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Avatar universal

Severe reactions to cleaning products especially bleach, lysol, pine sol etc.

They have recently started cleaning our offices with slightly diluted bleach and I cannot breath and my eyes, sinus, throat and lungs all burn like a blowtorch is aimed right at me.  I have informed them of this and they continue to use the products.  Is there something I can print out and show them that they need to stop using these products!   The concentration she is using of this products suggests that she thinks our offices are very very dirty when really all they need is a little glass cleaner and furniture cleaner and to be vacummed.  Need help convincing the person who cleans the offices and the boss that real harm is being done to me.   The symptoms persist for days after exposure and by the time I'm almost over them she cleans the office again using the same chemicals and I'm back where I started.
5 Responses
Avatar universal

Hi Lakeland,

My employer painted our office and the chemicals made me ill. I was weak in the legs, had breathing problems and a hoarse voice. I immediately notified my supervior, who called Human Resources. They sent me to one of their clinics and the physician recommended that I work at the other office until the fumes were gone.

By law your employer must do something. I would notify Human Resources immediately. I believe this is also a Workman's Comp issue and if you miss any work because of this, they need to pay for your lost days.

In addition, I thought that I would mention that there are some very good homeopathic remedies, including remedies for people who have reactions to chemicals. It is just a thought and something you may want to check on the internet. I have a bottle labeled "Household Cleaners" - which helps me when I'm around bleach and other chemicals.

Avatar universal
I feel for you.  I have a severe allergy to Bleach and require an epipen after being in close proximity to the fumes.  This allergy began a few years ago and has progressively gotten worse, I can't even be near or in a pool that has recently been chlorinated.  I empathize with you.  I would like to find cleaning alternatives as well.
Breathless due to toxic fumes
Did you find help? Are you OK?
Avatar universal
I recently became aware that I cannot use any strong cleaning products in my apartment. PineSol is great for cleaning the cat litter box, but the fumes are so strong that they give me an allergic cough and I cannot breathe. A little bit of this and I am wheezing and coughing. I have subclinical asthma (so I have been told) and I guess my immune system reacts violently to these things. I am throwing out the PineSol and will never use it again. Same with bleach or anything else. I just cannot be around it. I have also had this problem after being around fresh paint--I cannot stand that either.
Avatar universal
I have problems with all the above as well. For the cat litter box I recommend Nature's Miracle, which you can get at a pet store. Do not get the one specifically for cats--that one is very strongly scented and made me sick. The original version (just called Nature's Miracle) has a slight scent that goes away when it dries. (Normally I can't tolerate ANY scent, but this one I do okay with.) The cat "scent" will go away when it dries as well. It is for anything organic (those things a cat will do on the floor, as well as blood). It will even work on dried stains.
Avatar universal
I am allergic to anything with a scent. I can tolerate NATURAL citrus and lemon and clean mostly with vinegar and  "glass plus" instead of windex. I share a different story however.

Early in my career I managed Health Clubs, later Office Administration and Facilities, I became so frustrated leaving notes on boxes and trash etc. Nothing would be done. (Cleaning crews work at night) One evening, I stayed in the office until 10 pm to meet the cleaning crew in person.

This was my first exposure to global workers. I suggest two things:

Leave your requests in multiple languages (English, Spanish, French, etc - Google translate can help with this.) Or, maybe the person who hired this company can let you know what language is spoken

Leave another note with a box of the cleaning products you can tolerate (Also with notes of multiple languages.) My experience is the supervisor usually knows some English, but is not always on site.

If HR is in the mix - you should let them know there is an issue so there is a record.

My two suggestions may get the results you need more quickly.

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