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Can using undiluted bleach for cleaning my hand affect my baby?

Mar 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 5607 Questions
Hi, I have an anxiety disorder where over a period of 18 months I used undiluted bleach on my hands (max of 10 seconds before washing off) to feel 'clean'. This would have been quite regularly, 3-5 times a week. My question is, can this cause long term effects (ie, build up in your body)? Or, more importantly, can this affect a baby if I am pregnant (I have not touched bleach in my pregnancy). I am nearly 5 weeks pregnant and have not been bleaching my hands during that time.
Posted Wed, 22 Jan 2014 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 30 minutes later
Brief Answer: NO RISK TO THE BABY. Detailed Answer: Hello Using bleach this way just to clean your hands, just for a few seconds, would not lead to any build up in the body. As you have been abstaining from the habit during pregnancy, please feel safe and do not worry. Even during pregnancy, it is alright to use bleach, provided you wear gloves. From the exposure you have had so far, there is no risk whatsoever. All the best. Please feel free to discuss further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can using undiluted bleach for cleaning my hand affect my baby? 2 minutes later
Thanks for the prompt reply. Just to confirm. Even if I had put Undiluted bleach (not watered down at all) over my hands every day for 18 months, stopping only the month before pregnancy, would this still not cause harm to the baby? I can't help but feel this niggling worry that I have damaged the baby from my past stupidity.. FYI I am avoiding bleach altogether now.
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 44 minutes later
Brief Answer: NO HARM TO BABY. Detailed Answer: No, from the hands there is hardly any systemic absorption. It would not harm your baby.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can using undiluted bleach for cleaning my hand affect my baby? 4 minutes later
Thank you, if possible, without being rude, can I have another (American) doctors (preferably Dr. XXXXXXX N. Grief or Dr. XXXXXXX G Moser Family Physician) opinion on this to lay my mind at ease and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy. Thank you so much
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 3 minutes later
Brief Answer: DETAILED BELOW Detailed Answer: That is just not rude at all. I can understand your concern and anxiety. Please post the query once again, and specially mention that you want an American physician to answer this . You can address a direct question to the doctor concerned also. Wish you a very pleasant pregnancy.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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