Help I think I burned my lungs with bleach. What should I do?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pepper, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. pepper

    pepper New Member

    I am chemicaly sensitive but for some reason still LOVE the smell of bleach. That may change after today.

    I was doing my yearly cleaning of the tiles and grout around the bathtub and used a LOT of thick bleach. Way too much. I poured it on thick and heavy so that the amount of scrubbing I would have to do would be minimal.

    After a few minutes working in there, my eyes began to sting so I got out of there as quickly as I could. But my lungs or windpipe are very irritated.

    Did I do some damage? What should I do? Any ideas?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. pamj

    pamj New Member

    I so sorry to hear that! I don't know what you can do with the windpipe irratation except for good fresh air, but they say if vapors irritate your eyes - you should rinse them with water for 15 minutes. It would probably help to rinse your nose with some saline water too!

    I hope your breathing will feel better soon, if you have difficulty breathing, the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for bleach says you may need oxygen treatment.

    If you feel that you want to clean with bleach again, please remember to wear gloves, goggles & a respirator mask.

    take care,

  3. pepper

    pepper New Member

    I have been sitting outside a lot trying to get fresh air in my lungs. I will continue to do that. The house reeks of bleach so I actually hate coming back in. This is new for me since I always loved when the house smelled of bleach.

    Yes, I will have to take precautions from now on. This was really dumb of me.

    I am going to go get the saline nasal spray (from the bathroom! - I'll hold my breath) and try rinsing with it.

    Thanks a lot.
  4. charlenef

    charlenef New Member

    stay away from anything that has chemicals in it .my friend did the same thing th dr just told her to steer clear of anything that bothers you.
  5. pepper

    pepper New Member

    That would be a smart move - 1 capful in a pint of water. I guess that is what I will do from now on.

    I have always loved this thick bleach because it gets into all the grout spaces and sits there for awhile. It doesn't drip much so the grout and the tiles get sparkling clean without much help from me.

    However, there is obviously a problem with that now so I will definitely take your advice.

    Thank you.

  6. charlenef

    charlenef New Member

    just put it in a spay bottle , who wants to scrub does a good job then just use something mild like orange soft scrub chemicals bother me too they make me dizzy but soft scrub doesnt. dont mix the 2 though good luck charlene
  7. pepper

    pepper New Member


    I can't sit outside - there's a lawn company spraying the neighbour's property. That stuff always sends me inside.

  8. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Chlorine fumes can damage lung membranes. I think you should call your hospital or the poison control hotline.
  9. ilovecats94

    ilovecats94 New Member

    I'm so sorry, hon! I hope you will feel better. I have a cleaning woman and she uses glass cleaner to clean the tiles. We have sky lights and the sun keeps the tiles from mildew spots, etc.

    I hate the smell of bleach. I hate the smell of the stuff she cleans the toilet with, but I forgot to flush after she left and when I went in the bathroom tonight I could smell the fumes.

    Just to clean a spot up, I've been known to use water and a paper towel.

    Prior to FMS chemical odors didn't bother me much. I think the worse thing for me now is to go to the beauty salon and smell a perm going on. I can barely stand it.

    If you have an air cleaner run it. We have an air cleaner in the bedroom.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/04/2006]
  10. findmind

    findmind New Member

    OMG, what a thing to happen.

    You will be sensitized to many things now, probably.

    I think you should drink a lot of water, too, to increase blood volume, which may flush your lungs a bit, ok?

    Now always wear a mask, a good one, when you are around any chemicals,

    Let us know how you are, ok?
  11. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Well, a lot of time has passed since your incident.

    How are you doing?

    I drank bleach once, drove myself to the drug store and bought Milk of Magnesia and drank that. To keep the pain down, I had to keep drinking it.

    So guess what happened next!!

    I HATE the smell of bleach now.

  12. Smiffy

    Smiffy Member

    Poor you, you could try a drink of milk.

    Next time you could try cleaning the tiles with a paste of bicarb of soda with lemon juice or with white vinegar. Even better would be to invest in a steam cleaner.
  13. pepper

    pepper New Member

    I was feeling pretty sick (and worried) last night and didn't see all these replies. Thank you all for caring.

    LittleBlueStream, I guess it is too late now to call the poison control centre but that is exactly what I should have done. Maybe I will give them a call and see what they say I should do as a follow-up. I am feeling pretty stupid about it though and will be embarrassed.

    Faye, I have an air cleaner and should have used it yesterday! Never thought of it. The bleach smell is pretty well gone now but will probably come back when someone uses the shower. So I am going to put the air cleaner in there. What a good idea.

    I hate the smell of the cleaners my cleaning lady uses too. I have asked her to use baking soda and vinegar but she says that they don't clean well. I have also had to leave the hairdresser's if there is a perm going on!

    But bleach has always been one of my favourite smells for some strange reason. Not any more!

    Findmind, I feel better today but there is still something strange in my throat. Maybe it is psychosomatic because I am still concerned. I think I will swallow my pride and call poison control and see what they say.

    I always drink a lot of water but yesterday I must have drunk 20+ glasses. My body just needed it and I thought that it might be flushing things out. I sure hope so.

    Wendy, I have learned my lesson. A mask (I don't suppose those little paper masks would be good enough though, would they?) and eye protection. There is still some bleach clinging to the tiles I am sure. I will try getting rid of it with vinegar. Good idea. I didn't know that.

    June, you DRANK bleach?? And you are still around to tell us about it! Maybe just breathing it in hasn't caused permanent damage after all. I am okay, thank you for asking. But still have a funny feeling at that dent spot at the bottom of my throat. Maybe it is psychosomatic because I am still freaked out about this. I will call poison control and see what they say.

    And I hate the smell of bleach already!

    Smiffy, I was thinking of getting one of those steam cleaners. And after this incident maybe I will. Do they really work? My sister got one and returned it because she said that all it did was make a mess. Do you have one?

    Thank you all for your replies and concern.


  14. MsE

    MsE New Member

    I'm sorry you're hurting, but I must say I'm totally impressed that you were able to tackle such a heavy job and get it done. Straight bleach, however, is out!
  15. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    Please be careful about mixing bleach with other things. Mixing bleach with vinegar creates a deadly gas!
    Google bleach and vinegar and you'll find more details.

    A childhood friend mixed the 2 and her lungs have never been the same. (I've lost track of her, but last I heard she's alive, but her lungs are weak, she gets sick a lot)
  16. pepper

    pepper New Member

    MsE. I have a cleaning lady and don't do the regular cleaning around here, just spot stuff in between her bi-weekly visits. However, when I have the energy, I do tackle the jobs that she doesn't do. These big jobs don't get done often but I sure do love the satisfaction that comes from doing them. No more straight bleach though.

    Daisys, good grief! Thanks for the warning. I had no idea. What happened to your friend is truly scary!

    [This Message was Edited on 08/05/2006]
  17. Smiffy

    Smiffy Member

    I have a large Polti steam cleaner, & it's brilliant - including on the grouting between tiles. It only gets the surface dirt off carpets though, they still need shampooing from time to time. The mess is collected on cloths, which go in the washing machine.
  18. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Smiffy, I am going to buy one! Thank you for the idea.

    Donnaeil, I will check out Costco up here in Canada. I know that the Shopping Channel has them on from time time. I am going to check. And, believe me, there will be no next time!

    I am off to check the Shopping Channel web site.

  19. Its wierd How something you use to love the smell of you can't even tolerate anymore. I get so mad at people for wearing heavy perfumes cause I cant breath,Ruthie
  20. AbbeyMae

    AbbeyMae New Member

    I have MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities). I cannot use bleach or anything with bleach in it. I use oxyclean products in place of bleach.

    Approx. 3 and 1/2 years ago, I went to an Environmental Health Physician in Scottsdale, AZ. I believed in some of his belief's but not all.

    Some of his expertise that I agreed with him on was:
    One was the "state of the art" supplements he sold and endorsed. They were excipient free and the purest forms available.

    Another was his knowledge of Environmental Toxins. It was mandatory to read the book: TIRED OR TOXIC? A Blueprint For Health, by the author: SHERRY A. ROGERS, M.D.

    He treated many patients with MCS. His office was the most environmental friendly than to any office I had ever been to. Chlorine was a very common toxin to MCS patients. I, at the time would go into pain from my FMS, to Chlorine. I could not even go into a hot tub. But the bath water didn't seem to cause problems, but I sure could smell it.

    This one girl at his office that I met had a high allergic/sensitivity to chlorine. She got rid of any such products in her house. She had said the most complications she had was finding a dish washer detergent without chlorine.

    I had stayed a month in Scottsdale for his treatments. I believe that he was greedy. Being a Fibro PT., detox I.V.'s should have been done at a slower and more gentle approach. I walked into his office in the beginning but crawled out of his office at the end,(month later).

    One of his Medical Asst.'s told me that the fibro PT.'s have/had the worst time and more pain. Some of his PT.'s had even told me that fibro PT.s tend to leave.

    He expected me to get off my Pharmaceuticals in one week, [Percodan, Vicoprofen(not sure that they make it anymore, but it was 7.5 hydrocodone with Ibuprofen instead of acetaminophen), and lorazepam],Rx.'d from another Dr. And at the same time I was experiencing a HIGHER LEVEL OF PAIN from his aggressive I.V.'s, the allergan testing,(too many intradermals of allergens and preservative free antigen injections, this was done way too fast. 134 intradermal injections with preservative free allergens in each upper arm and about 20 intradermal injections of Pres. free allergens in forearm and a few, the few hormones in your body being tested on your back. Then everyday, maybe skipping a day or two, I received preservative free antigen shots in the deltoid muscles. All this was very painful. The reason for the Vicoprofen was according to Sherry Rogers, M.D., acetaminophen blocks the pathway for detoxing Pesticides. The impossible part of his plan--for me was stopping the pain meds when he was giving me more pain.

    I was staying in Scottsdale, and in the beginning I felt pretty good. So one day I decided to treat myself to acrylic nails. So I bought A blue mask at Home Depot and thought things would be ok. The girls,(manicurists), were wearing surgical masks. So as I preceded to have my nails done, my neck started to hurt pretty bad and other parts of my body muscles began to hurt too.

    I got my nail job done, but could not wait to get out of there. Later on, in my motel, I started having tremors/shakes. This was very scary. I had my nails done before but it had been 3 years. When I told the Doc about my reaction, he stated that no mask wouldn't fully work because of the fumes enter your body through your pores.

    By the way, I have a hard time cleaning the house because of fibro pain and cleaning products. The environmental friendly cleaning products don't seem to work as well especially with my wimpy muscle power.

    To top things off when that Dr.'s staff had done the allergy testing on me, I came up showing of be allergic to vinegar. I had used vinegar for 25 years and now I am allergic to it.

    Also I wanted to let you know chlorine bleach should never be mixed with ammonia. This can be fatal.

    Have you ever been tested for allergies with "preservative free" allergens. They can even test to see if you are allergic to certain chemicals, Your body's own fungus, and your own natural hormones? This is done by titration which is intradermal injections. They check them the following 3 days to see if you have a delayed reaction to an allergan.
    And they post in your medical records, your severity to allergen, and also how much of a delayed reaction.

    I am not saying this type of testing is bad but I would definitely find another Environmental Health Physician.

    Since you have MCS, I would not take the chlorine bleach lightly. Also watch out for any delayed reactions like fibro pain or others.

    Love and Hugs,