Dangerous Gases in the home
15 Apr 2016

Dangerous Gases in the Home

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Dangerous Gases in the Home

When we think about dangerous gases we often think about CO2 in the garage and H2S on the work site but there are other more common substances that can create toxic fumes on our homes. Basic household chemicals like bleach on their own aren’t good for us but when mixed with ammonia – well now you have chlorine gas – which is deadly. Below I have put some other toxic mixes

Do not mix bleach and ammonia.

Do not mix bleach and acids.

Do not use two drain cleaners together, or one right after the other.


In addition to ammonia purchased as a cleaning product, ammonia may be found in the following:

• some glass and window cleaners

• urine (be careful if you clean cat litter boxes or use a diaper pail)

• some interior and exterior paints.


Products containing acids include:

• vinegar

• some glass and window cleaners

• some automatic dishwasher detergents and rinses

• some toilet bowl cleaners

• some drain cleaners

• some lime, calcium and rust removal products


Some of the symptoms of these products being mixed are:

Mixing bleach and ammonia:

When bleach is mixed with ammonia, toxic gases called chloramines are produced. Exposure to

chloramine gases can cause:

• coughing

• shortness of breath

• chest pain

• wheezing

• nausea

• watery eyes

• irritation to the throat, nose and eyes

• pneumonia and fluid in the lungs

Mixing bleach and acids:

When chlorine bleach is mixed with an acid, chlorine gas is given off. Chlorine gas and water combine to make hydrochloric and hypochlorous acids.

Chlorine gas exposure, even at low levels, almost always irritates the mucous membranes (eyes,throat, and nose), and causes coughing and breathing problems, burning and watery eyes, and a runny nose. Higher levels of exposure can cause chest pain, more severe breathing difficulties, vomiting, pneumonia, and fluid in the lungs. Very high levels can cause death.

Chlorine can be absorbed through the skin, resulting in pain, inflammation, swelling, and blistering. Hydrochloric acid also causes burns to the skin, eyes, nose, throat, mouth and lungs.

Mixing bleach

Bleach also reacts with some oven cleaners, hydrogen peroxide, and some insecticides.

Please be very cautious when using cleaning products – always keep them locked up and away from small children. Be safe everyone.