11 Responses

  1. Kim Scarborough
    Kim Scarborough April 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm |

    Once I was urinating in a toilet in my office building’s bathroom, and once it started mixing with the water asphyxiating fumes started rising up. I felt like I’d been maced. I’ve often wondered what caused this. Was it just bleach in the toilet? Seems like this would happen more often if so (it never happened again, there or anywhere else).

  2. IPC
    IPC April 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm |

    Kim,
    That sounds very scary. But you’re right usually the mix of household bleach diluted in toilet water and urine wouldn’t cause such a potent release of gases. My guess is whoever cleaned the toilet prior to your use, left a mixture of several chemicals which once mixed with urine contributed to the gas release. There’s really no way to know. But if that should ever happen again, and hopefully it doesn’t, make sure you immediately call the poison center hotline: 1-800-222-1222.

  3. Illinois Poison Center Blog » Blog Archive » Summertime = More Calls at IPC: 5 Reasons Why

    […] involved in accidental poisoning are those that contain chlorine. Chlorine fumes are a significant respiratory irritant.  Always take caution when using these chemicals:  open and use them in a very well ventilated […]

  4. kat
    kat August 30, 2010 at 8:34 pm |

    hi ,here in australia some councills use chloramine as a water cleaner so we drink it and we shower in it ,Isnt this really bad ,cause I know i get sick in these towns that have it,What can I do about awareness and how do I stop them from using it?

  5. IPC
    IPC September 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm |

    Hi Kat. Chlorinated compounds are used purify and remove infectious agents from tap water. Such agents are commonly used in much higher concentrations in community bathing areas such as pools. Poisoning is a matter of dose. For most communities, the amount that reaches homes if very low, much lower than public or private pools for example. This should not be an issue unless a dosing error in the water treatment process has been made.

  6. Illinois Poison Center Blog » Blog Archive » “Ay, Ay, Ay…I Splashed_____in my Eye”:

    […] acids and alkali (bases), e.g. toilet bowl cleaner, oven cleaners, drain cleaners, rust removers, swimming pool […]

  7. D.L.Contostavlos, M.D.
    D.L.Contostavlos, M.D. October 7, 2010 at 9:38 am |

    Kim Scarborough’s experience is absolutely consistent with a high concentration of bleach in the toilet. Urine contains enough ammonia to produce this reaction, which I have demonstrated for myself in a toilet bowl

  8. IPC
    IPC October 12, 2010 at 11:03 am |

    Thanks for your comment Dr!

  9. Nyvaeh
    Nyvaeh May 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm |

    Posts like this brighten up my day. Thanks for taking the time.

  10. IPC
    IPC May 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

    We’re so glad you found it helpful! Thank you for reading and leaving a comment!

  11. Alyssa Serle
    Alyssa Serle April 28, 2015 at 3:09 am |

    Fantastic! Great post. It is very informative for everybody.

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