Cleaning sprays as harmful as smoking

  • Cleaning sprays as harmful as smoking

Cleaning sprays as harmful as smoking

Women who regularly clean at home or professionally are damaging their lungs in a way comparable to smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for 10 to 20 years due to the inhalation of cleaning sprays, according to a recently published study out of Norway.

Experts say they cause damage to airways, speeding up the decline of our lungs as we age.

The researchers analyzed data that followed thousands of people over the course of 20 years, including measures of lung function and surveys in which the subjects reported their cleaning habits.

Most of the women studied said they were the primary cleaners in their homes, compared with less than half of the male participants who reported being the cleaners in their own.

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

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

They then examined the results alongside a questionnaire in which participants had been asked about the frequency of their use of cleaning products.

The authors write: "Women cleaning at home or working as occupational cleaners had accelerated decline in lung function, suggesting that exposures related to cleaning activities may constitute a risk to long-term respiratory health".

Dr Cecile Svanes of the University of Bergen, who carried out the study said: "While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well documented, we lack knowledge of the long-term impact".

Researchers explain that their study was limited thanks to the small percentage of women who never cleaned, and the small group of men who worked as cleaners who they were able to analyse. You will not need a lot of chemicals after all, when cleaning.

They recommend using microfibre cloths and water instead of harsh chemicals for most cleaning purposes.

Although the study had some limitations, such as including only a small population of women who did not clean and men who worked as cleaners, Øistein Svanes still concluded that, "The take home message of this study is that in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs".

Svanes said public health officials should strictly regulate cleaning products and encourage producers to develop cleaning agents that can not be inhaled.

According to United Kingdom experts, people should keep their homes well ventilated and use liquid cleaners instead of sprays.