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Bleach cleaning: indoor emissions, chemistry, and impacts on air quality

By Jimmy Mattila, a graduate student in the Farmer Group at Colorado State University (Twitter: @JimmyMattila)   Bleach, an aqueous solution consisting of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and other oxidizers/surfactants, is a commonly used cleaning product in household and workplace environments. The efficacy of bleach stems from its potent antimicrobial and oxidizing properties. Bleach cleaning emits […]

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New particle formation in the indoor environment

The presence of particles suspended in air is associated with negative health effects, including respiratory and cardiovascular issues. While some particles are emitted directly to the air from a source, such as from combustion, formation of new particles through atmospheric chemical reactions is less obvious to the casual citizen.

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Cleaning floors with bleach significantly alters indoor air chemistry

“When we wash with bleach, the oxidation occurs not only on the surface we are washing but everywhere else too”. Carslaw agrees, adding that bleach washing produces a much “wider group of chemicals than previously thought”, and that “chemists need to work much more closely with toxicologists” in order to determine the health impacts of the resulting, chemically-altered air.

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