Cleaning sprays 'raise the risk of asthma'

Using household cleaning sprays and air fresheners as little as once a week can raise the risk of developing asthma, scientists say.

A study found air fresheners and furniture cleaners could be contributing to as many as one in seven cases of adult asthma. Although these products have been associated with increased asthma rates in cleaning professionals, this is the first time a similar effect has been found in those who use such products occasionally.

Asthma is very common in Briton with one in every 13 adults receiving treatment for the condition. Allergens and chest infections are known to trigger asthma attacks in which the airways become inflamed.

The latest study looked at more than 3,500 subjects across 22 centres in 10 European countries. Subjects were assessed for asthma, wheezing and allergies twice over nine years. They were also asked to report the number of times per week they used cleaning products. On average the researchers found the risk of asthma was forty per cent higher in people regularly exposed to cleaning sprays than in others.

The risk of developing asthma increased with frequency of cleaning and number of different sprays used. The researchers found that cleaning sprays, especially air fresheners, furniture cleaners and glass-cleaners, had a particularly strong effect.

"Frequent use of household cleaning sprays may be an important risk factor for adult asthma," wrote lead author Dr Jan-Paul Zock, from the Municipal Institute of Medical Research in Spain.

Source - Daily Mail

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