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Triggers Asthma

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Do Household Cleaning Products Increase the Risk of Asthma?

By Dr. Kristie

Are you concerned about the use of chemical products in your home and the risk of asthma?  If so, you may want to re-evaluate the cleaning products you’re currently using. According to a study, the use of sprays and household cleaning products, even infrequently, may significantly increase the risk of developing adult asthma. 

This study, published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, showed that the use of sprays and household cleaning products increased the risk of developing adult asthma by up to fifty percent. The effect appeared to be dose related with those using the products most frequently having the highest risk. Even though the risk was higher with more frequent usage, the study showed that using sprays and household cleaning products as seldom as once a week elevated the risk of asthma.

Surprisingly, the researchers believe that use of these products may account for up to one in seven cases of adult asthma.

What type of sprays and household chemicals increased the risk of asthma in this study?

It seemed that the most commonly used household and kitchen products such as glass cleaners, air fresheners, and counter sprays that were problematic. Although you might have expected the scents added to be a strong factor, the researchers found no independent association between frequent users of scented household products and a rising risk of asthma.

The results of this study on sprays and household cleaning products are hardly surprising. Previous studies have shown a higher risk of asthma in people who work as professional house cleaners. Other studies have shown that children who live in homes where sprays and household cleaning products are frequently used have a higher risk of developing asthma symptoms. It’s even been shown that pregnant women who use household cleaning products during their pregnancy give birth to children who have a higher risk of developing asthma later in life.

Conclusion

Despite the results of this study, you still need to clean the house. How can you protect your family and children from the unhealthy effects of sprays and household cleaning products? Instead of buying commercial products, consider using inexpensive natural ingredients for cleaning such as baking soda, vinegar, and fresh lemon juice. In many cases, these work just as well as store bought products. If you don’t want to do this, look for all-natural, unscented products from your local natural food market or health food store. These are usually safer options than standard sprays and household cleaning products and may be less harmful to the health of you or your family.


About the Author

She is a Medical Doctor with a concentration in Family Practice. She also has an undergraduate degree in both Biology and Psychology and masters in Clinical Pathology.


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