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Bleach Poisoning

Bleach Poisoning

Bleach poisoning can bring a wide range of health issues such as diarrhea, slurred speech, rash, breathing difficulty and sore throat. To know more about its treatment, read on.
Nicks J
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Did You Know?
Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) when combined with ammonia releases fumes that can be extremely toxic to your health.

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Once the bleaching agent is applied on the hair, one has to rinse it thoroughly by taking a shower. It may happen that while washing the hair with water, some amount of bleach may travel down to the face and get swallowed unknowingly. Bleach contain chemicals, hazardous to health and its ingestion may lead to what is known as bleach poisoning.
Bleach (white powder) containing sodium hypochlorite acts as a water purifiers and is commonly used in maintaining swimming pools and washing clothes.
Symptoms
The person will experience symptoms immediately or after a few hours depending upon how much bleach has been ingested unknowingly. Swallowing in large amount inadvertently can bring immediate disturbances in the body. People after ingesting bleach, often complain about abdominal pain. Even skin contact with sodium hypochlorite bleach, when washing clothes can damage the skin.

Other common symptoms of bleach ingestion are given below:
Sore Throat
A person who has swallowed bleach is bound to experience a burning sensation in the throat. The throat pain worsens with time.
Trouble Breathing
Its ingestion can also interfere with the person's ability to breathe normally. In other words, swallowing bleach can make breathing troublesome, a difficult task. This is a serious issue and requires immediate medical treatment.
Nausea
The person may also experience a nauseous feeling, after unknowingly consuming bleach. Nausea is a feeling that occurs just before vomiting.
Diarrhea
Ingesting it can lead to diarrhea, meaning the person passes watery stools and is typically marked by frequent visits to the toilet.
Low Blood Pressure
Consuming it unknowingly can also have a negative impact on normal blood pressure. A sharp drop in blood pressure may be observed after swallowing bleach.
Slurred Speech
Ingesting this white powder can also affect the tongue. The inability to speak clearly is another side effect of bleach poisoning.
Reduced Level of Alertness
The person is found to be mentally less alert after swallowing it, and may also slip into coma after some time.
Eye Damage
If it has come in contact with the eye, initially, it can cause irritation, redness and burning sensation in the eye. Burns to the eye is another damaging side effect of bleach.
Rash
Frequent exposure to the skin can lead to the development of rash. The reddened skin typically shows blisters and bring irritation.
Treatment
When swallowed in miniscule amounts, the white powder is usually not a cause for worry as the body reacts by vomiting it immediately. As aforementioned, the person may suffer from gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea. One of the best ways to get rid of this toxic matter, as early as possible, is to drink plenty of fluids. This helps the body to eliminate the substance in the form of urine. In case of eye contact, washing the eyes immediately for 10-15 minutes is important to prevent any major damage to the eye.
On the whole, bleach poisoning can also occur even when it is ingested in small amounts. So, in such cases consulting the doctor is the need of the hour and taking medical treatment at the earliest, is essential to increase the chances of survival and to prevent further complications.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.