Mum almost dies from chlorine gas poisoning after combining household cleaning products

A mum-of-three almost killed herself mopping the kitchen floor after mixing household cleaning supplies landed her in hospital with chlorine gas poisoning.

After a busy day out, on returning to her Owlthorpe home in northern England last week, Charley Howson decided to clean her kitchen floor.

She mixed a solution of bleach, Dettol and concentrated disinfectant, Zoflora, into a mop bucket with some hot water.

Ms Howson said she did not measure the amounts of the three products before putting them into the bucket.

Ms Howson mixed a number of cleaning products. Source: SWNS
Ms Howson mixed a number of cleaning products. Source: SWNS

The 36-year-old said she normally just uses bleach when mopping the floor, but decided to use the other products on this occasion.

Within minutes she began experiencing chest pains.

"The pain got worse and worse, I thought I was having a heart attack," said Ms Howson, who suffers from the muscle-wasting condition, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

"I've had a collapsed lung before, and it felt a bit like that."

The 36-year-old with her 15-year-old son Corey. Source: SWNS
The 36-year-old with her 15-year-old son Corey. Source: SWNS

Ms Howson’s 15-year-old son Corey, who acts as a young carer for her, rushed to her side.

After her chest pains grew worse and she began to cry out in pain, the quick-thinking teenager phoned for an ambulance.

"I told him not to, I said I'll be fine, but I was in agony," she said.

After realising her oxygen levels were dangerously low, Ms Howson was given oxygen and was rushed to Northern General Hospital in an ambulance.

  • 'That is bitter': Blogger rushed to hospital after accidentally eating poisonous plant live on camera

  • Mum reveals horrific note from neighbour threatening to 'poison' family dog

  • Man ‘poisoned’ butterflies in tree as they ‘upset his dog’

"Corey was terrified because he thought I was getting ill (from my condition) again, as I've had periods of six months where I've been in a wheelchair,” she said.

"I was petrified, I didn't know what was happening, and just kept thinking about my kids."

After receiving more oxygen at hospital, Ms Howson was given a chest x-ray but it came back clear.

"The doctor asked if I had been cleaning, because the paramedics mentioned a strong smell of bleach,” she said.

"He said mixing those chemicals with the hot water had given me chlorine gas poisoning.

"I was stunned, I couldn't believe it. He said that it happens far more than you'd think.”

The doctor told Ms Howson if Corey hadn't phoned for the ambulance when he did that it could have been a lot worse.

"He's really mature for his age, and I'm so grateful he didn't listen to me when I said I was fine,” she said.

"He's made a joke out of it and calls me the 'chlorine gaffe girl' and says I should leave the cleaning to the professionals.

"But it could have been so much worse. I could not be here. It could have killed me."

Ms Hoswon was left with a headache and a sore throat as a result of the poisoning, but was allowed return home to be with Corey and her two daughters, Evie, 9, and 11-week-old Jaymie-Leigh later that day.

She will return to the doctors to find out whether the chlorine gas poisoning has left her with any permanent side effects later this month.

"I just want to warn people. Everything I used were just normal cleaning products that you can get from Asda (supermarket),” Ms Howson said.

"I didn't read the small print on the bottles, but no one does really, and I just want everyone to make sure they do when they're cleaning."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting