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Bleach is the generic name for any chemical product which is used industrially and domestically to remove color from a fabric or fiber or to clean or to remove
stain A stain is a discoloration that can be clearly distinguished from the surface, material, or medium it is found upon. They are caused by the chemical or physical interaction of two dissimilar materials. Accidental staining may make materials ...

stain
s in a process called bleaching. It often refers, specifically, to a dilute solution of
sodium hypochlorite Sodium hypochlorite (commonly known in a dilute solution as bleach) is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more ...

sodium hypochlorite
, also called "liquid bleach". Many bleaches have broad spectrum
bactericidal A bactericide or bacteriocide, sometimes abbreviated Bcidal, is a substance which kills bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), ...
properties, making them useful for disinfecting and sterilizing and are used in swimming pool sanitation to control bacteria, viruses, and algae and in many places where sterile conditions are required. They are also used in many industrial processes, notably in the
bleaching of wood pulp Bleaching of wood pulp is the chemical process In a scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in ...
. Bleaches also have other minor uses like removing
mildew Mildew is a form of fungus A fungus (plural: fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and Mold (fungus), molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. The ...
, killing
weed A weed is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and included algae and fungi; however, all ...

weed
s, and increasing the longevity of
cut flowers Cut flowers are flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tree, trees (genus ''Prunus'') and of some other plants with a similar ...
. Bleaches work by reacting with many colored organic compounds, such as natural pigments, and turning them into colorless ones. While most bleaches are
oxidizing agent 125px, Dangerous goods label for oxidizing agents An oxidizing agent, also known as an oxidant or oxidizer, is a substance that has the ability to oxidize (mild reducing agent) are added to powdered potassium permanganate (strong oxidizi ...

oxidizing agent
s (chemicals that can remove electrons from other molecules), some are
reducing agents A reducing agent (also called a reductant, reducer, or electron donor) is an element or compound that loses or "donates" an electron The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particles are smaller than atom ...
(that donate electrons).
Chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cl and atomic number 17. The second-lightest of the halogens, it appears between fluorine and bromine in the periodic table and its properties are mostly intermediate betw ...

Chlorine
, a powerful oxidizer, is the active agent in many household bleaches. Since pure chlorine is a toxic corrosive gas, these products usually contain
hypochlorite In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during ...
, which releases chlorine when needed. "Bleaching powder" usually means a formulation containing
calcium hypochlorite Calcium hypochlorite is an inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, ...

calcium hypochlorite
. Oxidizing bleaching agents that do not contain chlorine are usually based on
peroxide Peroxides are a group of compounds with the structure R−O−O−R, where R = any element. The O−O group in a peroxide is called the peroxide group or peroxo group. The nomenclature is somewhat variable. The most common peroxide is hydrogen p ...

peroxide
s such as
hydrogen peroxide Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by hav ...

hydrogen peroxide
,
sodium percarbonate Sodium percarbonate is a chemical substance with formula . It is an adduct of sodium carbonate ("soda ash" or "washing soda") and hydrogen peroxide (that is, a wikt:perhydrate, perhydrate) whose formula is more properly written as 2   ...

sodium percarbonate
, and
sodium perborate Sodium perborate is chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having ...

sodium perborate
. These bleaches are called 'non-chlorine bleach,' '
oxygen bleach Bleach is the generic name for any chemical product which is used industrially and domestically to remove color from a fabric or fiber or to clean or to remove stain A stain is a discoloration that can be clearly distinguished from the sur ...
' or 'color-safe bleach.' Reducing bleaches have niche uses, such as
sulfur dioxide Sulfur dioxide (-recommended spelling) or sulphur dioxide (traditional ) is the with the formula . It is a responsible for the smell of burnt es. It is released naturally by and is produced as a by-product of extraction and the burning of ...
used to bleach wool, either as gas or from solutions of
sodium dithionite Sodium dithionite (also known as sodium hydrosulfite) is a white crystalline powder with a sulfurous odor. Although it is stable in dry air, it Chemical decomposition, decomposes in hot water and in acid Solution (chemistry), solutions. Structur ...
; and
sodium borohydride Sodium borohydride, also known as sodium tetrahydridoborate and sodium tetrahydroborate, is an inorganic compound In chemistry, an inorganic compound is typically a chemical compound that lacks carbon–hydrogen bonds, that is, a compound that is ...

sodium borohydride
. Bleaches generally react with many other organic substances besides the intended colored pigments, so they can weaken or damage natural materials like fibers, cloth, and leather, and intentionally applied dyes such as the
indigo InterGlobe Aviation Ltd IndiGo is an Indian headquartered in , , . It is the largest by passengers carried and fleet size, with a 57% domestic market share as of August 2021. It is also the largest individual Asian in terms of jet fleet ...
of
denim Denim is a sturdy cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus '' Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cell ...

denim
. For the same reason, ingestion of the products, breathing of the fumes, or contact with skin or eyes can cause health damage.


History

The earliest form of bleaching involved spreading fabrics and cloth out in a
bleachfield A bleachfield or bleaching green was an open area used for spreading cloth on the ground to be purified and whitened by the action of the sunlight. Bleaching fields were usually found in and around mill towns in Great Britain and were an integral ...
to be whitened by the action of the
sun The Sun is the star A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma (physics), plasma held together by its own gravity. The List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs, nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many othe ...

sun
and
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known forms of , even though it provide ...

water
. In the 17th century, there was a significant cloth bleaching industry in Western Europe, using alternating alkaline baths (generally
lye A lye is a metal hydroxideMetal hydroxides are hydroxides of metals. They are often strong base (chemistry), bases. They consist of hydroxide anions and metallic cations. Some metal hydroxides, such as alkali metal hydroxides, ionize completel ...
) and acid baths (such as
lactic acid Lactic acid is an organic acid An organic acid is an organic compound with acidic properties. The most common organic acids are the carboxylic acids, whose acidity is associated with their carboxyl group –COOH. Sulfonic acids, conta ...

lactic acid
from sour milk, and later diluted
sulfuric acid Sulfuric acid ( and the ) or sulphuric acid (), known in antiquity as oil of vitriol, is a composed of the elements , and , with the . It is a colorless, odorless and liquid that is with water. Pure sulfuric acid does not exist naturally ...

sulfuric acid
). The whole process lasted up to six months. Chlorine-based bleaches, which shortened that process from months to hours, were invented in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
in the late 18th century.
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
chemist
Carl Wilhelm Scheele Carl Wilhelm Scheele (, ; 9 December 1742 – 21 May 1786) was a German and Swedish Pomerania Swedish Pomerania ( sv, Svenska Pommern; german: Schwedisch-Pommern) was a Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of ...

Carl Wilhelm Scheele
discovered chlorine in 1774, and in 1785 French scientist
Claude Berthollet Claude Louis Berthollet (9 December 1748 in Talloires, France – 6 November 1822 in Arcueil, France) was a Savoy Savoy (; frp, Savouè ; french: Savoie ; it, Savoia ; pms, Savòja ; ) is a cultural-historical region in the Western A ...
recognized that it could be used to bleach fabrics. Berthollet also discovered
sodium hypochlorite Sodium hypochlorite (commonly known in a dilute solution as bleach) is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more ...

sodium hypochlorite
, which became the first commercial bleach, named ''Eau de Javel'' ("Javel water") after the borough in Paris where it was produced.
Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish English *Scottish national identity, the Scottish iden ...
chemist and industrialist
Charles Tennant Charles Tennant (3 May 1768 – 1 October 1838) was a Scottish chemist and industrialist. He discovered Calcium hypochlorite, bleaching powder and founded an industrial dynasty. Biography Charles Tennant was born at Laigh Corton, Alloway, Ayrshi ...

Charles Tennant
proposed in 1798 a solution of
calcium hypochlorite Calcium hypochlorite is an inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, ...

calcium hypochlorite
as an alternative for Javel water, and patented bleaching powder (solid
calcium hypochlorite Calcium hypochlorite is an inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, ...

calcium hypochlorite
) in 1799. Around 1820, French chemist
Antoine Germain Labarraque Antoine Germain Labarraque (28 March 1777 – 9 December 1850)Maurice Bouvet. Les grands pharmaciens: Labarraque (1777-1850)(Revue d'histoire de la pharmacie, 1950, Volume 38, no. 128, pp. 97-107). was a French chemist and pharmacist, notable ...
discovered the disinfecting and deodorizing ability of hypochlorites, and was instrumental in popularizing their use for such purpose.Scott, James, transl. (1828).
On the disinfecting properties of Labarraque's preparations of chlorine
' Published by S. Highley.
His work greatly improved medical practice, public health, and the sanitary conditions in hospitals,
slaughterhouse A slaughterhouse, also called abattoir (), is a facility where animals are slaughtered to provide food for humans. Slaughterhouses supply meat, which then becomes the responsibility of a packaging facility. Slaughterhouses that produce meat ...

slaughterhouse
s, and all industries dealing with animal products.Labarraque, Antoine-Germain
'' Nouvelle biographie générale'', volume 28 (1859), columns 323-324.
Louis Jacques Thénard Louis Jacques Thénard (4 May 177721 June 1857) was a French chemist. Life He was born in a farm cottage near Nogent-sur-Seine in the Champagne district the son of a farm worker. In the post-Revolution French educational system , most boys recei ...

Louis Jacques Thénard
first produced
hydrogen peroxide Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by hav ...

hydrogen peroxide
in 1818 by reacting
barium peroxide Barium peroxide is the inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, prop ...
with
nitric acid Nitric acid (), also known as ''aqua fortis'' (Latin for "strong water") and spirit of niter, is a highly corrosive mineral acid. The pure compound is colorless, but older samples tend to acquire a yellow cast due to decomposition into nitroge ...

nitric acid
. Hydrogen peroxide was first used for bleaching in 1882, but did not become commercially important until after 1930.
Sodium perborate Sodium perborate is chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having ...

Sodium perborate
as a laundry bleach has been used in Europe since the early twentieth century, and became popular in North America in the 1980s.


Mechanism of action


Whitening

Colors of natural organic materials typically arise from organic
pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dyes are typically soluble, at least at some stage in their use. Generally dyes are often organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compou ...
s, such as . Chemical bleaches work in one of two ways: *An oxidizing bleach works by breaking the
chemical bond A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday ...
s that make up the
chromophore A chromophore is the part of a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral group of two o ...

chromophore
. This changes the molecule into a different substance that either does not contain a chromophore, or contains a chromophore that does not absorb
visible light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range of 400–700 nano ...
. This is the mechanism of bleaches based on
chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cl and atomic number 17. The second-lightest of the halogens, it appears between fluorine and bromine in the periodic table and its properties are mostly intermediate betw ...

chlorine
but also of oxygen-anions which react through initial nucleophilic attack. *A reducing bleach works by converting
double bond In chemistry, a double bond is a between two s involving four s as opposed to two in a . Double bonds occur most commonly between two carbon atoms, for example in s. Many double bonds exist between two different elements: for example, in a group ...

double bond
s in the chromophore into
single bond In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, compounds composed of atom ...

single bond
s. This eliminates the ability of the chromophore to absorb visible light. This is the mechanism of bleaches based on
sulfur dioxide Sulfur dioxide (-recommended spelling) or sulphur dioxide (traditional ) is the with the formula . It is a responsible for the smell of burnt es. It is released naturally by and is produced as a by-product of extraction and the burning of ...
. Sunlight acts as a bleach through a process leading to similar results: high energy
photon The photon ( el, φῶς, phōs, light) is a type of elementary particle In , an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a that is not composed of other particles. Particles currently thought to be elementary include the fundamental s ...

photon
s of light, often in the
violet Violet may refer to: Common meanings * Violet (color), a spectral color with wavelengths shorter than blue * One of a list of plants known as violet, particularly: ** Viola (plant), ''Viola'' (plant), a genus of flowering plants Places United ...
or
ultraviolet Ultraviolet (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that stud ...

ultraviolet
range, can disrupt the bonds in the chromophore, rendering the resulting substance colorless. Extended exposure often leads to massive discoloration usually reducing the colors to white and typically very faded blue.


Antimicrobial efficacy

The broad-spectrum effectiveness of most bleaches is due to their general chemical reactivity against organic compounds, rather than the selective inhibitory or toxic actions of
antibiotic An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system t ...
s. They irreversibly denature or destroy many
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
s, making them extremely versatile disinfectants. Hypochlorite bleaches in low concentration were also found to attack bacteria by interfering with
heat shock protein Heat shock proteins (HSP) are a family of proteins Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowd ...
s on their walls. According to 2013 Home Hygiene and Health report, using bleach, whether chlorine- or peroxide-based, significantly increases germicidal efficiency of laundry even at low temperatures (30-40 degrees Celsius), which makes it possible to eliminate viruses, bacteria and fungi from variety of clothing in home setting.


Classes of bleaches

Most industrial and household bleaches belong to three broad classes: *
Chlorine-based bleach Chlorine-releasing compounds, also known as chlorine base compounds, is jargon to describe certain chlorine-containing substances that are used as disinfectants and bleaches. They include the following chemicals: sodium hypochlorite Sodium hypoc ...
es, whose active agent is
chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cl and atomic number 17. The second-lightest of the halogens, it appears between fluorine and bromine in the periodic table and its properties are mostly intermediate betw ...

chlorine
, usually from the decomposition of some chlorine compound like
hypochlorite In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during ...
or
chloramine Chloramines refer to derivatives of ammonia Ammonia is a chemical compound, compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the chemical formula, formula NH3. A Binary compounds of hydrogen, stable binary hydride, and the simplest pnictogen hydride, amm ...
. * Peroxide-based bleaches, whose active agent is
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...

oxygen
, almost always from the decomposition of a
peroxide Peroxides are a group of compounds with the structure R−O−O−R, where R = any element. The O−O group in a peroxide is called the peroxide group or peroxo group. The nomenclature is somewhat variable. The most common peroxide is hydrogen p ...

peroxide
compound like
hydrogen peroxide Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by hav ...

hydrogen peroxide
. * Sulfur dioxide based bleaches, whose active agent is
sulfur dioxide Sulfur dioxide (-recommended spelling) or sulphur dioxide (traditional ) is the with the formula . It is a responsible for the smell of burnt es. It is released naturally by and is produced as a by-product of extraction and the burning of ...
, possibly from the decomposition of some oxosulfur anion.


Chlorine-based bleaches

Chlorine-based bleach Chlorine-releasing compounds, also known as chlorine base compounds, is jargon to describe certain chlorine-containing substances that are used as disinfectants and bleaches. They include the following chemicals: sodium hypochlorite Sodium hypoc ...
es are found in many household "bleach" products, as well as in specialized products for hospitals, public health,
water chlorination Water chlorination is the process of adding chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure s ...
, and industrial processes. The grade of chlorine-based bleaches is often expressed as percent active chlorine. One gram of a 100% active chlorine bleach has the same bleaching power as one gram of elemental
chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cl and atomic number 17. The second-lightest of the halogens, it appears between fluorine and bromine in the periodic table and its properties are mostly intermediate betw ...

chlorine
. The most common chlorine-based bleaches are: *
Sodium hypochlorite Sodium hypochlorite (commonly known in a dilute solution as bleach) is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any ...

Sodium hypochlorite
(), usually as a 3–6% solution in water, usually called "liquid bleach" or just "bleach". Historically called "Javel water". It is used in many households to whiten laundry, disinfect hard surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms, treat water for drinking and keep swimming pools free of infectious agents. * Bleaching powder (formerly known as "chlorinated lime"), usually a mixture of
calcium hypochlorite Calcium hypochlorite is an inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, ...

calcium hypochlorite
(),
calcium hydroxide Calcium hydroxide (traditionally called slaked lime) is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula calcium, Ca(Hydroxide, OH)2. It is a colorless crystal or white powder and is produced when quicklime (calcium oxide) is mixed or slaking (ge ...

calcium hydroxide
(slaked lime, ), and
calcium chloride Calcium chloride is an inorganic compound, a salt with the chemical formula CaCl2. It is a white coloured crystalline solid at room temperature, and it is highly soluble in water. It can be created by neutralising hydrochloric acid with calc ...

calcium chloride
() in variable amounts. Sold as a white powder or in tablets, is used in many of the same applications as sodium hypochlorite, but is more stable and contains more available chlorine. *
Chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cl and atomic number 17. The second-lightest of the halogens, it appears between fluorine and bromine in the periodic table and its properties are mostly intermediate betw ...

Chlorine
gas (). It is used as a disinfectant in
water treatment Water treatment is any process that improves the quality Quality may refer to: Concepts *Quality (business), the ''non-inferiority'' or ''superiority'' of something *Quality (philosophy), an attribute or a property *Quality (physics), in respo ...

water treatment
, especially to make
drinking water Drinking water, also known as potable water, is water that is safe to drinking, drink or use for food preparation. The amount of drinking water required to maintain good health varies, and depends on physical activity level, age, health-related ...

drinking water
and in large public
swimming pools swimming pool in Melbourne Melbourne ( ) is the List of Australian capital cities, capital and List of cities in Australia by population, most-populous city of the States and territories of Australia, Australian state of Victoria (Austr ...
. It was used extensively to bleach wood pulp, but this use has decreased significantly due to environmental concerns. *
Chlorine dioxide Chlorine dioxide is a chemical compound with the formula ClO2 that exists as yellowish-green gas above 11 °C, a reddish-brown liquid between 11 °C and −59 °C, and as bright orange crystals below −59 °C. It is an oxidizi ...

Chlorine dioxide
(). This unstable gas is generated in situ or stored as dilute aqueous solutions. It finds large-scale applications for the
bleaching of wood pulp Bleaching of wood pulp is the chemical process In a scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in ...
,
fat In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be divided ...

fat
s and
oil An oil is any nonpolar chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can b ...

oil
s,
cellulose Cellulose is an organic compound with the chemical formula, formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to many thousands of glycosidic bond, β(1→4) linked glucose, D-glucose units. Cellulose is an important stru ...

cellulose
,
flour Flour is a powder A powder is a dry, bulk solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid, gas and plasma). The molecules in a solid are closely packed together and contain the least amount ...

flour
,
textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, o ...

textile
s,
beeswax foundation, made by pressing beeswax between patterned metal rollers Beeswax (''cera alba'') is a natural wax , a typical wax ester. Image:Beeswax foundation.jpg, Commercial honeycomb foundation, made by pressing beeswax between patterned m ...

beeswax
,
skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate animal, with three main functions: protection, regulation, and sensation. Other cuticle, animal coverings, such as the arthropod exoskeleton, have differ ...

skin
, and in a number of other industries. Other examples of chlorine-based bleaches, used mostly as disinfectants, are
monochloramine Monochloramine, often called simply chloramine, is the chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical el ...
,
halazone Halazone (4-(dichlorosulfamoyl)benzoic acid) is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element ...

halazone
, and
sodium dichloroisocyanurate Sodium dichloroisocyanurate ( INN: sodium troclosene, ''troclosenum natricum'' or NaDCC or SDIC) is a chemical compound widely used as a cleansing agent and disinfectant.. It is a colorless, water-soluble solid. The dihydrate is also known () as i ...

sodium dichloroisocyanurate
.


Peroxide-based bleaches

Peroxide-based bleaches are characterized by the
peroxide Peroxides are a group of compounds with the structure R−O−O−R, where R = any element. The O−O group in a peroxide is called the peroxide group or peroxo group. The nomenclature is somewhat variable. The most common peroxide is hydrogen p ...

peroxide
chemical
group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...
, namely two
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...

oxygen
atoms connected by a
single bond In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, compounds composed of atom ...
, (–O–O–). This bond is easily broken, giving rise to very reactive oxygen species, which are the active agents of the bleach. The main products in this class are: *
Hydrogen peroxide Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by hav ...

Hydrogen peroxide
itself (). It is used, for example, to bleach wood pulp and hair or to prepare other bleaching agents like the perborates, percarbonates, peracids, etc. *
Sodium percarbonate Sodium percarbonate is a chemical substance with formula . It is an adduct of sodium carbonate ("soda ash" or "washing soda") and hydrogen peroxide (that is, a wikt:perhydrate, perhydrate) whose formula is more properly written as 2   ...

Sodium percarbonate
(), an adduct of hydrogen peroxide and
sodium carbonate Sodium carbonate, ·10, (also known as Natrium Carbonate, washing soda, soda ash and soda crystals) is the inorganic compound with the formula Na2CO3 and its various hydrates. All forms are white, odourless, water-soluble salts that yield modera ...

sodium carbonate
("soda ash" or "washing soda", ). Dissolved in water, it yields a solution of the two products, that combines the
degreasing Degreasing, often called defatting or fat trimming, is the removal of fatty acids from an object. In culinary Culinary arts, in which '' culinary'' means "related to cooking Cooking or cookery is the art, science, and craft of using heat to ...

degreasing
action of the carbonate with the bleaching action of the peroxide. *
Sodium perborate Sodium perborate is chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having ...

Sodium perborate
(). Dissolved in water it forms some hydrogen peroxide, but also the perborate anion () which can perform
nucleophilic In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they underg ...

nucleophilic
oxidation. * (). Generated in situ by some laundry detergents, and also marketed for use as industrial and agricultural disinfection and water treatment.V. Namboodiri and A. Garg (2017):
Evaluation of Combined Peracetic acid and UV treatment for Disinfection of Secondary Wastewater Effluent
. document EPA/600/R-17/172, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
*
benzoyl peroxide Benzoyl peroxide is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together by c ...

benzoyl peroxide
(). It is used in topical medications for
acne Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a long-term skin condition A skin condition, also known as cutaneous condition, is any medical condition A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or ...
and to bleach
flour Flour is a powder A powder is a dry, bulk solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid, gas and plasma). The molecules in a solid are closely packed together and contain the least amount ...

flour
.(2004)
Benzoyl peroxide
FAO Publication FNP 52 Addendum 12.
*
Ozone Ozone (), or trioxygen, is an inorganic molecule with the chemical formula . It is a pale blue gas with a distinctively pungent smell. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic allotrope , breaking down in the lower ...

Ozone
(). While not properly a peroxide, its mechanism of action is similar. It is used in the manufacture of paper products, especially
newsprint Newsprint is a low-cost, non-archival paper Paper is a thin sheet material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, ...
and white
Kraft paper Kraft paper or kraft is paper or paperboard (cardboard) produced from chemical pulp produced in the kraft process. ''Sack kraft paper'', or just ''sack paper'', is a porous kraft paper with high Elasticity (physics), elasticity and high tear resis ...
. *
Potassium persulfate Potassium persulfate is the inorganic compound with the formula Potassium, K2Sulfate, S2O8. Also known as potassium peroxydisulfate or KPS, it is a white solid that is sparingly soluble in cold water, but dissolves better in warm water. This salt i ...

Potassium persulfate
( ) and other persulfate salts. It, alongside ammonium and sodium persulfate, are common in hair lightening products. *
Permanganate A permanganate is the general name for a chemical compound containing the manganate(VII) ion, , the conjugate base of permanganic acid. Because the manganese atom is in the +7 oxidation state, the permanganate(VII) ion is a strong oxidizing agent ...

Permanganate
salts such as
Potassium permanganate Potassium permanganate is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula KMnO4 and composed of potassium ion, K+ and permanganate, . It is a purplish-black crystalline salt, that dissolves in water to give intensely pink or purple solutions. P ...

Potassium permanganate
(KMnO4). In the
food industry The food industry is a complex, global network of diverse businesses that supplies most of the food consumed by the World population, world's population. The term food industries covers a series of industrial activities directed at the producti ...
, other oxidizing products like
bromate The bromate ion, anion, BrO, is a bromine-based oxyanion, oxoanion. A bromate is a chemical compound that contains this ion. Examples of bromates include sodium bromate, (), and potassium bromate, (). Bromates are formed many different ways in mu ...
s are used as flour bleaching and
maturing agent A dough conditioner, flour treatment agent, improving agent or bread improver is any ingredient or chemical added to bread Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, ...
s.


Reducing bleaches

Sodium dithionite Sodium dithionite (also known as sodium hydrosulfite) is a white crystalline powder with a sulfurous odor. Although it is stable in dry air, it Chemical decomposition, decomposes in hot water and in acid Solution (chemistry), solutions. Structur ...
(also known as sodium hydrosulfite) is one of the most important reductive bleaching agents. It is a white crystalline powder with a weak
sulfur Sulfur (in nontechnical British English: sulphur) is a with the  S and  16. It is , and lic. Under , sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with a chemical formula . Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow, line solid at . Sul ...

sulfur
ous odor. It can be obtained by reacting
sodium bisulfite Sodium bisulfite (or sodium bisulphite, sodium hydrogen sulfite) is a chemical mixture with the approximate chemical formula NaHSO3. Sodium bisulfite in fact is not a real compound, but a mixture of salts that dissolve in water to give solutions c ...

sodium bisulfite
with
zinc Zinc is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical element ...

zinc
:2 NaHSO3 + Zn → Na2S2O4 + Zn(OH)2 It is used as such in some industrial dyeing processes to eliminate excess dye, residual oxide, and unintended pigments and for bleaching wood pulp. Reaction of sodium dithionite with
formaldehyde Formaldehyde ( , also ) (systematic nameA systematic name is a name given in a systematic way to one unique group, organism, object or chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemist ...
produces , :Na2S2O4 + 2 CH2O + H2O → NaHOCH2SO3 + NaHOCH2SO2 which is used in bleaching
wood pulp Pulp is a lignocellulosic fibrous material prepared by chemically or mechanically separating cellulose fiber Cellulose fibers () are fibers made with ethers or esters of cellulose, which can be obtained from the bark, wood or leaves of plants ...
,
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus '' Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural condition ...

cotton
,
wool Wool is the textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitti ...
,
leather Leather is a strong, flexible and durable material obtained from the tanning Tanning may refer to: *Tanning (leather), treating animal skins to produce leather *Sun tanning, using the sun to darken pale skin **Indoor tanning, the use of arti ...

leather
and
clay Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil Surface-water- gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland.">Northern_Ireland.html" ;"title="glacial till, Northern Ireland">glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic m ...

clay
.


Photographic bleach

In Reversal processing, residual
silver Silver is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical ele ...

silver
in the emulsion after the first development is reduced to a soluble silver salt using a chemical bleach, most commonly
EDTA Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is an aminopolycarboxylic acid left, 120px, a metal complex with the EDTA anion file:Asparaginsäure - Aspartic acid.svg, 120px, Aspartic acid is an aminodicarboxylic acid and precursor to other ligands. An ...

EDTA
. A conventional fixer then dissolves the reduced silver but leaving the unexposed silver halide intact. This unexposed halide is then exposed to light or is chemically treated so that a second development produces a positive image. In colour and
chromogenic The term chromogen is applied in chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavi ...
film, this also generates a dye image in proportion to the silver. Photographic bleaches are also used in black-and-white photography to selectively reduce silver to reduce silver density in negatives or prints. In such cases the bleach composition is typically an acid solution of
potassium dichromate Potassium dichromate, , is a common inorganic compound, inorganic chemical reagent, most commonly used as an oxidizing agent in various laboratory and industrial applications. As with all hexavalent chromium compounds, it is acutely and chronically ...

potassium dichromate
.


Environmental impact

A Risk Assessment Report (RAR) conducted by the European Union on sodium hypochlorite conducted under Regulation EEC 793/93 concluded that this substance is safe for the environment in all its current, normal uses. This is due to its high reactivity and instability. The disappearance of hypochlorite is practically immediate in the natural aquatic environment, reaching in a short time concentration as low as 10−22 μg/L or less in all emission scenarios. In addition, it was found that while volatile chlorine species may be relevant in some indoor scenarios, they have a negligible impact in open environmental conditions. Further, the role of hypochlorite pollution is assumed as negligible in soils. Industrial bleaching agents can also be sources of concern. For example, the use of elemental chlorine in the
bleaching of wood pulp Bleaching of wood pulp is the chemical process In a scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in ...
produces
organochlorine An organochloride, organochlorine compound, chlorocarbon, or chlorinated hydrocarbon is an organic compound containing at least one covalent bond, covalently bonded atom of chlorine. The chloroalkane class (alkanes with one or more hydrogens substi ...
s and
persistent organic pollutant Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), sometimes known as "forever chemicals", are organic compounds , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of ...
s, including
dioxin Dioxin may refer to: *1,2-Dioxin or 1,4-Dioxin, two unsaturated Heterocyclic#6-Membered rings, heterocyclic 6-membered rings where two carbon atoms have been replaced by oxygen atoms, giving the chemical formula#Molecular formula, molecular formul ...
s. According to an industry group, the use of
chlorine dioxide Chlorine dioxide is a chemical compound with the formula ClO2 that exists as yellowish-green gas above 11 °C, a reddish-brown liquid between 11 °C and −59 °C, and as bright orange crystals below −59 °C. It is an oxidizi ...

chlorine dioxide
in these processes has reduced the dioxin generation to under detectable levels. However, respiratory risk from chlorine and highly toxic chlorinated byproducts still exists. A recent European study indicated that sodium hypochlorite and organic chemicals (e.g.,
surfactant Surfactants are compounds that lower the (or interfacial tension) between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants may act as s, agents, , s, or s. The word "surfactant" is a of ''surface-active a ...

surfactant
s,
fragrance An aroma compound, also known as an odorant, aroma, fragrance or flavor, is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms fr ...

fragrance
s) contained in several household cleaning products can react to generate chlorinated
volatile organic compound Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are organic compound, organic chemicals that have a high vapour pressure at room temperature. High vapor pressure correlates with a low boiling point, which relates to the number of the sample's molecules in the sur ...
s (VOCs). These chlorinated compounds are emitted during cleaning applications, some of which are toxic and probable human
carcinogen A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide A radionuclide (radioactive nuclide, radioisotope or radioactive isotope) is a nuclide A nuclide (or nucleide, from atomic nucleus, nucleus, also known as nuclear species) is a class of atoms characte ...
s. The study showed that indoor air concentrations significantly increase (8–52 times for
chloroform Chloroform, or trichloromethane, is an organic compound with formula CH Cl3. It is a colorless, strong-smelling, dense liquid that is produced on a large scale as a precursor to PTFE Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropoly ...

chloroform
and 1–1170 times for
carbon tetrachloride Carbon tetrachloride, also known by many other names (such as tetrachloromethane, also recognised by the IUPAC, carbon tet in the cleaning industry Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and ...

carbon tetrachloride
, respectively, above baseline quantities in the household) during the use of bleach-containing products. The increase in chlorinated volatile organic compound concentrations was the lowest for plain bleach and the highest for the products in the form of "thick liquid and
gel A gel is a that can have properties ranging from soft and weak to hard and tough. Gels are defined as a substantially dilute ed system, which exhibits no flow when in the steady-state, although the liquid phase may still diffuse through this sy ...

gel
." The significant increases observed in indoor air concentrations of several chlorinated VOCs (especially carbon tetrachloride and chloroform) indicate that the bleach use may be a source that could be important in terms of inhalation exposure to these compounds. While the authors suggested that using these cleaning products may significantly increase the cancer risk, this conclusion appears to be hypothetical: :* The highest level cited for a concentration of carbon tetrachloride (seemingly of highest concern) is 459 micrograms per cubic meter, translating to 0.073 ppm (part per million), or 73 ppb (part per billion). The OSHA-allowable time-weighted average concentration over an eight-hour period is 10 ppm, almost 140 times higher; :* The OSHA highest allowable peak concentration (5-minute exposure for five minutes in a 4-hour period) is 200 ppm, twice as high as the reported highest peak level (from the headspace of a bottle of a sample of bleach plus detergent).


Disinfection

Sodium hypochlorite solution, 3–6%, (common household bleach) is typically diluted for safe use when disinfecting surfaces and when used to treat drinking water. A weak solution of 2% household bleach in warm water is typical for sanitizing smooth surfaces prior to the brewing of beer or wine. US Government regulations (21 CFR Part 178) allow food processing equipment and food contact surfaces to be sanitized with solutions containing bleach, provided that the solution is allowed to drain adequately before contact with food, and that the solutions do not exceed 200 parts per million (ppm) available chlorine (for example, one tablespoon of typical household bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite, per gallon of water). A 1-in-47 dilution of household bleach with water (1 part bleach to 47 parts water) is effective against many
bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typ ...

bacteria
and some
virus A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecu ...

virus
es in homes. Even "scientific-grade", commercially produced disinfection solutions such as Virocidin-X usually have sodium hypochlorite as their sole active ingredient, though they also contain
surfactants Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension Surface tension is the tendency of liquid surfaces to shrink into the minimum surface area possible. Surface tension is what allows heavier than water i.e., denser than water object ...
(to prevent beading) and fragrances (to conceal the bleach smell). See
Hypochlorous acid Hypochlorous acid (HOCl or HClO) is a weak acid An acid is a molecule or ion capable of donating a proton (hydrogen ion H+) (a Brønsted–Lowry acid–base theory, Brønsted–Lowry acid), or, alternatively, capable of forming a covalent bo ...
for a discussion of the mechanism for disinfectant action. An oral rinse with a 0.05% dilute solution of household bleach is shown to treat
gingivitis Gingivitis is a non-destructive disease that causes inflammation Inflammation (from la, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogen In biology Biology is the natural s ...

gingivitis
. Diluted sodium hypochlorite at a rate of 2000–1 (0.05% concentration) may represent an efficacious, safe and affordable antimicrobial agent in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease.


Color safe bleach

Color safe bleach is a chemical that uses hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient (to help remove stains) rather than sodium hypochlorite or chlorine. It also has chemicals in it that help brighten colors. Hydrogen peroxide is also used for sterilization purposes and water treatment, but its disinfectant capabilities may be limited due to the concentration in the colorsafe bleach solution as compared to other applications.


Health hazards

The safety of bleaches depends on the compounds present, and their concentration. Generally speaking, the ingestion of bleaches will cause damage to the
esophagus The esophagus (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American E ...

esophagus
and
stomach The stomach is a muscular, in the of humans and many other animals, including several s. The stomach has a dilated structure and functions as a vital organ. In the digestive system the stomach is involved in the second phase of digestion, ...

stomach
, possibly leading to death. On contact with the skin or eyes, it causes irritation, drying, and potentially burns. Inhalation of bleach fumes can damage the lungs.
Personal protective equipment Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabr ...
should always be used when using bleach. Bleach should never be mixed with vinegar or other acids as this will create highly toxic chlorine gas and can cause severe burns internally and externally. Mixing bleach with
ammonia Ammonia is a compound Compound may refer to: Architecture and built environments * Compound (enclosure), a cluster of buildings having a shared purpose, usually inside a fence or wall ** Compound (fortification), a version of the above fort ...

ammonia
similarly produces toxic
chloramine Chloramines refer to derivatives of ammonia Ammonia is a chemical compound, compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the chemical formula, formula NH3. A Binary compounds of hydrogen, stable binary hydride, and the simplest pnictogen hydride, amm ...

chloramine
gas, which can burn the lungs. Mixing bleach with
hydrogen peroxide Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by hav ...

hydrogen peroxide
results in an
exothermic In thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, entropy, and the physical properties of matter and radiation. The behavior of these qu ...

exothermic
chemical reaction that releases
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...

oxygen
, and may cause the contents to splatter and cause skin and eye injury. Heating bleach and boiling it may produce
chlorates The chlorate anion has the formula . In this case, the chlorine atom is in the +5 oxidation state. "Chlorate" can also refer to chemical compounds containing this anion; Chlorate#Compounds (salts), chlorates are the salt (chemistry), salts of chlo ...
, a strong oxidizer which may lead to a fire or explosion.


False claims as a cure

(MMS), also promoted as "Master Mineral Solution" or "Chlorine Dioxide Solution" or CDS, to evade restrictions by online retail platforms, is a bleach solution that has been fraudulently promoted as a cure-all since 2006. Its main active ingredient is sodium chlorite, which is "activated" with citric acid to form
chlorine dioxide Chlorine dioxide is a chemical compound with the formula ClO2 that exists as yellowish-green gas above 11 °C, a reddish-brown liquid between 11 °C and −59 °C, and as bright orange crystals below −59 °C. It is an oxidizi ...

chlorine dioxide
. In an attempt to evade health regulations, its inventor, former Scientologist, Jim Humble, formed the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, a fake religion whose "sacrament" is MMS. During the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from , , "all" and , , "local people" the 'crowd') is an of an that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple or worldwide, affecting a substantial numbe ...

COVID-19 pandemic
advocates of MMS, such as
QAnon QAnon () is an Radical right (United States), American far-right American political conspiracy theories, political conspiracy theory and Political movement, movement centered on false claims made by an anonymous individual or individuals, kn ...

QAnon
proponent Jordan Sather and Mark Grenon, who are affiliated with the Genesis II Church, began to suggest this would treat
COVID-19 Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease A contagious disease is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization o ...

COVID-19
. Several sources interpreted remarks by U.S.
President Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American media personality Celebrity is a condition of fame and broad public recognition of an individual or group, or occasionally a character or animal, as a result of the attention give ...
, in an April 23, 2020 briefing, as promoting this claim, leading the
CDC CDC may refer to: Organizations Government * Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous Unite ...
, scientists, and bleach companies to re-state that bleach is harmful to humans and should not be ingested or injected. MSN News quoted Professor Rob Chilcott, a
toxicology Toxicology is a scientific discipline Discipline is action ACTION is a bus operator in Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the Federation of Australia, federation of the colonies of Austral ...

toxicology
expert from the
University of Hertfordshire The University of Hertfordshire (UOH) is a public university in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. The university is based largely in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Its antecedent institution, Hatfield Technical College, was found ...

University of Hertfordshire
, that there is no scientific evidence that injected bleach or disinfectants will affect viral particles, but that injecting bleach would "likely result in significant, irreversible harm and probably a very unpleasant death."


See also

*
Calcium hypochlorite Calcium hypochlorite is an inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, ...

Calcium hypochlorite
*
Hydrogen peroxide Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by hav ...

Hydrogen peroxide
*
Tooth whitening Tooth whitening or tooth bleaching is the process of lightening the color of human teeth. Whitening is often desirable when teeth become yellowed over time for a number of reasons, and can be achieved by changing the intrinsic or extrinsic color o ...
*
Washing soda Washing is a method of cleaning Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an object or environment. Cleaning occurs in many different contexts, and uses many different m ...


References


Further reading

* Bodkins, Dr. Bailey. ''Bleach''. Philadelphia: Virginia Printing Press, 1995. * Trotman, E.R. ''Textile Scouring and Bleaching''. London: Charles Griffin & Co., 1968. .


External links


Bleach in
Britannica
Bleach (MSDS)
{{Authority control Disinfectants Dyes Household chemicals Laundry substances