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Greener Cleaners Needed

Asthma Risk from Spray Cleaners
 
If occasional use of spray cleaners can cause asthma, can you imagine what using them continuously as part of your job may do? Per research in Spain, using household cleaning sprays or air fresheners as little as once a week can raise the risk of developing asthma in adults (www.thoracic.org).
 
"Frequent use of household cleaning sprays may be an important risk factor for adult asthma,- wrote lead author Jan-Paul Zock, Ph.D., of the Municipal Institute of Medical Research.
 
The study included more than 3,500 subjects across 10 European countries.  Subjects were assessed for current asthma, current wheeze, physician-diagnosed asthma and allergy at follow-up, which took place an average of nine years after their first assessment.  They were also asked to report the number of times per week they used cleaning products.
 
Air Fresheners, Furniture Cleaners, Glass Cleaners Biggest Culprits
 
The risk of developing asthma increased with frequency of cleaning and number of different sprays used, but on average was about thirty to fifty percent higher in people regularly exposed to cleaning sprays than in others. The researchers found that cleaning sprays, especially air fresheners, furniture cleaners and glass-cleaners, had a particularly strong effect.
 
Despite the uncertainty of the biological mechanism, the findings have important clinical relevance. "Clinicians should be aware of the potential for cleaning products used in the home to cause respiratory symptoms and possibly asthma,- wrote Kenneth D. Rosenman, M.D., professor at Michigan State University.
 
The research may have also significant implications for public health.  "The relative risk rates of developing adult asthma in relation to exposure to cleaning products could account for as much as 15 percent, or one in seven of adult asthma cases,- wrote Dr. Zock.

By Rita Henry
Get Housekeeping Jobs, Contributing Editor

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