Pages

Monday, 6 August 2012

Doing Dishes Can Be Harmful To Your Health


Last Wednesday I made a huge mistake and while I really hate broadcasting my mistakes to the world I think if I can save someone else from possible death or injury it is worth it.

It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining around big fluffy clouds but it wasn't overly hot and there was a nice cool breeze. I live for days like that so thought it might be a good time to clean out the storage shed and get at some canning jars I had stored there. Much to my horror I found the boxes had mouse droppings in them. I really hate mice! Oh well, no big deal right? I will just bring them in and give them a good scrubbing.

I piled some of the boxes on the quad and trundled off to the house, put water on to heat and did a bit of house work while I waited. No hot running water here, it all has to be heated but I am used to it. I just means a bit of planning before doing dishes and cleaning. No big deal.

Once the water was boiling hot I filled the sinks. One for rinsing and one for washing. Then I dumped in some soap and deciding that these jars really needed to be sterilized some bleach as well. What happened next is a little fuzzy.... I remember stopping at one point to call my mother-in-law as we hadn't chatted in a while and talking to someone while doing dishes can make it go faster. She wasn't available so I continued my chore reminding myself to call back in about 10 minutes or so as requested by Pop.

I had not brought in all the jars at once but had to continually go back outside for more. Each time I went outside I got a dose of fresh air then took the jars back in to wash. Finally the last jar was shining clean on the kitchen counter. Yeah! But I felt tired, really tired, and my chest felt funny, actually it was hurting a bit... strange... maybe I will go up and just take a short nap? I started up the stairs when I remembered I hadn't called Mom back. Sigh, I better call, my nap can wait a bit. Only once they answered the phone a weird thing happened. They couldn't seem to understand me. Was something wrong with the phone line? They kept asking me if I was OK. Pop said something about maybe I had, had a stoke as my voice was funny. I felt fine... Well my chest hurt a bit but no big deal. I couldn't figure out what they were talking about and was getting very frustrated. I finally promised them Mountain Man would call them back as soon as he got home and hung up. Again I wanted to go upstairs and take a nap but remembered I hadn't checked for eggs so outside I went. I remember getting sidetracked and looking at my tomato plants then wandering back into the house where Mountain Man found me sitting and staring out the window a bit later.

Here's what actually happened: I mixed Palmolive dish detergent with bleach creating a toxic Chlorine gas which was used in WW1. It requires a 1000 parts per million to be fatal and destroys the lung tissue. You can read about it here. Palmolive has an ingredient called Ammonium C12-15 Pareth Sulfate, which is what mixes with the sodium hypochlorite in the bleach creating the Chlorine gas. You can find a list of ingredients in Palmolive on their website hereWhile I had no idea what was wrong this gas was working away in my body depriving it of oxygen and damaging my lung tissue. 5 days later my lungs still hurt although to a much lesser degree.

Palmolive does have a warning on their bottle. Of course it is on the back of the bottle in small print.


I have often used small amounts of bleach in my dish water before this. Only difference this time is I put in more than usual. Mountain Man has now taken away all the bleach.... silly man. He continues to joke that he can't even leave me alone long enough to do the dishes. 

Morel of this story? Please be careful with mixing cleaners. I never would have thought dish soap and bleach could cause a reaction like that.

A couple other links regarding this topic you might find interesting:

What's Inside Palmolive Ultra: Killer Bubbles (while I didn't use the Palmolive Ultra the active ingredient, Ammonium C12-15 Pareth Sulfate, is the same)

Killers Lucking Around Your Home

Cleaning Won't Kill You, (Maybe)

Please share this with your family and friends. You never know who you might save.

This post is also link in too: Wildcrafting WednesdayTiny Tip TuesdayHomestead Barn Hop #73, The Morris Tribe Blog Carnival #19, Mostly Homemade Monday's , Take a Look Tuesday.

16 comments:

  1. I'm so glad that you're on the mend! It could have been so much worse! Thanks so much for getting the word out. I've never mixed bleach with anything, thankfully, but I appreciate the warning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brenda. I shutter to think what would have happened if I had taken that "nap".

      Delete
  2. Great reminder!! I'm so sorry you had to learn it the hard way. I can honestly say, (with my head hung low) that I have never read the fine print on a bottle of dishwashing detergent. Guess what I'll be doing today!?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glo,

    I'm very happy to hear you did not take a nap. Thank you for pointing out that this is extremely toxic. I've actually used chlorox with my dish soap too (Dawn). I'm going to read the label after reading this blog post. I'm very happy to hear you're on the mend and your husband and your inlaws were there for you. Did you go see a doctor to make sure everything was okay?

    Strange to think how many times we all have used chlorox and never really thought about what would happen if we mixed the common everyday soap with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do a Google search for "Dawn and Bleach" and you will find a number of people had a bad reaction. Be careful Sandy, I'm still doing research to see what, if any, dish washing liquids are safe to use with bleach.

      Delete
  4. So glad you're ok!! I will file this in the "not to do" section of my brain!

    ReplyDelete
  5. WOW, JUST WOW! For goodness sake that should be on the front and much larger type! So very glad you did not take that nap & I think it's a good time to tell Mountain man your allergic to the dishes LOL! So, have they determined if the damage is permanent?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh my goodness, that is so scary! I am so glad you are ok. Makes me shudder to think how two common household cleaners can so easily become so toxic!
    annie @ montanasolarcreations

    ReplyDelete
  7. And a good reminder also to have the local poison control number handy ...
    http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/Home.aspx to find the closest one to you (USA)

    ((hugs)) from me to you - mtn man just gets a smack in the head for not calling me, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Eeek! That is some scary stuff! Well, we're glad you're ok, Glo! And thanks for sharing this with us! I don't even keep bleach in the house, but I'll be sharing this with my mom, who incidentally keeps both palmolive AND bleach in the house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. ...and thanks for linking this up Tiny Tip Tuesday! Would be great if you could include a link back to our site, so others can join in as well! ;)

      Delete
    3. I just gave myself a mental smack. That's the second time this week I forgot to do this! Sorry!

      Delete
  9. So glad you're ok! I've tried to tell people not to mix these chemicals and have actually had someone get mad at me saying they do it all the time! Take care of yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  10. While remodeling our kitchen: cleaning and sanitizing pots and pans ext. I would get hot water, dish soap and add a little bleach to make sure everything was clean. It would be moved to the garage, and back into my new beautiful kitchen. The week-ends we weren't working on our kitchen, we would go to our summer home. More dish soap and bleach. ( just a shot of bleach) But this went on for a year and maybe a half. One day I looked at my finger nails and saw they were lifting from my nail bed, and no half moon on my nail. I had other silly things going on with my body. went to the Dr. They determined it was not fungus. One day while getting ready to wash windows I noticed on the joy bottle it said do not mix with bleach!!! Not sure, but I think it had something to do with the mixture. Still working on getting my nails back and feeling better. Let me mention I am a Cosmetologist, and my hands are in a lot of water. But that water is different than bleach water. It actually might have helped me.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...