To Your Health
March, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 03)
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Your Lungs Don't Like Cleaning Products

By Editorial Staff

Remember when soap and warm water used to do the trick for most cleaning jobs around the house? The not-so-secret secret: It still works! Unfortunately, millions of people have been swayed in their cleaning habits by product manufacturers who've unleashed a seemingly endless array of cleaning liquids, gels, foams and sprays that keep your home sparkling – and are hazardous to your health.

Lung function naturally declines over time beginning at around age 35, but regular use of cleaning products (as little as once a week) accelerated the decline, according to researchers writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Lung function was evaluated in terms of forced expiratory volume (the amount of air someone can forcibly exhale in one second); and forced vital capacity (the total amount of air someone can exhale in a second).

cleaning window - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark The cleaning product industry might not be happy with our recommendation, but here goes: It's time to rethink your cleaning strategy! Lead study author Dr. Oistein Svanes made this point clear in an interview with Reuters Health: "We're cleaning in our houses every day and every week. It's important to have this discussion about cleaning and what we do in our homes. ... This doesn't mean we shouldn't clean – of course we need to clean our houses. But we need to question what chemicals we're using and how they affect us."