Tuesday, September 25, 2018

At Home

Study: Clean­ing with chemicals is like smok­ing cig­a­rettes


    Researchers in Norway have published a study that suggests regular use of cleaning sprays could contribute to a decline in lung health. (Dreamstime TNS)


Just in case you needed a legitimate excuse to be messy, there’s a new study that says cleaning may actually be bad for your health.

Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway found that regular use of cleaning sprays contributed to a greater decline in lung function compared to those who did not clean.

The study, published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, focused on women who work as cleaners or regularly use cleaning sprays.

The 20-year research project that involved more than 6,000 participants, concluded that women who worked as cleaners had the comparable lung function of someone who smoked for about “20 pack-years.” Scientists define one pack year as being the equivalent of 20 cigarettes smoked daily for one year.

“That level of lung impairment was surprising at first,” said lead study author Øistein Svanes, a doctoral student at the Department for Clinical Science. “However, when you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all.”

Researchers speculate that the decline in lung function is attributed to the irritation most cleaning chemicals cause on mucous membranes lining airways.

Unfortunately, Svanes doesn’t recommend we just give up cleaning to protect our health. His suggestion is to develop cleaning products that can’t be inhaled, or use simpler cleaning methods.

“Microfiber cloths and water,” he said, “are more than enough for most purposes.”

Tribune News Service

Click to comment

© 2018 Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, WI. All rights reserved.

To Top
Applying filter…