Sodium hypochlorite is a commonly used disinfectant and sanitization agent. The U.K. government has recently updated safety information relating to use of the chemical.
Key points from the review are:
- sodium hypochlorite is a green/yellow liquid with the characteristic smell of chlorine
- it is a major ingredient in household bleach (present at up to 10%)
- it is also used as a disinfectant for swimming pools, can be used to disinfect drinking water, in some medical treatments and in the manufacture of paper and pulp
- accidental skin or eye exposures to sodium hypochlorite in domestic products are common
- children may be exposed to sodium hypochlorite in bleach following accidental ingestion
- mixing sodium hypochlorite bleach with other cleaning products may produce dangerous gases ingestion of small amounts of household bleach is unlikely to cause any serious or long term health effects
- ingesting large amounts of household bleach or any amount of industrial strength bleach is more likely to cause serious health effects
Further information can be found here.