Homemade bleach weedkiller: beware of poisoning!

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Some mixtures do not mix well with bleach. If you usually make your own weedkiller, do not mix bleach and vinegar.

Bleach is perhaps an unparalleled ally for houseworkbreathing in the scent of this powerful liquid is dangerous for our health. When mixed with other substances, such as white vinegar for example, another eradicator of bad odors and dirt, it can cause serious illnesses and poisoning.

Bleach and vinegar mixture: beware, danger!

ANSES has just published a announcement in which it recalls the risks incurred by people who make their small mixtures and homemade weedkillers based on bleach, for the sake of economy or because they can no longer find their favorite products on the shelves.

“Since the ban on the sale to individuals of many weed control products, more and more individuals are choosing to manufacture them themselves. However, the production of « homemade » mixtures, based on bleach and vinegar, can cause poisoning may lead to hospitalization. ANSES and the Poison Control Centers warn against this practice that is dangerous to health and recommend that only products bearing the words « Use authorized in the garden » be used.we read in the press release.

How to make weed killer with bleach?

The bleach/vinegar (or other acid) combination produces the release of gaseous chlorine causing poisoning. While only one poisoning had been recorded by the poison control centers from 2002 to 2013, this number has risen to 203 since the date of the ban on certain herbicides for individuals in 2019. These poisonings occur mainly in late spring and early summer, when weeding is most practiced.

The most common symptom observed is cough, most often associated with difficulty breathing or irritation of the ENT tract. Nearly half of the exposed patients required medical treatment. Of the five hospitalized patients, three were placed in intensive care.

How to make a powerful weedkiller?

To limit the risk of poisoning, ANSES and the Anti-Poison Centers recommend using only products bearing the statement « Use authorized in the garden » (EAJ). They correspond to so-called “biocontrol” products, to products qualified as low risk such as iron phosphate to fight against slugs, and to those that can be used in organic farming.

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