Household cleaning can be as bad as smoking for lung function

19 February, 2018, 07:27 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • Women who clean at home or work face increased lung function decline

Oddly, the study suggested there's no difference in lung function between men who routinely used cleaning products and those who didn't.

Women who work as cleaners or regularly use cleaning sprays at home may experience a greater decline in lung function over time than women who do not clean, a study has found. However, they found no such effect on the lungs of men who did the cleaning as part of their domestic chores or professionally.

Women who clean their home hurt their lungs, but scientists did not see the same effect in men.

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.

Well, dishcloth-dodgers have the flawless excuse as scientists have claimed that cleaning your home can be just as damaging to your lungs as smoking. Also, the number of participating men working in the cleaning business was small, and doctors think that their exposure to cleaning agents was likely different from that of women who worked as cleaning professionals. The women who cleaned at work declined faster still - 3.9 ml per year in FEV1, and 7.1 ml in FVC.

The researchers found that 12.3 per cent of women who cleaned at home and 13.7 per cent of women who cleaned at home developed asthma, compared to 9.6 percent for women who did not clean.

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"In the long run, cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs", said the lead author of the study, Prof Oistein Svanes.

"This study further confirms that air pollution can come from a range of sources, including from paints, adhesives and cleaning products we use indoors".

The team analysed data from 6,235 participants whose average age was 34 when they enrolled and were then followed for more than 20 years.

"Public health officials should strictly regulate cleaning products and encourage producers to develop cleaning agents that can not be inhaled". Dr Svanes, a respiratory consultant, added: "These chemicals are usually unnecessary; microfibre cloths and water are more than enough for most purposes", with the exception being cleaning the toilet when bleach may be necessary, he said.

"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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