Can breathing in cleaning chemicals make you sick?

VOCs are chemicals that vaporize at room temperature. Even natural fragrances, such as those from citrus fruits, can react and produce hazardous indoor pollutants. VOCs and other chemicals released when cleaning products are used contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and headaches. When cleaning, take care to keep cleaning products separate.

When mixed, the contents of certain cleaning products can cause dangerous chemical reactions, such as the combination of ammonia and bleach. Mixing them produces toxic vapors that, when inhaled, cause coughing, difficulty breathing, and irritation of the throat, eyes, and nose. Avoid product categories that are reported to cause respiratory irritation, such as certain air fresheners, fabric softeners, and caustic cleaners for drains and ovens. Researchers say the chemicals in household cleaning products can damage the lungs just as much as smoking cigarettes.

For the average person who cleans the house, a good first step would be to reduce the amount of chemicals they use when cleaning. For example, cleaning surfaces with warm water and a microfiber cloth usually cleans as well as spraying the surface with a cleaning product, but no chemicals are used. Living in a clean house can be good for your health, but in reality, cleaning the house for that condition can be harmful to your health.

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