Products that contain bromine are excellent disinfectants. They’re an alternative to chlorine for sanitizing hot tubs, swimming pools, and spas. But can you put bromine tablets in a toilet tank?
You can put bromine tablets in a toilet tank as it disinfects well; however, take caution, as these tablets can be harmful and corrosive. Consider less expensive alternatives that can also get the job done well if you’re concerned about your safety, your toilet, and the environment.
The rest of this article will examine bromine in more detail. It’ll tackle the different uses of bromine products, their effects, and alternative solutions. Keep reading.
You Can Use Bromine Tablets for Your Toilet Tank
When diluted in water, bromine forms hypobromous acid (HBrO), which effectively kills the cells of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can cause disease.
Given its ability to kill pathogens, bromine tablets are primarily used in homes to sanitize swimming pools, spas, and bathtubs.
Dissolving bromine tablets in toilet tanks to disinfect the bowl is possible.
However, bromine can be corrosive to plastic and metal in the long run.
It may cause premature deterioration to components in the tank, such as the flush and fill valve and the chain that holds the plunger.
Other Uses for Bromine
Bromine is a naturally occurring element that remains liquid at room temperature.
It has several properties beneficial for domestic applications, agriculture, and fire retardants.
1. Bromine Is Useful for Agriculture, but It’s Not Sustainable
According to Azo Materials, bromine compounds are used in agriculture since they’re effective pesticides.
They’re used as soil fumigants for fruit growing and also help to keep pests away.
Note that some uses of bromine are no longer allowed due to environmental reasons. Live Science states that bromine is very harmful to the atmosphere and responsible for almost half the loss of the ozone layer above Antarctica.
2. Bromine Can Be Used as a Fire Retardant, but It’s Toxic
Bromine’s high atomic mass and versatility make it suitable as a fire retardant, particularly with transportation, electronic goods, furnishings, and building materials.
The use of bromine as flame retardants has been phased out in the USA due to toxicity concerns, as reported by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Bromine Poses Health Risks
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that bromine could be harmful in either gas or liquid form.
Breathing in bromine gas can cause respiratory problems, dizziness, watery eyes, and irritation of the mouth and nose.
Physical contact with bromine can also cause skin irritation.
Liquid bromine may cause cooling and burning sensations.
Severe bromine poisoning may also have long-term lung problems and kidney damage.
Prevention and Treatment
Below are the prevention and treatment protocols for exposure to bromine.
Below are tips for staying safe when handling bromine:
- Avoid contact with skin and eyes by wearing protective gear.
- Keep the product in a tightly closed container.
- Keep away from clothing and combustible materials.
- Store in a dry, well-ventilated area.
- Don’t breathe dust.
- Don’t eat, drink, smoke when using the product.
- Wash thoroughly after use.
If you or someone you know accidentally swallowed bromine, do the following:
- Rinse mouth with water.
- Don’t induce vomiting.
- Don’t give anything by mouth if the person is unconscious.
- Call a poison center or physician.
If you have bromine on your skin or hair, do the following:
- Immediately take off contaminated clothing.
- Shower or wash skin thoroughly.
- Wash contaminated clothing before reuse.
If you or someone you know accidentally inhaled bromine, do the following:
- Move to an open-air location and keep breathing.
- Give artificial respiration if the person is unable to breathe.
Do the following if bromine gets into your eyes:
- Rinse cautiously with water for at least 15 minutes.
- Remove contact lenses, if possible.
- Contact a poison center or physician immediately.
The Pros and Cons of Using Bromine Tablets
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to use bromine products, it may help to know their benefits and disadvantages.
Below is a list of pros and cons that may help you decide.
- Effectively kills bacteria
- Less likely to cause irritation making it better for sensitive skin
- No separate substances are required to remove bromine due to a weak bond with water
- Can sanitize water without increasing calcium hardness which makes the water less corrosive
- Doesn’t have a foul odor
- Lasts longer compared to chlorine
- More expensive compared to other sanitizing products
- Difficult to stabilize when exposed to UV light
- Twice the quantity of bromine is needed to achieve the same sanitation levels as chlorine
- May cause skin irritation and is harder to rinse off
Alternative Solutions For Sanitation
Chlorine is another popular choice for pool or spa applications.
It’s cheaper, works faster, and isn’t as prone to water degradation compared to bromine.
Bromine works slower but lasts longer.
Another advantage is that it’s less abrasive and less likely to trigger asthma attacks.
For lavatory applications, there are cleaners designed explicitly for toilet tanks, such as the Kaboom toilet cleaning system.
These products are safe for toilet parts, don’t require scrubbing, and last for months.
Bromine tablets may seem like an excellent solution to keep toilets sanitized.
But it’s hard to disregard the fact that they may cause damage to specific components.
With proper handling, bromine’s potential to harm people is relatively minimal.
But given that there are alternatives that are just as effective, it would be best to use cleaners specifically designed for toilet tanks.
Cheers, tools owners!