Turkish women have entered world medical literature for a unique disease caused by the combination of bleach and hydrochloric acid, which are commonly used to clean bathrooms and kitchens in Turkey.
Professor Sedat Yanturalı from the Dokuz Eylül University Medical Faculty described the use of bleach and hydrochloric acid as a "dangerous habit," adding that hydrochloric acid interacted with sodium hypochlorite in bleach, producing chlorine gas that caused asthma-like symptoms and burning of the eyes, eventually leading to poisoning. Yanturalı said: "Most of those we encounter at the emergency wards in hospitals say, 'I poured hydrochloric acid while doing cleaning and poured some bleach over it to make it even cleaner. Suddenly, I couldn't breathe." He said in healthy people, chlorine gas did not cause death, with doctors usually recommending the same treatment as they do to asthma patients. "However, for those with chronic lung diseases, convalescence is longer."
"Articles written by academics at the Dokuz Eylül, Erzurum Atatürk, Kayseri Erciyes and Diyarbakır Dicle universities were published by internationally important medical journals. There are many articles on chlorine gas poisoning, but chlorine poisoning caused by cleaning is unique to Turkey. There are 15 to 20 patients that come to this hospital every year. We don't know how many are poisoned every year across the country, but we can say this is a national matter." All patients are warned not to repeat what they had done upon discharge, he said, adding, "I don't know what they can use to better clean an already clean area, as long as they don't mix hydrochloric acid with bleach."
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