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Clorox To Stop Using Chlorine
Chemical and Engineering News ^ | Nov 9, 2009 edition of C&EN | Michael McCoy

Posted on 11/20/2009 7:46:26 AM PST by Zuben Elgenubi

November 9, 2009

Volume 87, Number 45

p. 12

Clorox To Stop Using Chlorine

Plant Security: Bleach maker will end shipment of hazardous chemical

Michael McCoy

Citing a desire to improve security, Clorox says it will stop making its namesake bleach out of chlorine and sodium hydroxide.

Instead, the big household-products company will purchase high-strength bleach of up to 15% concentration and dilute it to household strength of 6%. The company will convert its Fairfield, Calif., plant within the next six months and switch its six other U.S. plants over the coming years.

Clorox’ announcement came three days before the House of Representatives was set to take up plant security legislation (H.R. 2868) that would require high-risk chemical plants and water-treatment facilities to use safer processes or chemicals.

The environmental group Greenpeace is lauding Clorox for eliminating risk from the use and transport of chlorine. “By ending the use of chlorine gas, Clorox also proves that eliminating these risks is both technically feasible and a smart business decision,” says Rick Hind, Greenpeace’s legislative director.

Greenpeace says it sent a letter to Clorox CEO Don Knauss in February seeking a meeting on the risks related to chlorine gas. The group says it learned of the conversion plan in May during a meeting with Knauss. Greenpeace is now calling on large chemical firms to switch away from chlorine to safer raw materials.

Clorox isn’t disclosing the cost of the transition or the companies from which it will buy high-strength bleach. It does say, however, that it expects no chlorine movement in its U.S. supply chain, including to its bleach suppliers. That precludes companies that make bleach out of shipped-in chlorine and sodium hydroxide—the bulk of the industry.

Timothy Maegly, vice president of high-strength bleach maker BleachTech, points out that two other classes of bleach supplier can meet the no-movement condition: chlorine producers such as Olin that make bleach on-site and companies such as BleachTech that make bleach directly from salt without isolating chlorine.

Clorox’ conversion won’t cause a big spike in demand for high-strength bleach, Maegly predicts, but it’s indicative of the pressures on traditional bleach companies to comply with U.S. plant-security requirements. “Homeland Security is already knocking on their door,” he says.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: chemicals; chlorine; clorox; envirofascism; greenpeace; hazmat
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chlorine, bleach, plant security


1 posted on 11/20/2009 7:46:26 AM PST by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

I use clorox for a lot of cleaning. How effective will the new product be?


2 posted on 11/20/2009 7:49:57 AM PST by twigs
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

Ok, so Clorox won’t be making the bleach out of chlorine and sodium hydroxide... but it will be buying a 15% concentration bleach and will be diluting it to 6%.

Who is making the 15% bleach? Aren’t they making it with chlorine and sodium hydroxide?

It’s not that Clorox is changing the “recipe”, it’s that they aren’t cooking it in their own kitchen. Whose kitchen is it being cooked in? Mexico? China?


3 posted on 11/20/2009 7:50:40 AM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
The finished product will still contain chlorine.

A lot of swimming pool owners now use liquid sodium hypochlorite instead of chlorine gas already as it is so much easier and safer to handle, but the chlorine is still "in there".

4 posted on 11/20/2009 7:51:37 AM PST by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

I have a feeling it won’t be long before the strongest cleaning ingredient we’ll be able to buy is deionized water.


5 posted on 11/20/2009 7:51:46 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (Hope....Change...Unemployment!)
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To: twigs

Lower concentration of active ingredient, you just will use more. But do not count on the price going lower.


6 posted on 11/20/2009 7:52:50 AM PST by steveo (2010 never again)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
Who is making the 15% bleach? Aren’t they making it with chlorine and sodium hydroxide?

Such questions are not allowed. Please turn yourself in for green reeducation.

Next you'll be asking who is making the electricity that goes into electric cars. The nerve!!!!!

/sarc

7 posted on 11/20/2009 7:54:40 AM PST by Claud
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
So, if I read the article correctly :
Cl2 + 2NaOH = NaClO + H2
Seems like the manufacturing process produces hydrogen gas… Interesting… The main ingredient listed is sodium hypochlorite

8 posted on 11/20/2009 7:54:52 AM PST by BigEdLB (Now there ARE 1,000,000 regrets - but it may be too late.)
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To: steveo

I think you’re misreading the numbers.
The way I read it, only the factory processing changes, not the composition of the consumer product.


9 posted on 11/20/2009 7:55:34 AM PST by nascarnation
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

Sounds good to me. The Germans used chlorine on my granddad in WWI, and I’ve heard gruesome stories of deaths during the manufacture of it, and seen the newscasts and news reports of what happens when a chlorine tanker derails. The gas is bad stuff. Amazing that the air we breath element Oxygen is Chlorine’s chemical twin.

The old good twin, bad twin mythos goes back to the creation of the very elements.


10 posted on 11/20/2009 8:00:46 AM PST by bvw
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
Thank G-d my mother isn't alive to see this. She Clorox-ed EVERYTHING. We had to watch her like a hawk as she combined Clorox with Ammonia one day. Damn near killed herself.

We were definitely germ free, but if dead, who cares??? ;-) I used to tease her that she should have bought stock in Clorox and Scotch Tape. Her gifts were impregnable. There were a lot of frustrated cousins at Christmas and Birthdays in our house — not to mention the neighborhood.

11 posted on 11/20/2009 8:00:56 AM PST by Constitutions Grandchild
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To: Claud

You rock!


12 posted on 11/20/2009 8:01:17 AM PST by 1raider1
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

The article doesn’t match the title.

Clorox will still be selling products with chlorine.
They’re just not going to make it domestically.

It sounds to me like they’re going to downsize and import the product...but they’ve issued a press release to make it sound like they’re being “green”. Covering their butts with a green excuse.


13 posted on 11/20/2009 8:03:28 AM PST by kidd (Obama: The triumph of hope over evidence)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

Triumph of NIMBYism.

Environmental law is “joint and several” meaning that if the subcontractors violate environmental law, Clorox can be forced to pay for up to 100% of the remediation. They say that there will be no movement of chlorine in the U.S., which means either that they will be diluting it before shipment or buying it outside the U.S. They are clearly not mitigating risk, simply transferring it to entities over which they have less control. If those entities are outside the U.S., there may be a Bhopal in their future.

Environmentalists are pests.

Congress is a hazard.

Prosperity and decline are choices. The American people have spoken and they have chosen decline, lead by the Pelosi, Reid and Obama.


14 posted on 11/20/2009 8:03:49 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Only in America does being convicted of a capital crime increase your life expectancy.)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

The water purification link wants to put a cookie on my computer. No thanks.


15 posted on 11/20/2009 8:03:50 AM PST by PLMerite (Ride to the sound of the Guns - I'll probably need help.)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

How much harm has been done during shipping of chlorine in comparison with, say, getting out of bed in the morning? Sounds like another law that increases the cost of doing something (making Chlorox in this case) in the name of the environment or safety. It wouldn’t be surprising if Chlorox eventually takes the whole operation to another country.


16 posted on 11/20/2009 8:04:32 AM PST by frposty (I'm a simpleton)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

So, all the Clorox plant will now be doing is diluting someone else’s “Clorox.” So why should I buy Clorox? How could they possibly make a superior product than Brand X? And why is it safer to put all those trucks on the highway with the concentrated bleach, than to package the bleach where it is created? This sounds like Clorox no longer finds the plant operable, and is trying to put an environmental spin on what is essentially going out of the manufacturing business.


17 posted on 11/20/2009 8:04:33 AM PST by dangus (Nah, I'm not really Jim Thompson, but I play him on FR.)
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To: Constitutions Grandchild
We had to watch her like a hawk as she combined Clorox with Ammonia one day. Damn near killed herself.

LOL! My mother did the same thing.

18 posted on 11/20/2009 8:04:53 AM PST by Madame Dufarge
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

The only reason I buy Clorox is for the chlorine. If they stop using it, I’ll stop buying it.


19 posted on 11/20/2009 8:05:58 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Only in America does being convicted of a capital crime increase your life expectancy.)
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To: frposty

I can virtually guarantee you that whatever the alternative, it will result in greater enviromental impact, a reduced standard of living and have a negative impact on health and longevity.


20 posted on 11/20/2009 8:09:22 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Only in America does being convicted of a capital crime increase your life expectancy.)
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To: PLMerite
FREE CCleaner, also is a registry fixer. Recommended by C/Net, check it out.
21 posted on 11/20/2009 8:12:34 AM PST by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: frposty
It wouldn’t be surprising if Chlorox eventually takes the whole operation to another country.

This Clorox facility is, afterall, located in California.

22 posted on 11/20/2009 8:13:58 AM PST by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: Madame Dufarge
Honestly! Hubby and I asked her if she remembered ANYTHING AT ALL from her chemistry classes. Middle of winter and we had all the windows open and the fan on the furnace running at full blast. She just gave us a blank stare and said, “Well, I was just trying to get out the ring around the collar.” We rolled our eyes and vowed we'd put a lock on the cabinet. She was a pip. I loved here dearly, but she could absolutely put you over the top and then get indignant because you “questioned” her judgment.
23 posted on 11/20/2009 8:14:38 AM PST by Constitutions Grandchild
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To: dangus
So, all the Clorox plant will now be doing is diluting someone else’s “Clorox.” So why should I buy Clorox? How could they possibly make a superior product than Brand X? And why is it safer to put all those trucks on the highway with the concentrated bleach, than to package the bleach where it is created? This sounds like Clorox no longer finds the plant operable, and is trying to put an environmental spin on what is essentially going out of the manufacturing business

That is the way I figure it too.

24 posted on 11/20/2009 8:17:15 AM PST by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: Madame Dufarge

When I was a kid working at a grocery store the Back room boss told one of the other clerks( kid 17-18 high school dropout) to clean the floor. The floor was really dirty so he wanted something super powerful so he get the mop bucket dumps in the bleach and ammonia whole back room fill with gas he is coughing and so is everyone else They got him out of the room. It was pretty funny after the fact


25 posted on 11/20/2009 8:17:23 AM PST by jroneil (2010 is all that matter now!)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

so....we will just start importing all of our chlorine bleach so the chlorine plants can all sit in Indonesia or Pakistan.

Great thinking there, Feds!!


26 posted on 11/20/2009 8:17:55 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: bvw

i was hospitalized for a whiff a few years back - nasty stuff - seems innocuous at first, then in about 20 minutes the mucus starts and it gets hard to draw a breath.....lost conciousness for few minutes and got myself a ride to the ER when I awoke


27 posted on 11/20/2009 8:19:26 AM PST by Revelation 911 (How many 100's of 1000's of our servicemen died so we would never bow to a king?" -freeper pnh102)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

Just a thought that hasn’t been covered yet. Clorox is a business. They are going to do whatever it takes to make a profit and whatever they can to make a bigger profit. Is this a bunch of BS about safety and security? I’ll bet they will be increasing profits with their new formula. Otherwise they would have continued the status quo. Again it’s just my theory based on how business works, I’ve got nothing to back it up.


28 posted on 11/20/2009 8:20:51 AM PST by Rudolphus (Tagline? I don't need no steenkin' tagline.)
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To: BigEdLB

Is this a balanced chemical equation?


29 posted on 11/20/2009 8:21:05 AM PST by Rudolphus (Tagline? I don't need no steenkin' tagline.)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

It looks like this more about the security aspect of transporting massive amounts of chlorine than environmental issues.

Chlorine is nasty. All of the halogens in pure form are highly reactive, especially with organic compounds, and very dangerous. I don’t mind less of the pure form being moved around the country in bulk.


30 posted on 11/20/2009 8:29:00 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

I’m having trouble understanding this article. I read that Chlorox is going to start buying chlorine instead of shipping it? Is that what it says?


31 posted on 11/20/2009 8:29:12 AM PST by RoadTest ( For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. - I Cor. 3:11)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

“I can virtually guarantee you that whatever the alternative, it will result in greater enviromental impact, a reduced standard of living and have a negative impact on health and longevity.”

And of course, it will cost more.


32 posted on 11/20/2009 8:29:36 AM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is a parasite that kills the host)
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To: RoadTest

I believe post 17 is highly accurate, but it’s just my opinion.


33 posted on 11/20/2009 8:32:49 AM PST by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

The patent on Oxi-Clean (High Strength Bleach) must have run out so that the process may be used by anyone. Does it kill germs like Chlorine bleach? I doubt it.


34 posted on 11/20/2009 8:34:08 AM PST by Bullpine
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To: twigs

TOTALLY misleading headline.


35 posted on 11/20/2009 8:37:41 AM PST by Right Wing Assault (The Obama magic is fading.)
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To: twigs
I use clorox for a lot of cleaning. How effective will the new product be?

Should be chemically identical. There is no real need to create chlorine gas first. And if you need to have chlorine gas just add ammonia, that should kill ya fairly quick.

36 posted on 11/20/2009 8:37:52 AM PST by D Rider
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To: twigs
I use clorox for a lot of cleaning. How effective will the new product be?

Should be chemically identical. There is no real need to create chlorine gas first. And if you need to have chlorine gas just add ammonia, that should kill ya fairly quick.

37 posted on 11/20/2009 8:37:56 AM PST by D Rider
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To: nascarnation; steveo; twigs
-- The way I read it, only the factory processing changes, not the composition of the consumer product. --

I agree. Same product, higher price, less hazardous movement of precursor/ingredient chemicals in the production of the end product.

38 posted on 11/20/2009 8:38:53 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Constitutions Grandchild
My mother doubled down and had one of my sisters finish cleaning the shower stall with the chlorine and ammonia.

She decided that what caused her having to crawl out of the shower stall on her hands and knees was just her "asthma acting up."

Of course, the sister who agreed to take up the suicide mission was the one who once forgot that she had left a Q-tip hanging out of her ear (I'm not making this up), then brushed her hair, forcing the implanted Q-tip further into her ear which jettisoned her across the room, what with the pain and all.

39 posted on 11/20/2009 8:40:37 AM PST by Madame Dufarge
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

I love the smell of Chlorx clean.

I also find that 2-3 tbls in a spray filled with water is a great cleaner for everything....

another tip....to remove soap scum...use a damp dryer sheet


40 posted on 11/20/2009 8:42:34 AM PST by Kimmers (Be the kind of person when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, Oh crap, she's awake)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
I love the smell of Chlorox clean.

I also find that 2-3 tbls in a spray filled with water is a great cleaner for everything....

another tip....to remove soap scum...use a damp dryer sheet

41 posted on 11/20/2009 8:43:09 AM PST by Kimmers (Be the kind of person when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, Oh crap, she's awake)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
The environmental group Greenpeace is lauding Clorox for eliminating risk from the use and transport of chlorine. “By ending the use of chlorine gas, Clorox also proves that eliminating these risks is both technically feasible and a smart business decision,” says Rick Hind, Greenpeace’s legislative director.

I'm not an industrial chemist but it sounds to me like all Chlorox is doing is making one or more of their suppliers assume the risk of using and transporting chlorine gas.

Pretty cagey financial decision, if they can pull it off.

It also keeps the Chlorox brand name out of the news in the event of something bad happening.

42 posted on 11/20/2009 8:45:32 AM PST by magslinger (Cry MALAISE! and let slip the dogs of incompetence.)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
It’s not that Clorox is changing the “recipe”, it’s that they aren’t cooking it in their own kitchen. Whose kitchen is it being cooked in? Mexico? China?

Nailed it.

43 posted on 11/20/2009 8:47:03 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: TexasRepublic
And of course, it will cost more.

That's built into "reduced standard of living".

44 posted on 11/20/2009 8:49:27 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Only in America does being convicted of a capital crime increase your life expectancy.)
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To: Cboldt; nascarnation; twigs

Yeah I miss read it. I checked the msds and the concentration looks the same.


45 posted on 11/20/2009 8:51:26 AM PST by steveo (2010 never again)
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To: Cboldt
I agree. Same product, higher price, less hazardous movement of precursor/ingredient chemicals in the production of the end product.

I cannot agree. It isn't obvious that ten tank cars of diluted chlorine are less hazardous than one tank car of full strength. Especially if the one tank car is more robust. People get hurt by railcars all the time in ways that do not involve chlorine. I am not at all convinced that this will result in any net increase in safety and most likely will merely move much of the existing the risk off-shore, most likely to some third world hell-hole. The risk from shipping it greater distances inherently increases the likelihood of an accident.

46 posted on 11/20/2009 8:58:25 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Only in America does being convicted of a capital crime increase your life expectancy.)
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To: Constitutions Grandchild
I used to tease her that she should have bought stock in Clorox and Scotch Tape. Her gifts were impregnable.

That's funny!

47 posted on 11/20/2009 9:01:06 AM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: Madame Dufarge
Don’cha love family?!? At the time, I can remember feeling frustration and angst, now it's about the only thing that makes me smile inside and out. They're crazy and zany, and even if nobody else gets it, you do because all the whacked-out behavior is familiar territory.

The stories in my family make us all look certifiable in any court of law, but I swear, they were the salt of the earth.

48 posted on 11/20/2009 9:02:38 AM PST by Constitutions Grandchild
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To: frposty
How much harm has been done during shipping of chlorine in comparison with, say, getting out of bed in the morning?

I recall hearing of one incident where a train derailment released chlorine gas. This crossed a highway where a number of people died in their cars when they were not able to drive out of the gas cloud because their car engines had stalled.

A google search reveals a number of these chlorine gas releases. One in Graniteville, South Caroline in 2005 killed 9 people.

Considering the amount of chlorine being shipped around, the number of deaths is not super dramatic, but apparently the thinking is that it could be much worse if terrorists were involved.

49 posted on 11/20/2009 9:04:54 AM PST by wideminded
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To: paul51
If Mom had been head of Homeland Security, I'd bet my last dollar Scotch Tape would have been used on the borders, and if anybody got through, she'd have them cloroxed before the setting of the first sun.
50 posted on 11/20/2009 9:06:19 AM PST by Constitutions Grandchild
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