the flu, bronchitis or pneumonia in a one-year span.

The survey also asked if the parents used bleach to clean their homes at least once a week. The researchers then inquired with certain schools about their bleach use when cleaning.

The results: Bleach was most commonly used in Spain, where 75% of households used it to clean their homes on a weekly basis. Bleach was used least often in Finland, where only 7% of households cleaned with it.

Similar results were found among the schools they researched, with all Spanish schools surveyed using bleach to clean, while none of the Finnish schools used bleach.

Across the three countries, the children in bleach-cleaned environments were more likely to experience recurring respiratory infections. Children in homes utilizing bleach to clean their homes were more likely to get the flu at least once a year and were also more likely to get recurring tonsillitis.

In Finland, children in bleach-cleaned homes were more likely to get tonsillitis and sinusitis than kids in homes that didn’t use bleach. Dutch children exposed to bleach-cleaned environments were more likely to have gotten the flu during a one-year span.

Dutch children in schools using bleach were more likely to have multiple recurring infections.

Casas explained that if bleach exposure is contributing to respiratory infections in children, it may be caused by certain compounds in bleach such as chlorine, which can irritate and cause damage to parts of the respiratory tract. This damage may cause swelling and can facilitate infection, she confirmed.

So how can you help protect your family? With an increased effort in replacing harmful chemicals in your home with more eco-friendly products, you can help prevent certain health risks for you and your children – a win-win for your family AND for the environment!

More Resources:

Good Housekeeping – Bleach could be making your kids sick
Educating Wellness – Dangers of Bleach
Clean Conscience – The Harmful Effects Bleach Can Have On Children

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Lindsay Bell
Lindsay Bell
5 years ago

Great article! Everyone needs to know this!

Dawn Pratt
Dawn Pratt
5 years ago

I never realized what chemicals can do to people, even in the smallest quanities, until my husband became ill and started having seizures. Any chemical can trigger a seizure. I have since found Norwex and have eliminated all chemicals from my home! I can sleep easier and breathe easier knowing that nothing in our environment is contibuting to his health issues!

Ruthann Hendrickson
Ruthann Hendrickson
5 years ago

Interesting! What do they use in place of bleach in the Finnish schools?

Laura Sauls
Laura Sauls
5 years ago

I want to give this information to all daycare providers!

Annie Coulthard
Annie Coulthard
5 years ago

Very informative – a must read

brianna
brianna
5 years ago

Awesome article I tell people about how cleaners can effect their family’s and they always say “well I’m alive and my parents used these products”

All we can do is spread the knowledge and hope people listen.

Sonja Andrashko
Sonja Andrashko
5 years ago

I dream of the day that our Federal government realizes the harm in mandating bleach/chemicals as a cleaner in restaurants! With Norwex, we are helping to educate and build safe havens in homes, one at a time, so we the people will drive the changes in governmental policies!

Beth Pribbernow
Beth Pribbernow
5 years ago

Thats a great read!!

Jennifer Arden
Jennifer Arden
5 years ago

Everyone needs to read this and pass it on! !

Stephanie Banik
Stephanie Banik
5 years ago

Thanks for the info!

Stephanie Footit
Stephanie Footit
5 years ago

Keep sharing! The more we share the more we teach and we all know everyone needs to know this!

Tylynn Pitts
Tylynn Pitts
5 years ago

Yes! Bleach is scary stuff!

Clayton Bolton
Clayton Bolton
5 years ago

Good article. I always like it more when someone’s quotes a study, that they provide a link to the study. Please consider this in the future. I am a medical researcher and there are so many millions of studies, Googling is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Also, we really need to know what the Finnish schools use in place of bleach. This is critically important as most products cannot replace bleach. Bleach is harmful, but they use it in hospitals because it is the ONLY thing that will kill certain bacteria.

I’m happy to be a new NORWEX member!! I just wish I had the link to the actual study. Thank you.

TK - Admin
Admin
TK - Admin
5 years ago
Reply to  Clayton Bolton

Clayton, thanks for your feedback. we actually include links to our resources at the bottom of the article, but we’ll try to add links within the text as well.

fyi: here’s the article that we got the study from. http://www.cleanconscience.com/blog/2015/04/harmful-effects-bleach-can-children/

Tiffany Jones
Tiffany Jones
5 years ago

I HATE bleach! I got walking pneumonia from it in 2004. Ever since, I cannot use it or swim in a high chlorinated pool without coughing violently. DO NOT USE BLEACH!!!! It is awful for your body – and the water system!

Christina Meekins
Christina Meekins
5 years ago

My daughter has a friend at school that can’t even be in the room when the kids would use the bleach wipes. I’ve since given the teacher a few EnviroCloths and it makes me feel so much better than having those kids breathing and “soaking in” those chemicals!

Danielle Rice
Danielle Rice
5 years ago

very interesting. Would be nice to know what they use in the Finnish schools instead of bleach?

Virginia Davis
Virginia Davis
5 years ago

Great information

Nikki Konkol
Nikki Konkol
5 years ago

Great info, thanks for sharing! I want everyone to be aware of the dangers!

Jen Mays
Jen Mays
5 years ago

what a switcheroo- what a lot of families do to keep themselves healthy may be causing illness…

Hope Beach
Hope Beach
5 years ago

I’m thankful I use both essential oils and my Norwex cloths to clean! No chemical smells while cleaning for me! My upper respiratory thanks me for it! 🙂

Melissa Schmidt
Melissa Schmidt
5 years ago

I have a friend who uses bleach every day and her kids are constantly sick. I have tried to explain to her the benefits of a chemical free clean. This may just be the article I need to show her to get her to switch her thinking.

Keri Williams
Keri Williams
5 years ago

It’s so hard to convince people who love to use bleach to clean because they are “germaphobes” that they are really not helping… thank you for the article!

Sandra Arnold
Sandra Arnold
2 years ago

Fantastic article!