A study on Household Cleaning Sprays and Asthma by Professor Zock of the Municipal Institute of Medical Research in Spain, was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in 2007.
Professor Zock undertook the research as ‘Cleaning work and professional use of certain cleaning products have been associated with asthma, but respiratory effects of nonprofessional home cleaning have rarely been studied’.
According to the study, the exposure to certain cleaning products during professional cleaning work has been associated with MCS and other asthma symptoms for some time. This study, however, focused on the respiratory effects of non-professional home cleaning.
The study identified 3,503 persons, in 10 countries, doing the cleaning in their homes and who were free of asthma at baseline. Frequency of use of 15 types of cleaning products was obtained in a face-to-face interview. The researchers studied the incidence of asthma defined as physician diagnosis and as symptoms or medication usage at follow-up. Associations between asthma and the use of cleaning products were statistically analysed.
Participants were assessed for asthma, wheeze, physician diagnosed asthma and allergies during follow-up. They were also asked to report the number of times per week they used cleaning products.
Two thirds of the study population who reported doing most of the cleaning were women. 6% of them had asthma at the time of follow-up. Fewer than 10% of them were full-time homemakers.
Risks were predominantly found for the commonly used glass-cleaning, furniture, and air-refreshing sprays. Cleaning products not applied in spray form were not associated with asthma.
The report's conclusions
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Vol. 176. pp. 735-741, (2007); The Use of Household Cleaning Sprays and Adult Asthma, An International Longitudinal Study.
Dr Wyatt blogs on his lifetime's experience of Indoor Air Quality Issues.