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Bleach is a chemical that is diluted and sold for household use. It is a mixture of water and the chemical sodium hypochlorite. For uses in the home and many workplaces, it is usually sold with concentrations of sodium hypochlorite present at a range from about 3 to 9 percent.
Note that industrial uses can use concentrations of sodium hypochlorite at 30% or higher. This document does not cover safe use and handling of bleach at high concentrations.
Bleach is corrosive, which means it can irritate or burn your skin or eyes. It can also corrode (“eat”) metals. When mixed with certain other chemicals or cleaners, it can produce toxic gases which can damage your lungs or be deadly. Always use caution and care when working with this product.
Bleach can disinfect which means it is effective at killing most bacteria, fungus and viruses. It is also used to whiten fabric and other items.
When providing first aid or when helping another person, be careful not to come into contact with the bleach yourself. Use protective clothing when necessary.
Individuals with a compromised respiratory system (e.g., those who suffer from asthma, allergies, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)) may react to even small amounts in the air. Serious discomfort or distress may need medical assistance.