smelling bleach...
by momwithproblem, Jan 31, 2011
This may sound a bit odd, but for the past few days I have had the strangest issue. I have been smelling something that smells like bleach. I don't even use bleach in my house since both me and my son have asthma. Apparently, I am the only one smelling it, though. No one else has complained or said anything about any sort of odd smell. For me, it is such a sharp, strong smell that it actually burns my nose and throat! This is just so strange.Has anyone else had this issue?
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Member Comments (8)
by Tammy2009Blank, Feb 03, 2011
I haven't had it (although I do smell bleach for 2 days after working because we use so much of it).

I think I say a post on the allergy forum about this (or respiralogy disorders) so maybe trying posting on those forums?
by DaveJ58, Oct 20, 2011
I get a very strong sensation of bleach odor (cleanser, like softscrub, turpentine, or even the old orange flavored "Aspergum") sometimes that will occur for extended periods (7 or more days).  It has come and gone now for over 8 years, initial onset after a severe sinusitis.  Now, the triggers for these episodes seems to be whenever I am fatigued by work, nearly to delerium, lots of close computer work, drinking too much coffee at work, and when my wife changes the "wax" in the "scentsy" melters at home.
I have rarely smelled the delicate "floral" scents of flowers or perfume since that initial sinusitis.  Had an MRI done of the brain and sinus--showed normal structure, except deviated sceptum.  Fact that it comes and goes portends that it is environmental or situational.

My theories, and after reading other forums:
1.  Viral infections, more likely to occur when fatigued and immune system suppressed, will make sinuses extremely sensitive to airborn molecules from perfumes, scent candles, plastics in computers and car interiors.  If the sinus passage is swollen to closure, those molecules that were near the olfactory sites may remain trapped there until the passages can reopen--thus prolonged sensation of same odor.
2.  Excessive coffee:  Who is cleaning the coffee caraffe and with what cleansers?  Is it possible, as at work, that these cleansers are not being rinsed away fully at cleaning by someone other than the person who makes the morning coffee?  Do you have a caffeine alergy and it surfaces only when the blood levels of caffeine become too high?  I can stop coffee immediately when I become suspicious, but the odor remains, as if it is systemic and requires time to purge from my body.  Interestingly, decaffeinated coffee is sometimes decaffeinated using Formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) and it has a strong "biology class dissection" smell, since it is used to embalm specimens.
3.  Acid Reflux:  even without symptoms of indigestion and burning in the throat, it is said you could have the syndrome.  Acid can have a "chlorine" like smell.  Stomach acids contain "Hydrochloric" Acid, which chemically contains chlorine.  I recently noticed this increase in odor, burping, esophageal burning immediately after having intestinal virus and diahrea.
4.  Plasticizers:  Your car dashboard, computer, any plastic has certain chemicals to keep the plastics from cracking.  After entering a very hot car one afternoon, without venting the heat first, I contracted the chlorine odor syndrome that lasted again for another 7 days.
5.  Perfumes and waxes:  found in dryer sheets, scentsy candles, etc.  When the wax is heated and aerosolizes along with the perfume molecules, these wax molecules can be inhaled.  We know what happens when wax cools on contact--it hardens, and stays in place (perhaps in your sinuses), keeping the perfume molecules with it.  Your olfactory bulbs are likely to over-respond (mis-interpret) any other strong scent.  Certain ingredients added to odor reducing sprays are designed to actually anesthetize your olfactory centers to reduce sensation.
by rosieriviter, Jan 25, 2014
I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM!!! OMG did you ever find out anything? this is driving me absolutely nuts. I taste , smell, inhale, bleach-ish fumes smells off and on now for about a month and a half. I was starting to think I had a bleach ghost for crying out loud!!!   I saw your post was in '11 and was wondering if anything ? how are you and did you find out anything?  

Any help would be greatly appreciated!    Thanks
                                                                    Bleachy- keen
by territtt, Feb 28, 2014
I just started smelling bleach about 5 days ago.  I am also having more ashma than normal and something is going on up in the top of my nose.  Allergies are not so good right now.  Not a runny nose but stopped up all day even with my allergy meds.  Did you find out what was going on with you?
by hubertfartworth, Jun 06, 2014
The smell is them adding chlorine to your tap water! Also chlorine is bad for you it causes your arteries to harden and it causes irreversible liver damage. The smell is released from any source of treated water. I live near several water holding plants that get treated with chemicals regularly
by Tamaraba, Jun 14, 2014
by Tamaraba, Jun 14, 2014
Phantosmia is a form of olfactory hallucination. While most olfactory hallucinations are caused by a misinterpretation of a physical stimulus, such as in the case of parosmia, phantosmia is the perception of a smell in the absence of any physical odors. The odor can range from pleasant to disgusting smells. Although the causes of phantosmia are debated, it often occurs with neurological and psychological disorders such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, Parkinsons disease, epilepsy, neuroblastoma, and frequent migraines.

Claudius Galenus also mentioned olfactory hallucinations in his work and stated that these hallucinations constitute the signs of an oncoming disease.

Different types of phantosmia include unirhinal, episodic, recurrent phantosmia, where the activation of brain's GABAergic system seems to play a role in the inhibition of the unirhinal phantosmia.[1] Treatments for phantosmia range from drug therapies (e.g., venlafaxine) and brain stimulation therapies to invasive surgical procedures involving removal of the olfactory bulbs or olfactory epithelium.

The word phantosmia is a noun of Greek origin. It is composed of two words: (1) phanto meaning phantom and (2) osmia-Greek: osme meaning smell.[2]
by JeanetteWalters, Oct 11, 2014
I just recently started smelling bleach in my upper roof of my mouth.  And my wrist kind of in the middle by the pulse is getting kind of dull but sharp pains.  Isn;t there some kind of thing where if you smell a certain scent that isn't around you it is your body telling you something you need? I mean something like that..cause we sure don't need to drink bleach.