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When mixed, certain chemicals can become deadly

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Firm News

Toxic exposure is a serious hazard for many people, especially in certain workplace environments. But people often just think of exposure to one dangerous chemical or one toxic substance. For example, it’s very dangerous to be exposed to asbestos because this exposure can lead to cancer even 20 or 30 years down the line.

But it’s important to remember that even everyday chemicals can sometimes become very dangerous when mixed. Some chemicals are relatively toxic on their own, but they can become positively fatal when they are mixed together into a new solution. 

Bleach and ammonia

Perhaps the best example of this is two cleaning products: bleach and ammonia. Neither one is necessarily healthy on its own, but they are both considered to be safe for various cleaning purposes. People use them every day without worry. 

However, if these two chemicals are mixed, they create a new type of gas called chloramine gas. When someone breathes in this gas, they may experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain 
  • Coughing
  • Nausea 
  • Watering eyes 
  • Throat irritation

Left untreated, this can even turn into pneumonia, where fluid gets trapped in the person‘s lungs, or they could pass away from overexposure to chloramine gas. This sometimes happens to employees who don’t realize that cleaning products have been mixed in a closet, for example, or when they use both chemicals to clean the same workspace.

In other words, toxic substance exposure could happen to anyone, not just people who knowingly work around asbestos, radioactive substances or other toxic elements. It could even happen to people who believe they are using safe, common products. Those who have suffered serious harm or lost a loved one must be aware of all their legal options.