Long-Term Use Of Cleaning Products Causes Lung Problems, Study Says

Kitchen top is cleaned

It turned out that the women who used cleaning products regularly had the worst decline in lung capacity. In fact, they said using cleaning products for 20 years is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 10 to 20 years for women.

"The take-home message of this study is that in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs", said Øistein Svanes, the lead author, a doctoral student at the University of Bergen in Norway.

While the cleaning agents apparently did not hurt men, they had a major negative effect on women's lungs.

The experts attribute the decline in lung function to the damage that cleaning agents cause to the mucous membranes lining the airways, resulting over time in persistent changes.

Some 85 percent of the females reported being the main cleaner at home, while only 46.5 percent of the men reported the same.

Regularly using cleaning products like sprays can have the same negative impact on health as smoking a pack of cigarettes daily, a new study suggests. Researchers looked at data from more than 6,200 people over 20 years.

The study was conducted to find what effects do the cleaning products chemicals have on the long-run.

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The results showed that women who cleaned their house as little as once a week or as professional cleaners, they had an "accelerated" decline in lung capacity.

The scientists found that the amount of air women who cleaned could forcibly exhale declined more over time than in women who didn't, hinting at a decline in the cleaners' lung function. His suggestion is to develop cleaning products that can't be inhaled, or use simpler cleaning methods.

The cleaning products contain dozens of chemicals which can be inhaled.

However, there hasn't been a study to show the effects of the chemicals on healthy subjects, on the long-run.

"Microfiber cloths and water", he said, "are more than enough for most purposes".

"At Asthma UK we'd advise people with the condition who do a lot of cleaning to speak to their GP or nurse about what they can realistically do to reduce the risk of having an asthma attack".

"Ensuring we keep our homes well ventilated, using liquid cleaners instead of sprays and checking that our cookers and heaters are in good working order will help protect us and prevent everyday products impacting on our lungs".

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