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Dr. R. Bora
Dr. R. Bora, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5233
Experience:  14 years experience in the emergency room.
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I am worrying about my son's exposure to some harsh

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Hi,
I am worrying about my son's exposure to some harsh chemicals.
On Saturday, some cleaner come to do a deep cleaning of the house. When they were cleaning the bathroom, my 3-year-old son wanted to wee-wee. When we were in the bathroom, the cleaner had just sprayed the bathroom with a strong bleach (I later find out it to be Dettol mould and mildew remover, which contains Sodium Hypochlorite 2.59g per 100g). And I think she sprayed the toilet bowl as well because of the smell. The bathroom (actually only a loo) is very tiny with poor ventilation. The smell there is very strong. And, as the bathroom had just been sprayed, and the cleaner was spraying the wash basin when we were there, I am worrying my son may inhaled some mist of the spray in addition to the fumes.
To make things worse, my son peed in the toilet which still had the bleach. The smell is too strong, and I had to hold my breath. I later remembered the mix of bleach and ammonia would liberate toxic gas (chlorine/chloramine?), and urine contains ammonia!
Although my son seemed fine after that, I cannot stop worrying about the adverse effect on him, especially on his nervous system and brain, as I have read inhalation of bleach and chlorine gas may have effects on nervous systems, and affect neurobehavior in long-term (Dr. Doris Rapp's handwriting experiment, K.H. Kilburn's paper 'Brain But Not Lung Functions Impaired after a Chlorine Incident' ).
Now in my high anxiety, I lost my judgement how bad this exposure is, and what kind of harm would have been done to my son. Need your kind advice. Thank you.
Hello and welcome, I am happy to help you today.

Does he have eye redness, shortness of breath?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dr. Bora,

No, he seemed fine and didn't complain anything. But he is only 3, maybe too young to complain? Because I was helping him using the toilet, the smell irritated my nose, and stayed in my nose for a few hours. Since he is smaller, and more closer to the toilet, he may be irritated as well, but he didn't complain anything.

Well, if your son had been exposed too much to the toxic fumes of the bleach at a dangerous level, he would have cried immediately. If he did not complain, it means his health is fine and that luckily he did not get affected by the toxic gases.

You can however, wash his skin with plenty of water for 15 to 30 minutes continuously to wash away any powder that is stuck to his skin or eyes .

He would have had symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath etc after inhaling the toxic gases had it irritated his lungs. The good thing is that the symptoms are immediate rather than delayed, so I ma sure he is good and you do not need to take him to the ER or your GP.
However, some signs that you should watch out for are listed in this article.

I hope my answer has helped you.

Please remember to rate my service positive once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

If you have any further question, I would be happy to help you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Dr. Bora,

Thank you for your answer. This happened 3 days ago, I didn't wash his skin and eyes at that time. But he has been fine without the symptoms listed. Does it mean he has not been harmed at all from this exposure?

Really, how serious is this exposure? Could this exposure have some adverse effects on his brain? (from the article I read, I am very concerned about this).

Thank you.

Hello JA customer.

A single or short term exposure does not have any long term effects on the brain of children. Adverse effects on the brain with chronic exposure lasting for a few days can happen only when swallowed rather than inhaled to have symptoms of ill health.

So, be assured that your little one is just fine.

I hope my answer has helped you.


Please remember to rate my service positive once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. So this exposure is insignificant, and has not done any harm to him, especially not to his brain, right?

you are right.

Please remember to rate my service positive once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!
Dr. R. Bora and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you.

Hope that you are more careful the next time you call up the cleaner!

For new or follow up questions, please request me as "Dr. Bora only " in the opening statement of the question.

Have a great day!