Harmful Effects of Chlorine Bleach

Chlorine bleach is a common household product that you can use for a variety of purposes in your home such as laundry, disinfectant and stain removal. Chlorine bleach does have some harmful effects. Be aware of these before using the bleach to limit the potential negative effects.

Eye Irritation

Chlorine bleach can irritate your eyes if you get the liquid directly into your eyes or if high concentrations of the chlorine gas gets into your eyes. This will cause the eyes to sting, turn red and get watery. Avoid this by always working in a well-ventilated room when using chlorine. Wear goggles as a safety precaution, especially if your eyes are particularly sensitive.

Throat/Lung Irritation

Your throat can get irritated if you inhale high concentrations of chlorine bleach vapor. It will cause severe coughing, itching and possibly inflammation. This happens only when you use bleach in a poorly ventilated area or if you don't wear a respirator. It can also cause lung infections and lung diseases for susceptible individuals such as those with asthma or breathing problems. These serious effects are often a result of prolonged exposure to high concentrations of chlorine bleach.

Skin Irritation

Bleach can also irritate your skin if your pour it directly on your hands. It can make your skin itch and to turn red. Avoid this by wearing gloves when using chlorine bleach. When irritation occurs, wash your skin as soon as possible.


If someone accidentally ingests chlorine bleach it will cause nausea and eventual vomiting. When liquid chlorine bleach enters the body it will react with water to form acids. These acids are corrosion and will damage the cells in your body. This will cause irritation and can eventually cause disease. Always contact a poison control center if you ingest chlorine bleach.