Household bleach kills feline viruses but there is a link between bleach and infections in children

Sodium hypochlorite - bleach best for feline virus deactivation
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Sodium hypochlorite – for feline viruses

I am just flagging this up, no more no less. A recent study published online in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine looked at 9000 children aged between six and twelve in Spain, Finland and the Netherlands. It is important to recognise that the study relied upon self reporting of the use of bleach and of illness. Therefore it may not be that accurate.

However, children from homes where bleach is used are more likely to have infections such as flu or tonsillitis, according to the study.

Bleach is the most effective way to kill feline viruses and therefore it is possible that a lot of cat owners use bleach to wipe down countertops or wash carriers and cages, litter trays et cetera.

Therefore, it may be of use to know about this study. The risk of a child having had one episode of flu in the previous year was 20% higher and recurring tonsillitis was 35% higher in homes where bleach was used. How can bleach increase the chances of a child getting a viral infection?

The researchers suggested that “the irritant properties of volatile or airborne compounds generated during the cleaning process may damage the lining of lung cells.”

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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3 Responses

  1. Geri says:

    Vinegar and water works just as well and does not poison the environment. I have used this for years. It also repels/kills fleas when used as a floor wash or in the laundry. Do not put it on the cats unless diluted to kill ring worm. Peroxide works well as cleaner and to kill ringworm. They are both good fungicides.

  2. Sandra Murphey, No. CA, USA says:

    It’s interesting to see this post, following the one on Grapefruit Seed Extract. There are many references to using it instead of bleach.

    Grapefruit Seed Extract, according to
    published sources, is effective against
    more than 800 bacterial and viral organisms,
    100 strains of fungus, and a large number
    of single-cell and multi-celled parasites.

    I’m switching over!

    • Good point Sandy. I like that one. I have stopped using bleach type sprays for the moment to see if my health picks up because I have had a bad winter health-wise and I use a disinfectant spray for the kitchen counter top because I feed Gabriel there at the moment.

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