Chlorine bleach is basically found in every household and it is commonly used in disinfection. It is also applied on clothes to remove stains and keep the white clothing bright. Still, this substance is highly toxic and may cause serious damage to the body if it is accidentally ingested.
Accidental bleach poisoning is typical for children in case the substance is at their reach. Bleach is a hazardous chemical compound and its ingestion causes a variety of symptoms and signs and serious damage to internal organs. Even prolonged unprotected contact of bleach and skin may cause damage to the skin.
Symptoms of Bleach Poisoning
The symptoms of bleach poisoning develop right after or a few hours after ingestion of this harmful substance. This basically depends on the amount of ingested bleach. Swallowing of large amount of bleach is accompanied by immediate symptoms and signs.
Once bleach has come in contact with body tissues it causes their irritation. Irritation of the tongue may result in slurred speech and excessive drooling. After is has entered the throat it commonly leads to its irritation. The irritation is so intensive that a person experiences burning sensation in the throat and the very pain even becomes more intensive in time. Furthermore, ingestion of this toxic substance leads to breathing difficulties. This particularly occurs if one vomits and accidentally aspirates the stomach content. Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting also occur due to bleach poisoning. And finally, one more gastrointestinal symptom of bleach poisoning is diarrhea.
Apart from the previously mentioned symptoms acute bleach poisoning causes a sharp drop in blood pressure. In severe cases of poisoning one loses his/ her mental alertness and eventually slips into a coma.
Direct contact of bleach and the eyes leads to eye irritation, redness and burning sensation. The eyes may get seriously damaged. And finally, frequent contact of the skin and bleach eventually results in skin rash. The affected skin is typically red and covered with blisters.
Treatment for Bleach Poisoning
Only if one has swallowed small amounts of this substance the body will promptly react by vomiting and the damage will be reduced to minimum. In more serious cases patients must be transferred directly to the hospital. If the bleach has entered the eyes they are supposed to be flushed frequently with cold water until the medical help arrives.
In order to prevent accidental poisoning people manipulating bleach must be familiar with all its harmful effects and protect themselves accordingly. And finally, all the products containing bleach must be held away from children's reach.