From my research, I would like to recommend vinegar instead of household bleach to all consumers. I believe vinegar is the better disinfectant because it isn’t as dangerous as bleach for the environment and human health. The active ingredient for vinegar is also less than that of bleach, being only 5%. This means vinegar is less harsh than bleach which active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite that has a concentration of 5.25%. Vinegar is also known to be biodegradable and does not contain any harmful toxins, meaning it may be poured down the drain. Although bleach is more powerful when killing bacteria, vinegar’s potency can be enhanced if safely combined with a small amount of bleach. Also, bleach is known to be caustic, which is dangerous if a splash or spill occurs. In addition, it would be dangerous if a child were to obtain bleach due to bleach’s toxic nature, however vinegar wouldn’t pose such a threat. This fact makes it more desirable by parents and those who often have children stay in their homes. Furthermore, bleach is a toxic pollutant, damaging water bodies,  soil, the air we breath and can cause sterility, cancer and mutations in some species (including humans). In conclusion, vinegar is the recommended disinfectant because of its efficiency and its environmentally friendly aspect.

Vinegar is the Better Disinfectant

As explained below, vinegar is an environmentally safe cleaner which makes it desirable by consumers. It’s known to be an effective cleaning agent because of its ability to kill bacteria in the home. It’s also an effective rinse for fruits and vegetables. Like bleach, it kills bacteria by chemically deforming the proteins and fat within the microbe, killing the cell. According to a study done in 2000 by the University of North Carolina, vinegar is 90% effective at killing bacteria. Additionally, its disinfecting power can be enhanced if properly combined with a household bleach.

Vinegar is overall environmentally safe however as an acid, it can damage plants and/or reduce their rate of growth. This commonly used cleaner is biodegradable and does not contain any harmful toxins. It can also be poured down the kitchen sink without any negative effects. In addition, it is capable of removing certain major pollutants from the air.

If vinegar were to enter the bloodstream, it may cause problems in the digestive tract, but other than that it’s human friendly :)

The properties of bleach make it a versatile cleaner. It is commonly used to remove stains and whiten clothing. It is also used to clean a wide range of household items and surfaces. The active ingredient (NaClO) makes bleach very effective against hazardous bacteria including waterborne organisms. Bleach is able to do this by forming clusters of proteins in the microbe (unicellular organism), killing the cell.

One could argue that bleach is a major pollutant and danger to the environment based on its destructive properties. When dumped into water bodies, it becomes a very harmful pollutant. This is because it poisons aquatic life and lingers in water for a long time while taking years to disappear. This aspect allows bleach to be considered a “persistent organic pollutant”. Also, factories that rely on chlorine bleach emit toxins into the air. The World Wildlife Fund warns that chlorine by-products can lead to sterility, mutations and the possibility of the extinction of a species. As a result, bleach’s environmental impact makes it less desirable by environmentalists and consumers alike.

Does household bleach pose a threat to us? Yes, if swallowed bleach poisoning causes severe symptoms such as vomiting, burnt esophagus, pain in the throat and more. Inhaling fumes of bleach is also very dangerous, especially if mixed with ammonia which creates a potentially lethal combination. Also, other toxic fumes are formed when mixed with vinegar. According to Chec’s HealtheHouse, traces of cleaning product chemicals can be found in the organs of your body after the first 26 seconds of exposure. The Clean Water Fund and Physicians for Social Responsibility claim these chemicals can exist in your body indefinitely.

In addition, bleach may react violently with another substance and splash which might cause chemical burns due to its caustic nature. Therefore, it is vital to handle bleach with care as it may be harmful to the unwary.

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