How do I deal with my anti-chemical ideas and a pro-bleach-and-other-nasties grandma? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-25-2007, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
I am killing myself laughing - you seriously think that a 50 pound child drinking a mouthful of wine is going to need more medical attention than one drinking a mouthful of chlorox, or borax?????
Since we were discussing cleaning products and the like, I had in mind rubbing alcohol (typically 70% ethyl or isopropyl) rather than wine!

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Borax with a LETHAL DOSE of less than 5 grams?
I'd say that's a low estimate considering RTECS data: http://www.skcgulfcoast.com/nioshdbs/rtecs/vz22b6b8.htm

But as a powder, it'd be less likely to be ingested accidentally in significant amounts than would a liquid like rubbing alcohol or bleach. Accidents wherein children mistake such a material for a beverage are far more common than those where they accidentally swallow powders, unless you repackage them in the sugar bowl or the like. Powders are less likely to be swallowed than liquids after they enter the mouth.

Between rubbing alcohol, even ethyl (it's no contest for isopropyl), and bleach solution, I'd take the bleach for accidental swallowing or eye contact. Swallowed bleach's main effects would be on the esophagus and on hemoglobin, but only slowly on the hemoglobin. Vomiting is likely, and because bleach isn't very alkaline, after hitting the stomach it's not likely to cause much damage on the way out thru the esophagus, so vomiting is welcome. Not so with alcohol, because it is likely to produce unconsciousness, and then vomiting will likely lead to aspiration, making the situation worse. A child who accidentally swallowed bleach is likely to come running and screaming, while the one who swallowed that much alcohol is silently passing out without your knowing it -- because if you were close by, the accident would've been very unlikely.

I was on the safety committee at work and was asked to evaluate poisoning scenarios, so sorry if I got a little macabre here.

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Old 07-25-2007, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Rikki Jean View Post
Robert, since I started this thread, I didn't want to completely ignore your original question.
Thanks, but my original question wasn't directed at your situation, but at some of the follow-ups. I was asking why someone who doesn't have your sensitivity to the vapor and didn't face a situation of excess such as you did would have an objection to hypochlorite bleach.

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Old 07-25-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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So why then are you saying that bleach is safe?
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:51 PM
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So why then are you saying that bleach is safe?
I'm saying, given what I know about it, why do people say it's unsafe?
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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I don't use bleach in my house at all. I stopped what little use I did make of it while I was pregnant and decided to keep my house bleach-free after that.

FWIW, according to this site there is little research on household cleaners and pregnancy. Also according to this site (take it for what it's worth, again), there was a study done that found a correlation between use of strong household chemicals during pregnancy and childhood asthma.

http://www.pregnancy-info.net/risk_f...esticides.html

Also according to natural house maven Annie Berthold-Bond, sodium hypochlorite bonds with other chemicals in the wastewater stream to form organochlorines that may cause cancer and endocrine disruption. (from Better Basics for the Home, page 85). Please know that I'm not a chemist. I fully acknowledge and appreciate that we've, as a society, really benefitted from what chemistry has accomplished. I also think that we've given science and industry the unfettered benefit of the doubt for too long, and our ecosystems (including ourselves) are suffering for it. But I guess that's quite a bit OT.

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:06 AM
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[QUOTE=staceychev;8736321]FWIW, according to this site there is little research on household cleaners and pregnancy. Also according to this site (take it for what it's worth, again), there was a study done that found a correlation between use of strong household chemicals during pregnancy and childhood asthma.

http://www.pregnancy-info.net/risk_f...esticides.html

But that page doesn't say anything specific about bleach. It just lists bleach among a number of very different substances in a bulleted list at the bottom as "cleaners that you may want to avoid or at least approach with caution", without saying why.

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Also according to natural house maven Annie Berthold-Bond, sodium hypochlorite bonds with other chemicals in the wastewater stream to form organochlorines that may cause cancer and endocrine disruption. (from Better Basics for the Home, page 85). Please know that I'm not a chemist.
OK, please note that I am, but I'll try to keep it simple. I scarcely think that the household use of bleach contributes significantly to any chlorine adduct problem, in that it's such a small volume and scattered use of the material compared to the vastly greater use of chlorinating agents in other applications, particularly pulp bleaching and water treatment. If you don't have your own well and septic tank, chances are that your water comes into your home chlorinated, and after going thru sewage treatment is chlorinated again before discharge, although I understand from someone in this thread that that practice is not universal.

Not only that, but it's not as if you could eliminate hypochlorite from your body or that of other living things. Human white blood cells and fungi produce hypochlorite to use as their own antibacterial agent.

Reminds me of how the demand of the state of Massachusetts to reduce medical formaldehyde discharge to 1 part per million looked when I found out human blood has about 3 parts per million formaldehyde.

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