Skip to Main Content
Ontario Poison Centre


child accessing cabinet


Household bleach contains a chemical called sodium hypochlorite, usually in concentrations <10%.

Bleach is irritating to the skin, mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract. Important to note: When bleach is mixed with acid (ex/ vinegar, toilet bowl cleaners) it creates chlorine gas. When bleach is mixed with an ammonia product, it creates chloramine gas. Both of these gases are very irritating to inhale and can cause coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and headache. If this occurs, ventilate the area (i.e. open a window) and move to fresh air. Call the Poison Centre right away for treatment advice.

Poisoning Risk

Low in small, unintentional exposures.

Expected Symptoms

  • Small, unintentional ingestions (ex/ 1-2 mouthfuls) can cause mouth/throat irritation, upset stomach (discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).
  • Larger amounts, or more concentrated products can cause burns and poisoning.

Home Treatment

  • Provide sips of water to drink for dilution.
  • For eye exposures, rinse eyes for at least 15 minutes with lukewarm water.
  • For inhalation exposures, open windows to ventilate space and go outside for fresh air.
  • Call the Poison Centre for further advice.
  • If you or someone else is having difficulty breathing despite getting fresh air, call 911.


  • This product should be locked up and out of sight with all of your other household hazards.
  • Always keep this product in its original container.
  • Every case is different. OPC is available 24hrs/day to provide information for your individual situation. Call 1-800-268-9017 (Toll-free) or 416-813-5900 (Local).



Back to Top