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The Use of Household Cleaning Sprays and Adult Asthma

There is growing evidence that cleaning workers are at increased risk for asthma, in some areas being particularly apparent for those employed in domestic cleaning. Epidemiologic studies have identified specific professional cleaning products associated with asthma, including bleach and sprays. Many products used in professional cleaning are also widely applied in private households. Analysis of data from the first phase of European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS I) showed that homemakers had a small but statistically significant excess risk of asthma, and it was hypothesized that this may be related to the use of cleaning products at home. Several studies have reported chronic respiratory disorders after accidental inhalation related to (the mixing of) household cleaners, but we are not aware of studies that have evaluated respiratory effects of common use of domestic cleaning products. The aim of this study was to investigate the risk of new-onset asthma in relation to the use of common household cleaners within the follow-up of the ECRHS.

ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN THE USE OF CLEANING PRODUCTS AT LEAST WEEKLY AND THE INCIDENCE OF ASTHMA

Cleaning Product Use ? 1 d/wk Among All Participants (%) Current Asthma* RR (95% CI) Current Wheeze RR (95% CI) Physician-diagnosed Asthma HR (95% CI)
Washing powders 78.6 1.10 (0.75?1.63) 1.28 (0.91?1.81) 0.82 (0.43?1.54)
Liquid multiuse cleaning products 83.1 0.94 (0.64?1.38) 0.97 (0.70?1.35) 0.98 (0.52?1.86)
Polishes, waxes 8.7 1.12 (0.71?1.76) 1.19 (0.77?1.85) 1.42 (0.68?2.97)
Bleach 28.0 1.22 (0.83?1.80) 1.30 (0.90?1.87) 1.10 (0.56?2.17)
Ammonia 7.2 1.40 (0.87?2.23) 1.31 (0.81?2.13) 0.92 (0.33?2.59)
Decalcifiers, acids 11.1 1.06 (0.70?1.61) 1.18 (0.77?1.80) 0.25 (0.06?1.04)
Solvents, stain removers 5.5 1.54 (0.94?2.53) 2.00 (1.30?3.07) 0.48 (0.12?1.97)
Furniture sprays 11.6 1.49 (0.99?2.23) 1.46 (0.98?2.19) 2.46 (1.26?4.80)
Glass-cleaning sprays 22.1 1.35 (0.98?1.85) 1.49 (1.12?2.00) 1.43 (0.84?2.44)
Sprays for carpets, rugs, curtains 1.3 1.24 (0.47?3.21) 0.80 (0.26?2.41) 0.80 (0.11?5.93)
Sprays for mopping the floor§ 6.1 1.05 (0.59?1.85) 1.03 (0.59?1.79) 0.93 (0.30?2.85)
Oven sprays 2.0 0.87 (0.33?2.28) 1.24 (0.57?2.69) 0.63 (0.09?4.64)
Ironing sprays 3.0 1.66 (0.92?3.00) 1.05 (0.48?2.30) 1.51 (0.46?4.96)
Air-refreshing sprays 16.2 1.71 (1.22?2.39) 1.36 (0.98?1.88) 1.46 (0.78?2.70)
Any spray 42.1 1.49 (1.12?1.99) 1.39 (1.06?1.80) 1.28 (0.78?2.09)
Any perfumed or scented product 67.8 1.09 (0.78?1.50) 1.11 (0.83?1.49) 1.29 (0.74?2.26)

Source: NCBI

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