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Dizziness, shivering hands, weakness on taking bleach smell. Chances of permanent damage?

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Practicing since : 1976
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Hello, somebody at work was pouring lots of bleach for more than a year probably year and a half "until i found out this week and it stopped", in a manhole that is in front of the place where i work as a Doorman. that bleach was getting mixed with other detergents that they use to clean the sidewalk. One month ago after work i took a cab home, i started feeling very dizzy and light headed i took a shower went to bed woke up feeling very dizzy and my hands started getting cold, i called an ambulance i went to the emergency room they plugged some things on my chest, my heart rate was fine and everything else seemed to be fine except that y still felt dizzy. took an appointment with primary care doctor 10 days after and he couldn't find out what was going on, still they took blood samples and everything seem fine. Then in the next days i am getting a cab standing on top of the manhole and i started feeling weak and light headed again and i find out just by coincidence that this guy is pouring lots of bleach in that manhole. My doorman partner has been having respiratory problems and also was feeling weak for more than a year and his doctor couldn't tell why. Yesterday i told him why this was happening to us, still i don't feel a 100% good i feel a little light headed, headache and little weak, tomorrow i am going to take an appointment with the doctor to tell him what was going on. Can you help me telling me what to do to feel better? and if it could have done permanent damage?
Posted Tue, 21 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Rajiv K Khandelwal 6 hours later

Thank you for your query.

I can understand your concern. However I do not think that the bleach is the substance that is causing you feel light headed, headaches and weakness. Bleach is commonly used in washing and has a strong smell which you would not have missed. Secondly, if it was excessive then it would have affected more persons in the neighbourhood other than you and your doorman partner.

You are doing the right thing by consulting your doctor who would examine you and get you investigated to rule out all possible causes for the weakness and light headed feeling. You can request him to get a pulmonary function test done to see the condition of your lungs. Pulmonary function test would be the first ones to tell if your lungs have been affected by the bleach fumes.

Without a thorough examination and investigation it will be difficult to say what you need to do to feel better but having a healthy nutritious diet and time away from the place where you work and bleach is used should give you relief.

Please share the findings of your doctor and the investigation reports so that we can guide you further.

I hope I have answered your query to your satisfaction. Please revert back in case you need any clarifications or would like to share more facts.

Wishing you all the best.


Rajiv K Khandelwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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