Used as a disinfectant; [Merck Index] Used for textile and fiber bleaching, for water purification, and as an antiseptic; [Hawley] Not used much because of its instability; Hypochlorites are used instead in drinking water and swimming pools; [Ullmann]
A strong oxidizing agent; [Merck Index] A skin and eye irritant; Weak and unstable acid--exists only in dilute solutions; [Hawley] Hypochlorites are used as bleaching agents and disinfectants (swimming pools); they are derived from hypochlorous acid. "Hypochlorites have caused hand, diffuse, or periulcerous dermatitis . . . " [Kanerva, p. 1803-4] See "Hydrogen chloride."