Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach)

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain bleach.

Most commonly known as a household bleach as a cleaner, the very same bleach is also used in beauty creams, hair dyes and many other products. CAS No: CAS No: 7681-52-9

Other Names: sodium hypochlorite; sodium chloride oxide; sodium oxychloride; Antiformin; Chlorox.

Hypersenstivity to sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl); "the most commonly used irrigant in endodontics, is known to produce allergic reactions. This fact, however, is rarely mentioned in endodontic texts. In the current study a case is presented in which hypersensitivity to household bleach was proven with skin patch tests." -

  • For treatment of eczema, some experts recommend using bleach diluted in a bath. But they warn that it will dry the skin and can cause further irritation to sensitive skin: "An eczema bleach bath can kill bacteria on the skin, reducing itching, redness and scaling."



When you buy a bottle of bleach, what you are buying is sodium hypochlorite mixed with water in a 5.25-percent solution. Bleach is a chemical used in domestic and commercial cleaning products as well as cosmetics. It is used to whiten clothes and remove stains, lighten hair and clean tiled surfaces, sinks, baths, kitchens, floors and more.It is used as an odour blocker, in paints, lacquers and varnishes.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMMONIA & BLEACH: "Ammonia is known as a weak base, while bleach is said to be a strong oxidizing agent. ... Bleach is made from water, caustic soda and chlorine. In disinfectant quality, bleach is considered to be a stronger disinfectant than ammonia. Ammonia is better on hard surfaces than bleach." -


Cleaning Products

What are common sources of irritant contact dermatitis?

Cleveland Clinic says that "Detergents, soaps, cleaners, waxes, and chemicals are substances that can irritate the skin. They can wear down the oily, protective layer on skin surface and lead to irritant contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is common among people who regularly work with strong chemicals or detergents, such as restaurant, maintenance, and chemical workers. It is also seen in people who do a lot of housework due to contact with cleaning products." - Contact Dermititis

Health Line says, "Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type of contact dermatitis. It happens when the skin comes in contact with a toxic material. Toxic substances that can cause irritant contact dermatitis include: battery acid, bleach, drain cleaners, kerosene, detergents and pepper spray. Irritant contact dermatitis can also occur when the skin comes in contact with less irritating materials — like soap or even water — too often." - Contact Dermititis Casues

SCA endorses products that are made from Biodegradable Surfactants are used accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4351

Ideally cleaning products should: Not contain hazardous chemicals; Use only biodegradable surfactants; Contain No or low levels of phosphates; Low Sodium = Septic Safe; Contain no or low level use of fillers; Be 100% Soluble in water; Have low environmental impact packaging. Domestic home cleaning agents should exclude and/or restrict all chemicals that form the Allergy Certified Campaign (as detailed above and below).

Amina Kitching