Women who regularly use cleaning sprays and other cleaning products at home or at work may have a greater decline in lung function than women who don’t, finds a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway analyzed data from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. The 6,235 study participants, whose average age was 34 when they were first surveyed, were followed for more than 20 years.
The researchers found that the amount of air the women could forcibly exhale in one second declined faster in women who regularly cleaned at home and even faster in women who used cleaning products at work. The total amount of air they could forcibly exhale declined faster in women who cleaned at home and almost twice as fast in women who worked as cleaners. The researchers said that the declines may be due to irritation of the mucous membranes lining the airways.