After Woman's Death: Officials Remind Us Not to Mix Cleaning Pro - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

After Woman's Death: Officials Remind Us Not to Mix Cleaning Products

WORCESTER COUNTY, Md. - After an elderly woman lost her life on Sunday from the toxic fumes of a combination of cleaning chemicals, the Maryland Poison Center is urging people to know the signs of danger and never mix cleaning products.

The Worcester County Sheriff's Office says 75 year old Anna Harbeson of Berlin was cleaning her bathroom Sunday afternoon and mixed together bleach and the cleaning product known as "The Works."  The combination created a deadly combination of toxic chemicals.

WBOC spoke with Bruce Anderson, the Director of Operations for the Maryland Poison Center about the mixing of cleaning products.

"If you mix together a product that contains bleach with a product that is very acidic, you can actually release, functionally, the same kind of stuff that was used to clear out the trenches in World War I, chlorine gas," said Anderson.

Anderson went on to tell WBOC that it is important to know the signs of overexposure to cleaning chemicals.  Shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, burning in the eyes, nose or throat is a tell tale sign of over-exposure.

"We hear about exposure to these products every single day maybe from somebody mixing stuff together and they produced this toxic stuff in their bathroom or it could be a little kid helping mom and dad with laundry and they end up spilling bleach on themselves," said Anderson.

Anyone who needs more information can visit or call 1-800-222-1222 to speak with a poison specialist.
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