Women Who Often Use Cleaning Products Increased Lung Function Decline

Women who work as cleaners or regularly use cleaning sprays or other cleaning products at home appear to experience a greater decline in lung function over time than women who do not clean, according to new research published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway analyzed data from 6,235 participants averaged 34 years old when they enrolled,and followed for more than 20 years.

While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well documented, the researchers wanted to find the long-term impact.

The study shows that in the long term the women working as cleaners show lung function decline enough comparable to smoking somewhat less than 20 pack per year.

The authors speculate that the decline in lung function is attributable to the irritation that most cleaning chemicals cause on the mucous membranes lining the airways, which over time results in persistent changes in the airways and airway remodeling.

However, the study didn’t find the same decline in men who cleans at home or work.Reason is unknown.

 

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