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Sodium Hypochlorite
Beyond Pesticides Rating: Toxic

Sodium hypochlorite (CloroxTM) is used as a bleaching product, water purifier, disinfectant, germicide and fungicide. California’s Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program reports that sodium hypochlorite is the leading pesticide linked to occupation-related chemical illnesses in Californian (Mehler). 


Sodium hypochlorite is mutagenic. Effects of exposure include: severe irritation to the nose, throat and lungs, causing coughing, shortness of breath, chills, muscle aches, head aches, and fever. High exposure can cause nausea, salivation, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, chest pains, cough, pulmonary edema, and possible death. It can also lead to severe eye irritation and burning sensation, possible blindness, and severe skin irritation and chemical burns (HSRG 1997). 


Hazardous Substances Resource Guide (HSRG). 1997. 2nd ed. Gale Publishing. Detroit, MI. 

Mehler, L. California Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program. California Environmental Protection Agency.