Caregivers Community
221 Members
144586 tn?1284669764

Dangers of Chlorine

Chlorine bleach is extremely dangerous to the very elderly. A spill in the room can mean death. Many health care aides use it to clean toilet seats kept in the bedroom.  The containers can be knocked over very easily. And it may be impossible to rapidly evacuate the patient. Use of these solutions in the bedroom  should be prohibited.  I would insist only small bottles be purchased and kept at all times in a closet many rooms away from the patient. This is something to be checked on. Many aides are extremely careless regarding both bleach and ammonia. If bleach is mixed with ammonia a deadly gas develops. Many aides have problems with english and do not understand this. Aides and cleaning ladies should not be permitted to use either of these fluids without supervision in the room of an elderly debilitated immobile patient.
3 Responses
547368 tn?1440545385
OSHA - the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has banned the use of bleach in restaurants, schools, nursing homes and hospitals, because of all the hazards. This occurred some years ago.

OSHA is a national organization and their rules cover all states. If you see a health care worker in possession of bleach (which he/she would have to bring in themselves) it should be reported immediately to a Supervisor. Bleach is simply not permitted or used in Health Care Facilities these days. A good decision by OSHA.

Now there are product that clean similarly to a beach solution - but anything used in a medical facility - or all facilities for that matter, including manufacturing etc - must have an MSDS sheet on file that identifies the product and all substances contained with in the product. It's a Federal Law!  

A bleach or toxic exposure to an elderly patient is highly unlikely in today's safety centered climate. OSHA would probably shut the facility down.


144586 tn?1284669764
Interesting, Tuckamore. Thanx. I should have known that. Believe it or not the private duty aides and caregivers all use it (I have visited dozens of homes over the years), primarily to clean the portable toilets in patient's rooms. I can attest to one death in a hospital from use of bleach solution in a bucket to clean the floor asround the patient decades ago.
547368 tn?1440545385
You're Welcome!

I didn't mean to be argumentative or dispute what you were saying. I know many years ago (70s) we used Bleach in facilities. OSHA changed a lot of that - by putting such restrictions and regulations on Bleach that most facilities no longer use actual product.

I don't think OSHA has any say over what is used in a private home. It may regulate what the Home Health Agency can bring into a private home - but it can't regulate what the homeowner uses in their private residences.

The HH Agency still has to maintain MSDS on any products they use regardless of where it's used.

I hope that helps. I didn't mean to dispute you if it came across that way. I apologize as I didn't realize you were speaking about private homes. Bleach is toxic to humans, especially elderly and young humans.

Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Could our telomeres hold the key to curing cancer and preventing aging? Learn more in this article from Missouri Medicine.
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
How to lower your heart attack risk.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Protect against the leading cause of blindness in older adults
Keep your bones strong and healthy for life