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Common household chore just as damaging as smoking 20 cigarettes a day

Household cleaning products may harm lung function in women

The women - but not the men - who clean their homes or workplaces showed decreased lung function in exhalation tests, according to the paper in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

The study found that the accelerated lung function decline in the women working as cleaners was "comparable to smoking somewhat less than 20 pack- years".

But using cleaning products had no effect on men's lungs, research showed.

"While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well documented, we lack knowledge of the long-term impact", said Cecile Svanes from the University of Bergen in Norway.

However, there are few women who have never cleaned, and only a small group of men working as cleaners that the researchers were able to analyse.

The experts attribute the decline in lung function to the damage that cleaning agents cause to the mucous membranes lining the airways, resulting over time in persistent changes.

"The small particles from the sprays can remain in the air for hours after cleaning".

"The take home message of this study is that in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs", Svanes said.

As you might have noticed above, the study surprisingly found that women were more badly affected by the impact of cleaning chemicals than men.

Borussia Dortmund comeback kid Marco Reus: 'Thrilled to play again!'
The striker moved to the Bundesliga club on transfer deadline day from Chelsea on a loan deal for the rest of the season. I had the feeling that the lads really put a lot in to get into the lead, even if not everything worked.

The researchers analyzed data that followed thousands of people over the course of 20 years, including measures of lung function and surveys in which the subjects reported their cleaning habits.

They were asked whether they cleaned their own house, or whether they worked as professional cleaners.

"This study further confirms that air pollution can come from a range of sources, including from paints, adhesives and cleaning products we use indoors".

The researchers compared the damage to what some cigarette smokers would experience.

"These chemicals are usually unnecessary; microfiber cloths and water are more than enough for most purposes", he said.

"Public health officials should strictly regulate cleaning products and encourage producers to develop cleaning agents that can not be inhaled".

The cleaning products contain dozens of chemicals which can be inhaled.

Asthma UK suggested "using solid or liquid products instead of sprays, avoid scented products and keep the area well ventilated".

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