Childhood exposure to household cleaning products is associated with an increased risk of asthma, according to new research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Many cleaning supplies or household supplies release dangerous chemicals, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
VOCs are known to be linked to chronic respiratory problems, such as allergic reactions and asthma. A group of researchers in Canada set out to further investigate this link.
The researchers looked at data from questionnaires completed by parents of over 2,000 children in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) cohort, who were exposed to cleaning products from birth to ages 3-4 months.
The children were then assessed when they reached three years old to see if they had asthma.
The researchers found a link between exposure to cleaning products and asthma, with a 2.1% increased likelihood.
Scented and sprayed cleaning products were associated with the highest risk.
According to the report, while the American Lung Association advises against cleaning products that contain VOCs, manufactures in Canada and the U.S. are still not required by law to list all the ingredients, with some ‘green’ products still containing harmful substances.
The authors of the report concluded that going forward, cleaning products should be labelled so individuals can check if they contain VOCs which as a result will help to minimise exposure and reduce the risk of asthma in children.
Jaclyn Parks, lead author of the study said: ‘These findings add to our understanding of how early-life exposure are associated with the development of allergic airway disease, and identify household cleaning behaviours as a potential area for intervention.’
In related news, earlier this month, researchers at the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal) found that air pollution is responsible for nearly half of all childhood asthma cases in Barcelona.
The researchers found that if air pollution was reduced to an even more minimum level then as many as 3,000 cases of childhood asthma could be prevented.
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