Pat asked: Could cleaning with bleach cause throat irritation? I use bleach as a regular component of my house cleaning routine. I use it in the bathrooms, toilets, floors, etc. I am concerned that I may be irritating my throat. After a heavy duty winter cleaning episode last weekend, I awoke with a sore throat and strained voice. This seems to happen after a seasonal cleaning. I’m trying to figure out if it may be the result of a chemical allergy or irritant.
Although widely used as a household cleaner, chlorine bleach is hazardous in many ways. Some of the first effects of breathing the fumes are throat and lung irritation, problems that are much more dangerous in persons with heart conditions, respiratory issues, or who are predisposed to breathing problems. Physical contact can cause damage to skin, eyes, and membranes. Long term exposure may lead to chronic conditions, while mixing chlorine bleach with any other cleaning product could have devastating or lethal results. If you find you have a consistent physical reaction to bleach, you should discontinue using it immediately and contact a physician.