No, bleach is not harmful to the environment. It is a natural product that starts off as salt water and eventually ends off that way as well. “During consumer use and disposal, about 95 percent to 98 percent of household bleach quickly breaks down. The remaining two percent to five percent is effectively treated by sewer or septic systems.” We must not confuse bleach with the chemical process of “bleaching” in manufacturing paper products as the two are very different things. While the latter may be a potential threat to the environment, bleach itself is not.
Bleach is very toxic to fish and invertebrates. High amounts of bleach in other scenarios can also cause environmental damage.
This is what Wikipedia actually said regarding environmental impact:
A Risk Assessment Report (RAR) conducted by the European Union on sodium hypochlorite conducted under Regulation EEC 793/93 concluded that this substance is safe for the environment in all its current, normal uses. This is owed to its high reactivity and instability. Disappearance of hypochlorite is practically immediate in the natural aquatic environment, reaching in a short time concentration as low as 10-22 μg/L or less in all emission scenarios. In addition, it was found that while volatile chlorine species may be relevant in some indoor scenarios, they have negligible impact in open environmental conditions. Further, the role of hypochlorite pollution is assumed as negligible in soils.
Under conditions where sodium hypochlorite is improperly introduced to confined bodies of water (e.g., ponds, aquaria), bleach is toxic to fish and invertebrates. In confined spaces, fish will attempt to swim away from the source; in unconfined spaces, fish will readily escape the hazard.
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