Cleaning Product Chemicals Decrease Lung Functioning

The potential dangers from commercial cleaning product chemicals has just gotten very real.  The results of a new scientific study indicate that one of the dangers is decreased lung functioning in women who use these products.


Women who clean at home or work face increased lung function decline

Women who work as cleaners or regularly use cleaning sprays or other cleaning products at home appear to experience a greater decline in lung function over time than women who do not clean, according to new research published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

The authors found that the accelerated lung function decline in the women working as cleaners was “comparable to smoking somewhat less than 20 pack- years.”

The authors speculate that the decline in lung function is attributable to the irritation that most cleaning chemicals cause on the mucous membranes lining the airways, which over time results in persistent changes in the airways and airway remodeling…

The study did find that asthma was more prevalent in women who cleaned at home (12.3 percent) or at work (13.7 percent) compared to those who did not clean (9.6 percent).

“The take home message of this study is that in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs. These chemicals are usually unnecessary; microfiber cloths and water are more than enough for most purposes.”

-Øistein Svanes, researcher

He added that public health officials should strictly regulate cleaning products and encourage producers to develop cleaning agents that cannot be inhaled.

Study: Cleaning at Home and at Work in Relation to Lung Function Decline and Airway Obstruction

photo: ATS