My husband, who loves bleach, sent me your video the other day because I think bleach is bad for the environment. I listened to it and thought, “Wow, I must have been wrong all this time. Bleach isn’t bad for the environment; it is just salt.” But, having been raised to trust but verify, I did further research. This is what I found:
Making and transporting chlorine, which is toxic, are both dangerous processes. Greenpeace reports that despite tight controls, organochlorines are occasionally produced during chlorine manufacture, and Clorox, which buys the chlorine to make its bleach, readily admits that a serious transport accident in the late 1970s caused a total overhaul of its handling systems. [I am glad the transportation system was overhauled, but the company is buying chlorine, which undermines your video.]
Bleach itself breaks down mainly into salt, oxygen and water when it is released into the environment, but small amounts of AOX, or “adsorbable organic halides,” are also released. They are known to be toxic to shellfish and other marine and aquatic organisms. The Nordic Ministers Conference, made up of environmental ministers from Norway, Sweden and other Nordic countries, lists bleach as one of a number of substances considered dangerous to the environment. Scorecard, the hazards ranking system developed by Environmental Defense in the U.S., ranks bleach as a high risk environmentally and a slight to moderate risk in the workplace.
Ordinary table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) is half chlorine, and a simple electrochemical reaction with salt water produces chlorine gas easily. That same reaction produces sodium hydroxide (NaOH), and by mixing chlorine gas with sodium hydroxide you create sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). When you buy a gallon of bleach at the grocery store, what you are buying is the chemical sodium hypochlorite mixed with water in a 5.25-percent solution.
I find this information undermines your arguments that bleach is safe for the environment and thus consider your video and ad campaign misleading.
Thanks for your inquiry and I’m glad your husband loves bleach. I admire your research but am a little confused about the way parts of it have been interpreted or are incomplete.
Let’s try and address each one:
So I don’t think that I have been misleading in the videos or blog material. I’m proud of the science behind Clorox® Regular-Bleach₂ with CLOROMAX®, and feel that it provides the consumer with the most cost-effective cleaning and disinfectant product on the market while doing so safely and without damaging the environment.