Congratulations to my highschool buddy and his wife who had their first child this morning. He is a healthy baby boy of 7 lbs 3 oz and 20 inches (so he looks tiny compared to my giant). Blessings!!
Anyway....bleach is awful. I worked at a daycare and that stuff is so caustic. By the end of the day your hands are dry and that has nothing to do with its strength. We had to dilute it 1 part bleach to 10 parts water for sanitizing purposes. Since we change diapers, there are heavy regulations on sanitation. You have to wear gloves. You have to wash your hands before and after changing a diaper. You have to wash the area with soap and water and then hose it down with bleach and water after the change. And you have to wash the child's hands after a diaper change. Have you ever fought to wash the hands of a one year old? It's tough. They cry. And two years olds demand more soap even though they've washed their hands like a million times.
The diaper changes were the worst part of the job. And parents are oblivious to the fact that the child you just changed had diarrhea or a poo filled diaper that leaked all over the child and the diaper changing area. And they just ploop down their child's lunch and cup and whatever on the area while your trying to put the other child in clean clothes. And they don't seem to notice the poo sitting on the diaper changing table. Even though it clearly says you can't put anything on that changing table because it has to remain sanitized. Ewww gross.
And then I haven't explained the part about cleaning dishes. You have to have a three part sink and a separate sink to wash your hands. The first sink is soapy water where you scrub the dishes. The second sink is filled with plain water where you dunk the dish (so at the end of a long train of dishes it's a lot of soapy water). The third sink is for sanitizing. It has a higher dilution of bleach then the diaper changing table. This is where you dunk the dish after it was "rinsed". And no you don't re-rinse it either. So the dish has a nice coating of bleach/water on it. And yeah, your kids are getting food prepared and eaten from and drank from bleach coated dishes.
Yeah, now you understand why I hate bleach. Day cares are regulated and instructed that they must use it. Why can't they use alternatives?
Here are some sanitizing alternatives to bleach:
distilled white vinegar
vodka (yes, the alcoholic variety)
sunlight (for laundry)
Tea tree oil (not recommended for consumption but great for skin; diaper changing tables anyone?)
So why can't the health department let daycares use safer alternatives to bleach and it's caustic properties? I bet five years from now they are going to discover children from daycares are developing gastric disorders, respiratory disorders, and cancer from all the bleach that they get on their skin, in their stomachs, and breath into their lungs (because it is also being used to sanitize the toilets and floors).
I say we have a ban the bleach campaign and start now. I need to make a button for it. Anyone got any ideas for a slogan?