'Mopping my kitchen almost killed me' - Sheffield mum accidentally POISONED herself with cleaning products
A Sheffield mum has issued a warning after mopping her kitchen floor with a combination of household cleaning supplies led to her being rushed to hospital with chlorine gas poisoning.
After a busy day out, on returning to her Owlthorpe home on Wednesday afternoon, Charley Howson decided to mop her kitchen floor.
The mum-of-three mixed a solution of bleach, Dettol and concentrated disinfectant, zoflora, into a mop bucket with some hot water.
Charley says she did not measure the amounts of the three products before putting them into the bucket.
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The 36-year-old says she normally just uses bleach when mopping the floor, but decided to use the other products on this occasion.
Within minutes, the mundane task of mopping the floor turned into something far more dangerous as Charley began experiencing chest pains.
"The pain got worse and worse, I thought I was having a heart attack," said Charley, who suffers from the muscle-wasting condition, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
She added: "I've had a collapsed lung before, and it felt a bit like that."
Charley'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," said Charley.
After realising her oxygen levels were dangerously low, Charley was given oxygen and was rushed to Northern General Hospital in an ambulance.
"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," said Charley, adding: "I was petrified, I didn't know what was happening, and just kept thinking about my kids."
After receiving more oxygen at hospital, Charley was given a chest x-ray but it came back clear.
She said: "The doctor asked if I had been cleaning, because the paramedics mentioned a strong smell of bleach.
"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.
"He said if my son 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!
"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."
Charley 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. 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."