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    Sodium Hypochlorite

    Sodium Hypochlorite

    What is it?

    Sodium hypochlorite is a clear, slightly yellowish solution with a characteristic odor. Sodium hypochlorite has a relative density of is 1,1 (5,5% watery solution). As a bleaching agent for domestic use it usually contains 5% sodium hypochlorite (with a pH of around 11, it is irritating). If it is more concentrated, it contains a concentration 10-15% sodium hypochlorite (with a pH of around 13, it burns and is corrosive). 

    Sodium hypochlorite is unstable. Chlorine evaporates at a rate of 0,75 gram active chlorine per day from the solution. Then heated sodium hypochlorite disintegrates. This also happens when sodium hypochlorite comes in contact with acids, sunlight, certain metals and poisonous and corrosive gasses, including chlorine gas. Sodium hypochlorite is a strong oxidator and reacts with flammable compounds and reductors. Sodium hypochlorite solution is a weak base that is inflammable.

    Key Information

    • Route(s) of exposure: The substance can be absorbed into the body by inhalation of its aerosol and by ingestion.
    • No indication can be given about the rate at which a harmful concentration of this substance in the air is reached on evaporation at 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Effects of short-term exposure: The substance is irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract.
    • Effects of long-term or repeated exposure: Repeated or prolonged contact may cause skin sensitization.

    More Information

    Fact Sheet:

    Sodium Hypochlorite received a 3 out of 4 on the severity of health hazards.

    The following are the acute effects of Sodium Hypochlorite exposure:

    • Contact can severely burn and irritate the skin causing blisters or a rash.
    • Sodium Hypochlorite can irritate and burn the eyes with possible eye damage.
    • Inhaling Sodium Hypochlorite can irritate the nose and throat.
    • Inhaling Sodium Hypochlorite can irritate the lungs causing coughing and/or shortness of breath. Higher exposures may cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), a medical emergency, with severe shortness of breath.
    • Exposure to Sodium Hypochlorite can cause headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.”


    This ingredient is commonly used in: