From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Bleach and Ammonia
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2014 08:01:20 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 8D0FDE55075F2DC-1320-DA36**At_Symbol_Here**

We run into a far less severe respiratory irritation and eye complaints when art teachers clean out the children's classroom sink with bleach which reacts with the ammonia released from the acrylic paint stabilizer.
Chloramine is an unfortunate term because it can be applied to the simpler NCl3 and NHCl2 (and even the unstable monochloramine NH2Cl) from the concentrated bleach/ammonia reaction as well as the N-chlorourea compound generated in pools.  The term can be applied to any compounds with the formulas R2NCl and RNCl2
The ones from bleach and ammonia reactions are corrosive to tissues.  The N-chlorourea(s) are irritating and sensitizing.
I'm sure everyone understands that N-chlorourea would not be much of a problem if people didn't pee in the pool. 
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President:  Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012     212-777-0062

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Sat, Feb 22, 2014 6:34 am
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Bleach and Ammonia


I agree with you.  In the Poison Center/Medical Toxicology world, we see deaths from non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, chemical pneumonitis, and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) every year, with the most common scenario being using these 2 products in combination in a small, enclosed space such as a bathroom.  The generated chloramine is a very potent respiratory tract irritant, and nearly all such victims have severe respiratory effects which require quite heroic therapeutic measures including very invasive procedures such as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)...  These effects are also tragically quite often fatal.

Perhaps better labeling on such products warning about the hazards of combined use might be helpful, but we all know how well the general public as well as those with more specific education and training ignore such warnings if they've "always gotten away with it before".

Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Medical Toxicologist

On Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM, Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
thanks.  That's nice. There's a bunch of these.
However, the first post has the pool reaction all wrong.  The "chlorine" odor is not chlorine at all.  It is a particular chloramine, N-chlorourea.  The chlorination of urea won't proceed in pools without free chlorine rather then the hypochlorite and it won't proceed in pools to the NCl3    
Environ Sci Technol. 2010 Nov 15;44(22):8529-34. doi: 10.1021/es102423u. Epub 2010 Oct 21.

Reaction mechanism for chlorination of urea.


Experiments were conducted to elucidate the mechanism of the reaction between free chlorine and urea. In combination with findings of previous investigations, the results of these experiments indicate a process by which urea undergoes multiple N-chlorination steps. The first of these steps results in the formation of N-chlorourea; this step appears to require Cl=E2=82=82 to proceed and is the overall rate-limiting step in the reaction for conditions that correspond to most swimming pools.  SNIP
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President:  Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012     212-777-0062

-----Original Message-----
From: Ernie Lippert <ernielippert**At_Symbol_Here**TOAST.NET>
Sent: Fri, Feb 21, 2014 5:14 pm
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Bleach and Ammonia

I "threw" this together in 2007 to provide a quick answer for my colleagues.. Since the problem has reappeared, I thought it might be of some interest.
Ernie Lippert
Bleach and Ammonia
Some possible reactions between bleach (Hypochlorous acid, HOCl) with Ammonia, NH3
1.               HOCl + NH3  =C3   NH2Cl + H2O
2.               3HOCl + NH3  =C3   3H2O + NCl3
3.               NH3 + NH2Cl + NaOH  =C3   N2H4 + NaCl + H2O
4.               2NH2Cl + N2H4  =C3   2NH4Cl + N2
Places to look:
1.                               HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank, part of toxnet)
2.                               DART (this is inside toxnet and leads you to original literature).Searching for monochloroamine gave 22 references some of which are abstracted below,
Some references found for NH2Cl (monochloramine or chloramine) in toxnet:
1.                   Insufficient evidence for carcinogenicity in humans.
2.                   Acute eye and upper respiratory irritation
a.       Why are enclosed swimming pools so irritating to the eyes?
Urea (urine) + H2O + bacterial action  =C3 NH3 which then reacts with bleach:
HOCl + NH3 =C3 NH2Cl + H2O
3.                   A woman with an undiagnosed oligodendroglioma (a brain tumor) mixed bleach and ammonia died while cleaning the bathroom.
4.                   Acute lung injury that progressed to severe pneumonitis, caused by the use of combined hypochlorite and ammonia for cleaning in an occupational setting. A tracheostomy was necessary but the patient recovered in 7 days.
5.                   Erythropoietin resistance was linked to chloramine exposure.
6.                   Acute eye and upper respiratory irritation was reported at an industrial facility that processes green salads in water containing hypochlorite. The irritant agents were chloramines resulting from the reaction of hypochlorite and nitrogen compounds coming from the sap proteins released when the vegetables were cut.
7.                   A 21 year old /phase/ G1 P0 presented at 37 weeks for her routine prenatal visit complaining of abruptly decreased fetal movement over the past 2 days. On the day fetal movements were lost; she inhaled a combination of chlorine bleach and ammonia while doing laundry. Afterwards, the patient felt frequent abdominal cramps and lightheadedness. The baby was delivered by C-section. At discharge on day 8, the infant was still jittery, with increased tone in the extremities, but truncal and neck hypotonia. It was unclear of the extent that exposure to chloramine contributed to the insult.
Though it might not kill you, it is not a good idea to mix ammonia and chlorine bleach.

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