Bleach can commonly be found in many different stores, and while society likes to talk about the advantages of using bleach, there’s not much discussion about the disadvantages. It’s harmful to us and the environment, and we should be using alternatives.
What is a Naturally-Derived Bleach Alternative?
Naturally-derived bleach alternative is exactly what the name states – an alternative to using bleach on your clothing. Bleach is a household name because of the different uses it has, but it’s also very potent and harmful; it’s very irritating to the skin, lungs, and eyes and can burn internal and external tissues.
Bleach is also used as a disinfectant, as it can create a sterile living environment. But exposure to certain bacteria is actually healthy for us because it helps build up our immune system and teaches our bodies how to deal with them. If you use bleach, that sterile environment can potentially put you at a disadvantage.
Contents of Bleach
There are two ways we can come in contact with the chemicals that are present in bleach; absorption and inhalation. When we use bleach on our clothes and bedding, the bleach that remains on the fabrics can be absorbed into our skin, and it can make its way through our bloodstream and cause rashes.
Bleach has a very strong aroma that is present no matter how you use it, and the toxic fumes from the solution can damage our airways.
There are many harmful chemicals in bleach that we need to be aware of, and some of them have possible side effects we wouldn’t have anticipated.
While it is a well-known chemical for disinfecting, chlorine has been associated with potential short-term health effects like skin, eye, and airway irritation. There have also been studies that linked chlorine to long-term damage to the lungs and liver.
The fragrance from bleach is undeniably recognizable, but the fragrance used to disguise the smell of chlorine contains phthalates. This industrial chemical is often used to soften PVC plastics, and it is used as a solvent in cosmetics and other products.
Phthalates can severely damage the liver, kidney, lungs, and reproductive system, as well as throw off the balance of your hormones and damage your thyroid.
Many standard household bleach options contain sodium hypochlorite. It is a chemical that not only kills bacteria but also whitens and removes odor, which is one of the primary appeals of bleach. Unfortunately, sodium hypochlorite is extremely corrosive and can irritate the skin and damage airways, especially in small children.
A potential effect of cleaning with bleach is that the chlorine it contains can react with other materials to produce byproducts. Some of these byproducts are known carcinogens, like chloroform and chloramines, and their presence can trigger chronic health ailments like asthma and allergies. Some of the byproducts created, like chlorine gas, can also be harmful to breathe in and damage the airways and the lungs.
Why Use a Naturally-Derived Bleach Alternative?
You’ll want to use a naturally-derived bleach alternative because they are free of harsh chemicals and are safer for our clothes and bodies.
Exposure to bleach can lead to:
- Skin rashes
- Abdominal discomfort
- Muscle weakness
Why use a cleaning product on your clothes that can cause such harmful effects when you can choose a safer option that works just as well?