Women Who Clean at Home or Work Have Faster Lung Decline

Women Who Clean at Home or Work Have Faster Lung Decline

Women Who Clean at Home or Work Have Faster Lung Decline

Study's authors concluded that, in the long-run, cleaning products chemicals cause irreversible damage to the lungs and asked people to limit the use of such products. The women who cleaned at work declined faster still - 3.9 ml per year in FEV1, and 7.1 ml in FVC.

The team found that compared to women who didn't clean, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), or the amount of air a person can forcibly exhale in one second, declined 3.6 millilitres (ml)/year faster in women who cleaned at home and 3.9 ml/year faster in women who worked as cleaners.

But the researchers suggest that might be because there are fewer men who work as cleaners.

The researchers followed more than 6,200 women and men for over 20 years.

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"While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well documented, we lack knowledge of the long-term impact", said senior author Professor Cecile Svanes, a scientist at the University of Bergen.

As you might have noticed above, the study surprisingly found that women were more badly affected by the impact of cleaning chemicals than men.

The researchers said people should be careful choosing how they clean the surfaces in their homes.

But he added: "However, when you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all".

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There was no difference found in the long-term lung function of the men who said they clean regularly and those that didn't, meaning it is possible that women are simply more susceptible to the effects of the chemicals.

Asthma was also more common in women who were exposed to cleaning agents 13.7 percent of cleaning workers and 12.3 percent of the women that cleaned at home, compared with 9.6 percent of those who neither cleaned at home nor at work.

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 remodelling.

But for now, in light of the results, experts advise skipping the harsh chemicals for everyday cleaning, and using hot water and a microfibre cloth, or a steam cleaner, instead. His suggestion is to develop cleaning products that can't be inhaled, or use simpler cleaning methods.

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