Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

Sodium hypochlorite
Identification Number: CASRN | 7681-52-9

  Substance Attributes


  • Carcinogenic Properties

    Accumulating evidence points to cancer potential. Exercise caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Birth/Developmental

    Known to effect development of fetus.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.

  • Toxic to Wildlife

    May kill plants, fish, birds or other animals and insects or may be very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. This then effects delicate environmental ecology and food supply in ways we don't fully understand yet.

  • Soluble in Water

    This substance easily dissolves in water. As such it can be easily transported via waterways. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.

  • Volatile - Evaporates easily

    This substance easily enters the air we breath. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Chemical used in hydraulic fracturing fluids | Synthetic Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | EAFUS (Everything Added to Food in the United States) | PESTICIDE active ingredient | Bactericide | Inert Pesticide Ingredient USA - Non Food Use Only | Pesticide approved in USA (California) | Pesticide approved or pending approval in EU | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Inorganic Compounds | Mixed Metal/Non-metal Compounds | Alkali Metal Oxoanionic Compounds | Alkali metal hypochlorites | Alkali metal hypochlorites
  • SYNONYMS: Hypochlorite sodium | Hypochlorous acid | sodium salt | NaClO | NaOCl | Sodium oxychloride
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Unknown | Sodium Hypochlorite is the sodium salt of hypochlorous acid. When dissolved in water it is commonly known as bleach or liquid bleach, and is frequently used as a disinfectant or a bleaching agent. Household bleach is, typically a solution containing 3-8% sodium hypochlorite and 0.01-0.05% sodium hydroxide. The sodium hydroxide is used to slow the decomposition of sodium hypochlorite into sodium chloride and sodium chlorate. In household form, sodium hypochlorite is used for removal of stains from laundry. It is particularly effective on cotton fiber, which stains easily but bleaches well. Most sodium hyphchlorite is sold in aqueous solutions of varying concentrations.
  • COMMENTS:

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia:

    Causes severe skin burns and eye damage. Very toxic to aquatic life. | Environmental Hazard | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: ClNaO
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | Article-Colborn-2010 | FracFocus | EPA in USA | US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | APPEA | EAFUS | DPR | EU Pesticides | EPA USA - Pesticide Inerts | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS:
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Chlorine Bleach is a strong corrosive material. Sodium hypochlorite solutions frequently produce small amounts of chlorine gas. If inhaled, chlorine can trigger cough, substernal pain, respiratory distress, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Symptoms may be delayed. Nausea and vomiting are reflex in origin, and headache and loss of consciousness are probably due to the hypoxia caused by pulmonary edema. Dermal contact can lead to redness, pain, and redness of the exposed surface. Eye contact can lead to watering of the eyes. Ingestion can cause pulmonary edema, vomiting or coma. Exposure to the skin may cause sensitization or other allergic responses. If the eye is not irrigated immediately after it has been exposed permanent eye damage may occur. Toxicity described in animals from single low-dose (1% solution) exposures by ingestion include muscular weakness, and hypoactivity. Long-term administration of compound in drinking water of rats caused depression of the immune system. No adverse changes were observed in an eight week dermal study of a 1% solution in guinea pigs. Tests in animals demonstrate no carcinogenic activity by either the oral or dermal routes. |
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Sodium hypochlorite is a strong oxidizer. Oxidation reactions are corrosive, solutions burn skin and cause eye damage, especially when used in concentrated forms. In particular, hypochorite (HOCl) is known to cause post-translational modifications to amino acids in proteins, the notable ones being cysteine and methionine oxidation. These oxidation reactions can lead to widespread protein aggregation and denaturation, leading to cell death and tissue damage. It is estimated that there are about 3300 accidents needing hospital treatment caused by sodium hypochlorite solutions each year in British homes. A recent European study indicated that sodium hypochlorite and organic chemicals (e.g., surfactants, fragrances) contained in several household cleaning products can react to generate chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some of these VOCs are toxic and probable human carcinogens. The study showed that indoor air concentrations significantly increase (8-52 times for chloroform and 1-1170 times for carbon tetrachloride, respectively, above baseline quantities in the household) during the use of bleach containing products. Sodium Hypochlorite reacts violently with amines and ammonium salts. Solutions are reactive with common cleaning products such as toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, vinegar, acids, organics and ammonia products to produce hazardous gases such as chlorine and other chlorinated species. |
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Plasma Membrane"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Sodium hypochlorite is frequently used as a disinfectant or a bleaching agent.

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  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


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