Women and Household Cleaners
About this study: The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS III) has been tracking a large portion of 6235 women and men with a beginning age average of 34, at 22 health centers in multiple countries over 20 years. Participants were quizzed about their use of both spray and liquid home cleaning products and had their lung capacity tested regularly.
The results were compiled and analyzed by a top team of 28 international researchers from 9 countries. This compilation was led by scientists at the University of Bergen, Norway. The results were published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. thoracic.org/about/newsroom/press-releases/resource/women-cleaners-lung-function.pdf
Here is a synopsis of the findings.
- Weekly use of commercial home cleaning products is as damaging to the lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day.
- Women are affected more than men. Men appear to be able to endure greater exposure to environmental pollutants before experiencing a similar drop in lung capacity.
- Cleaning at home is just as harmful as being an occupational cleaner, if not more so.
- Liquid cleaners are just as harmful as sprays.
- Ammonia, chlorine bleach, quaternary disinfecting compounds and other dangerous chemicals appear to be the primary culprits.
- Women who regularly use cleaning products have increased rates of asthma.
- The damage is cumulative over time.
What you can do:
Eliminate your home of all cleaning products that contain ammonia, quaternary disinfectants, chlorine bleach, or any other questionable substances. Nearly all home cleaning products use these substances.
You can make your own home cleaning products simply, safely, and economically. It only takes a few minutes to make safe floor cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and all other cleaners for your home.
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