Study finds regular use of common cleaning chemicals decreases lung capacity
23 February 2018
A study conducted by scientists at the University of Bergen in Norway found that the regular use of cleaning sprays that contain common chemicals such as bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and quaternary ammonium (quats) causes severe damage to lung capacity over extended periods of time.
The study was conducted over 20 years to measure the effects of the inhalation of cleaning chemicals over long periods of time. Lung function was measured by the amount of air that participants could forcefully breathe out after breathing in.
The extraordinary findings of the study revealed that for some participants, lung capacity was so damaged after long-term exposure to cleaning chemicals that it resembled that of a habitual pack-per-day cigarette smoker. The study controlled for variables such as smoking that could also cause damage lung capacity. A total of 3,298 of the participants were women and 2,932 were men.
The findings showed that the damage was more prevalent in female participants, but could be due to the fact that more women participated in the study. Occupational cleaners showed the highest amount of lung damage in the study, including cases of asthma. However, participants who used cleaning sprays containing common chemicals to clean their homes at least once per week showed a marked increase of damage to their lung function compared to those who did not.
The results of the Norway study are similar to those of a September 2017 study among nurses in France who used common industrial chemical cleaners to sanitize surfaces at least once per week.
The French study was authored by pulmonologist Orianne Dumas at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research. It…