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Answered 2008-07-09 15:22:22

Depends on the concentration of the bleach you inhaled. A little whiff won't do harm. Lengthy exposure to high concentration bleach can damage the airway and lungs quite severely. In all but very extreme cases, this would present as a nasty, productive chest cold, or pneumonia. A chest xray might show lesions as well. Extreme cases may cause blood to appear in the sputum -- what you cough up. If you see blood, go to the ER. Usually, one brief exposure to breathing household bleach will not cause significant damage -- usually. However, it's wise to only use bleach in a well-ventilated environment.

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