Acid-Bleach Mix Resulted in Restaurant Worker Death

November 12, 2019

The death of a restaurant worker last week due to cleaning chemical fumes was due to mixing two incompatible cleaning agents, reports.

An employee at Buffalo Wild Wings in Burlington, Massachusetts, used two different cleaning agents to clean the kitchen floor—one containing a concentrated chlorine bleach and another containing an acid-based product, according to local fire department officials. Most likely, the employee was unaware of the danger of mixing these two substances.

“When bleach is exposed to acids or ammonia, it will give off a deadly gas as part of the chemical reaction,” said Mark Warner, education manager with ISSA’s Cleaning Management Institute (CMI). “This was actually used as a weapon during WWI, yet we still struggle to educate everyone in the cleaning industry about the dangers of mixing two chemicals together into one solution.”

The worker who mixed the substances quickly went outside for fresh air. However, the restaurant’s general manager, 34-year-old Ryan Baldera, was overcome by the fumes after he tried to push the noxious, bubbling, cleaning concoction out the door of the restaurant using a squeegee. He was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Thirteen other people also went to the hospital with various symptoms that included difficulty breathing, runny/watery eyes, and shortness of breath. They were placed on oxygen and monitored, but none were seriously injured.


Come to ISSA Show North America 2019 and learn how to properly use all types of cleaning products. This year’s schedule includes more than 100 education sessions, hands-on training, and networking events.





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