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The impact of bleach on the environment
While in common use, it should be remembered that bleach is a potentially dangerous chemical. It should therefore be used sparingly and handled with care.
It indeed contains chlorine which reacts with many substances present in the air, the grounds and the waters by creating compounds toxic for the environment. The accumulation of these organo-chlorinated mixtures in domestic water is not a problem to be treated lightly, as these molecules are difficult to treat by treatment plants.
In addition, if your home is equipped with a septic tank, it is better to avoid using bleach. The latter kills the bacteria necessary to balance the pit, the proper functioning of which can then be compromised.
Finally, the empty bleach cans, because of their potentially harmful content, cannot be disposed of with your household waste and must be brought to a recycling center.
Risks associated with systematic disinfection
If bleach is an excellent disinfectant, useful during epidemics for example to fight against the development of harmful bacteria, its use must remain exceptional.
Our homes contain daily germs that regular cleaning is enough to eliminate, and also good bacteria that bleach would destroy on the spot, destroying the microbial balance of our interior. Contrary to what is often believed, it is useless to excessively disinfect its interior. It is even counterproductive since the immune defenses of the occupants of the house will be affected, exposing them to more frequent infections and allergies. We can even go so far as to observe the development of resistant bacteria. It is the same phenomenon as that observed with the excessive use of antibiotics.
The health risks of bleach
Bleach is a strong corrosive product that can cause skin burns.
In case of contact with the eyes, a prolonged rinsing and a specialist visit are necessary. To limit the risks, be careful when cleaning and wear gloves. But these "obvious" risks, which apply to many household products, are not the only ones: chlorine fumes can also cause headaches and nausea. When bleach mixes with other household products (descaler, deodorant, toilet block, ammonia) or even just urine in the toilet bowl, toxic vapors are formed, which can lead to irritation of the pathways respiratory or even pulmonary edema.
Do you think you are taking the necessary precautions? Be aware that in all cases, regular use of household bleach promotes the development of respiratory and ENT infections in children 6 to 12 years old. In any case, this is confirmed by a study published in the journal Occupationnal and Environmental Medicine. Also remember that bleach is the cause of many household accidents. A quarter of poisonings at home are thus due to household products, and very often to bleach… Motivating to find alternatives right?
Natural alternatives to replace bleach
The good news is that not only do natural alternatives exist, but they are also much more effective on dirt against which bleach has no effect.
Used separately or together, these basic products are enough to maintain a clean and healthy interior.
- Marseille soap or black soap: They are very good antibacterials, perfect for cleaning the bathroom and floors.
- Ecological cleaner: In organic stores or supermarkets you will find cleaners that are safe for the environment. Nevertheless check the composition and the precautions for use before use.
- White vinegar : It is a natural, inexpensive and multi-use disinfectant. You can use it to clean the toilets, the taps, the fridge, the trash can and the litter boxes of pets. It is also an excellent anti-limescale and it neutralizes bad odors.
- Baking soda: Versatile, it is abrasive, deodorant and sanitizing. It can be used dry, diluted in water or even in a little soap to form an ecological scouring cream.
- Soda ash : To dissolve in hot water, they are perfect for cleaning and sanitizing toilets, tiles, trash ... Be careful, however, to wear gloves!
- Hot water : It's silly, but think about it! By emptying a remainder of boiling water (cooking water for example) in your sink or your toilets, you kill the bacteria which are there without using chemicals! You can even use this technique to get rid of mosses and fungi in the house or in the garden.
- Lemon juice : Natural antiseptic, it is used like vinegar to descale and disinfect.
- Essential oils : Perfect for adding an antibacterial touch to your liquid Marseille soap or white vinegar, they also give off a pleasant smell. A few drops of essential oil of tea tree, oregano, lemon, lavender or eucalyptus are enough!