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Today I was cleaning off our patio. I cleaned up the all the dog stuff and then decided that I needed to disinfect the patio cement. From past experience in disinfecting the patio, I know that the dog urine interacts with the Clorox and in result creates noxious fumes. As it combines together, you can see fumes rising from the yucky Clorox puddle. As you watch, bubbles start and foam begins to form in a thin layer over the disinfecting puddle.
The patio needed to be covered in Clorox today; this was a bigger job than I had ever undertaken. As I grabbed the first bottle of Clorox, I realized it was half empty. I would definitely need a second bottle. I grabbed the full bottle that was next to the half empty bottle. I walked out the back door, sat the bottles on the back step and shut the door. I don’t know what I was thinking but I opened the half empty bottle and starting pouring on the first spot that I knew needed it. I continued pouring around the patio until the bottle was empty.
I went back to the step, leaping over a thin layer of foam that had already formed over the first puddle. I replaced the first bottle now empty bottle with the full bottle. I performed my ballerina act again as I went to the other side of the patio to continue my mission of a germ free patio. As I poured the liquid disinfectant, I realized I had created more than a puddle, it was now a lake.
I had created a lake of boiling, fuming, toxic liquid on my patio. I could see the fumes rising about the same time as the burning reached my nose. My nose and throat were scorched from the chemicals so I stopped breathing. You would think being outside would count for a well ventilated area. I have learned that is not the case for the mixture of dog urine and Clorox.
The smoldering chemicals burning in my throat was worse than the burning in my lungs from the lack of air. I knew I needed to take a breath but if I inhaled right then, I would give my lungs a chemical wash. That wasn’t something I was quite willing to do. I had to get away, I had to breathe. The fumes were penetrating my nose and throat even without breathing.
My problem: I had created the lake of chemicals around me. I was trapped in the corner of the patio, unable to escape by entering the house or walk out the patio gate. The lake foam grew as the Clorox rivered into the lake. I had to make a 7 foot leap across the toxic lake to obtain the ability to breathe again. My jump didn’t make the 7 foot gap and my poor favorite shoes didn’t make it. They are now black and brown leopard print Mary Janes with bleach stains At least I was able to breathe.
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