Avoiding health hazards of pre-Passover cleaning

Based on data from seven emergency rooms, the study found that in Israel, the number of pre-Passover poisoning incidents swells in both secular and religious Jewish homes, but not in Arab homes.

Amitai urges the public to be especially careful with liquid drain cleaners, and never to mix bleach with acids. Such combinations, he said, can cause a blinding explosion or toxic vapors that can trigger asthma attacks, shortness of breath and even lung damage, especially in small rooms with poor ventilation, such as bathrooms.

Never transfer cleaning materials to empty food containers and be careful of cleaning fluids that look like fruit syrup or smell like perfume and can easily be confused, he said. Also, be especially careful cleaning out medicine cabinets and never leave pails of water with cleaning fluid sitting unsupervised when children are around.