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Household Chemicals Pose Risks

Reported by: Send eMail Katy Brown
Reported: Jul. 9, 2014 11:07 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 9, 2014 11:41 PM EDT
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Chemical Risks
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Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

Ammonia and bleach are two common household cleaning items that can double as a deadly mix.

"Just breathing in the ammonia with nothing else mixed in it, I felt it the rest the day," Rena Clark with maid to Perfection said.

Maid to Perfection is a cleaning company used to dealing products every day. But for this business, ammonia and bleach are never used.

"Bleach and ammonia are so very caustic. It's bad for your health to inhale it. It can damage your clothing. It can damage things in the clients home if we should accidentally spill it. If it's not properly labeled and someone gets ahold of it they could get hurt so you know, we don't just use it all," Clark said.

On Wednesday, the dangers became a reality for two sanitation workers in Huntington

Ammonia and bleach had been mixed in with a household's trash creating a dangerous gas and causing the workers to pass out.

According to the West Virginia Poison Center it's an accidental mix that is fairly common.

"In 2013, we did receive about 75 calls with mixtures of chlorines and acids and ammonias, and bleach, so we do get a large number of calls a year from that," Carissa McBurney, from the WV Poison Center, said.

Luckily, the Huntington workers were OK, but it serves as a wakeup call for anyone dealing with ordinary household products.

"Poisoning can happen in any place and any time. Poisonings can be all around you. But just as a main safety thought, just don't mix products ever," McBurney said.

If you ever have any questions regarding chemicals in your home, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.



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