A recent research study has shown that household cleaning products, particularly spray cleaners, can damage lung tissue as much as smoking a pack of cigarettes per day for twenty years. These findings demonstrate that the chemicals you use to clean your home matter more than many people realize. Most people know basic cleaning hazards to avoid such as not mixing ammonia and bleach (it releases toxic, deadly fumes), however this recent study shocked homeowners and the cleaning industry. Let’s dive into the study and what the results mean for you and your health.
The Household Cleaners and Lung Damage Study
The study published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine followed 6,235 people beginning with an average age around 34 for 20 years. The study measured lung function over time and included both men and women, some of whom were also cleaning professionals. The study had a few significant findings. First, that exposure to household cleaning chemicals, especially spray cleaners, significantly damaged lung tissue and lung function over time. Second, the biggest decline in lung function was found in women, who typically do a larger share of house cleaning tasks.
Previous studies have already established a link between household cleaners and higher asthma rates. However, this newly reported study is the first to measure long-term exposure and make the connection between household cleaners and a diagnosis of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). COPD is also the lung disease most commonly associated with cigarette smoking.
What Does it Mean for Your Health?
The findings of this study are important to your overall health. Experts recommend using eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaners (vinegar and water is a great natural cleaner) and avoiding the use of harsh chemical cleaners in your home. As spray cleaners result in airborne droplets of chemical cleaners that are easily breathed in and absorbed by the lungs, it’s best to avoid spray cleaners. If you do need to use spray cleaners or harsh chemicals, wear a protective face mask over your nose and mouth during use and make sure the space is well-ventilated.
Of course, The Clean Up Club is always available to take care of your cleaning chores for you. We have a range of cleaning options and services to fit your needs and protect your health.