Prolonged or frequent exposure day-to-day cleaning products affects lungs. Therefore cleaning agents we use at home could mean long-term damage to the lungs, a new study finds.
The study of 6,000 people by a team from Norway’s University of Bergen, found women appeared to be more badly affected than men. They said cleaning chemicals were “unnecessary” and microfiber cloths and water were “enough for most purposes”.
The team looked at data from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. Previous studies have looked at the short-term effect of cleaning chemicals on asthma. Prof Cecile Svanes, who led the Bergen team, said: “We feared that such chemicals, steadily causing a little damage to the airways day after day and might accelerate the rate of lung function decline that occurs with age.” Cleaning products affects lungs on regular exposure
Exposure of Cleaning Product
The American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, followed for more than 20 years. Their lung function was measured by looking at how much air people could forcibly breath out.
The research followed more than 6,000 people over a 20 year period and found women in particular suffering health problems after long-term use.
Lung function decline in women working as cleaners or regularly using cleaning products at home was comparable to smoking 20 cigarettes a day over 10 to 20 years. Chemicals in cleaning products irritate the mucous membranes that line the airways of the lungs, causing long-term damage.
These chemicals are usually unnecessary; microfiber cloths and water are more than enough for most purposes.
While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well documented. This study further confirms that air pollution can come from a range of sources, such as paints, adhesives and cleaning products.
Ensuring we keep our homes well ventilated. Using liquid cleaners instead of sprays. checking that our heaters and coolers are in good working order.