An estimated five million people suffer from asthma in Britain, and studies suggest that certain cleaning products not only worsen existing conditions but could also be the sole cause of introducing breathing disorders in new patients, the Telegraph reported.
“The number of people at risk is very large”, the paper quoted Dr. Jan-Paul Zock of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, saying, “Not only those who have cleaning jobs or whose work involves cleaning are at risk, but we also need to consider the ubiquitous use of cleaning products at home”.
“There is substantial evidence linking asthma to the use of cleaning sprays, chlorine bleach and disinfectants at work, although further research is needed to understand the processes involved and how many people are at risk”, added Dr. Elaine Vickers of Asthma UK, “Some people with asthma also tell us they experience symptoms like wheezing or coughing when using cleaning products in the home, so it’s important to open windows when cleaning, use products sparingly and use natural alternatives if possible”.
The Mirror quoted Dr. Zock saying: “Our research shows that cleaning-related asthma is a public health issue and is potentially preventable”. The source added that although researchers know that the use of cleaning agents can increase the risk of asthma, they were unaware of exactly how the chemicals affect the lungs, which is why further research, particularly in the domestic sphere, is necessary.