Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cleaning products linked to adult asthma?

A Spanish study involving more than 3500 people has determined that there is an increased risk of adults developing asthma from the use of household cleaning products (now that is the truth!). The study was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

The study found that using household cleaning sprays and air fresheners as little as once a week raised the risk of asthma. The risk of developing asthma increased with frequency of cleaning and the number of different sprays used.

The repost from the BBC News indicated that the heavy use of such products has already been linked with occupational asthma, but this study indicates that the occasional use in the home is also a threat.

The type of products that tend to cause these problems include furniture polish (such as Mr. Sheen) and window sprays (such as Windex).

Personally, I would also add the use of mould killers and fly sprays because these can also have an effect upon the development of asthma within the home.

At this stage it is not known what irritants are the cause of the development of respiratory symptoms.

Chemicals at home and at work can have an effect upon anyone who has respiratory sensitivity. This is something that to me is not new, since I have had reactions to Mr. Sheen, Windex, and Mortein fly spray, as well as to the most popular mould killer. In the case of the mould killer it was the strength of the chlorine in the product and the fact that it was being sprayed in tiny droplets that was the cause of my distress. When this happened to my, my upper airway passages would block off, and I could not breathe unless I had something over my face. I have also reacted to paint fumes, methylated spirits and similar products. On the other hand, I have not had such a severe reaction when using the pump sprays. Another product that I would add to the mix is hair spray, since this can also cause allergy in a highly sensitive person.

Obviously there is work to be done in identifying the irritants, but at least now there is a study that proves what I have said for more than 30 years regarding cleaning products and other chemicals in the home - they are responsible for my respiratory reactions.

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