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Re: Addition: Chlorine Bleach (and Peroxide)

  • Subject: Re: Addition: Chlorine Bleach (and Peroxide)
  • From: Mpclarkeyz@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 13:51:56 -0600 (CST)

Hi all

I hope you do not mind my chipping in, Marge is the member of this mailing list but I was the chemical engineer and worked for a company that made lots of sodium and calcium hypochlorites.

Ted covered it pretty well but I have a couple of nit-picks.

You do not get appreciably better biocidal action from chlorine than from hypochlorite.  When chlorine dissolves in water it makes hypochlorite ion which does the killing.  SO DO NOT ACIDIFY BLEACH SOLUTIONS!!!!  As Ted says, it can kill you.

The excess alkalinity in bleach solutions is caustic soda (NaOH), added to improve the shelf life.  Without it shelf life would be days, not months.  I'm not sure which is worse on your hands--hypochlorite or caustic.  Be smart, wear rubber gloves.

And one final, really nit picky, comment.  The stink of bleach that remains on your hands if you don't wear rubber gloves is not chlorine, it is a mixture of chlorine oxides, and sometimes chloramines from the bleach attacking proteins.  Since none of these are nice compounds, be smart, wear rubber gloves.

Mac Clarke

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