Weekly cleaner use increases risk for asthma

By • Published: January 3rd, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

The house is dirty. You’ve assembled all the top soldiers in preparation for battle. There’s Sergeant Mop for gleaming floors. Private Spray Cleaner for shiny, streak-free windows and mirrors. And Lieutenant Air Freshener for that dewy, spring meadow smell.

A few hours later, you’ve won the battle against grime, but time after time, the cleaners you rely on to scrub your house fresh may be winning their own war… against your lungs.

Researchers from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology at Spain’s Municipal Institute of Medical Research say using spray cleaners and air fresheners puts adults at an increased risk for developing asthma, even if the sprays are used just once a week.

The researchers studied more than three-thousand people and found that those exposed to cleaning products more often were also thirty to fifty percent more likely to develop asthma.

Prior studies have linked asthma to cleaning product use in workers who clean for a living. But the Spanish study is the first to show an association between asthma and home cleaner use.

Researchers say a chemical component in some cleaners could be triggering the reaction when the spray is inhaled.

But don’t stop cleaning your house just yet. Dust and dander can trigger asthma symptoms too. A safer bet would be to avoid inhaling cleaning solutions by wearing a mask or trying a less harsh cleaner.

That way you can have your sparkling floors and breathe easy, too.