Bleach is the most common cleaner when it comes to disinfecting our homes for generations. We used to sanitize our kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom with bleach cleaner. It works fine but, a recent study published by American Chemical Society shows that bleach fumes can produce harmful air pollutants.
Researchers found that the fume from bleach can combine with the Limonene compound in the presence of indoor light or sunlight and produce new particulates that are harmful to inhale both for pets and humans.
Limonene is a chemical compound that can found naturally in the peels of citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. It can use as flavoring, fragrance, or as a cleaner in manufacturing. Many of our household products like air fresheners, citrus cleaners are limonene rich.
The bleach fume contains hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and chlorine gas (Cl2), which chemically react with Limonene in the presence of light and produce air pollutants called secondary organic aerosols (SOAs). These newly created particles have multiple health effects when they breathe-in by pets or humans.
You can reduce the risk of breathing harmful SOAs in the air during the cleaning activity. Keep your windows open to lowering the bleach fume concentrations in the air. Alternatively, you can put some charcoal bags during cleaning, or you can use an activated charcoal filter equipped portable air purifier to trap the chemical compounds.