"The frequent use of household cleaning sprays may be an important risk factor for adult asthma", says Prof. Jan-Paul Zock of the Municipal Institute of Medical Research in Spain. The recent study that was co-authored by Prof. Zock showed that the risk of developing asthma was on average 30-50% higher among people who were regularly exposed to cleaning sprays. Cleaning sprays that are particularly harmful are air fresheners, furniture cleaners and glass cleaners.
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 researchers studied more than 3,500 subjects across 10 European countries. 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.
Prof. Zock says that "the relative risk rates of developing adult asthma in relation to exposure to cleaning products could account for as much as 15% or one in seven of adult asthma cases". For these reasons, it is recommended to use allergy-friendly cleaning products.