If you’re meticulous about cleaning you could be harming your lungs. A recent study suggests household cleaning products are nearly as bad as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
How are cleaning products affecting our lungs?
It must be my natural instincts keeping me safe because I DON'T LOVE household cleaning! Now, this latest study out of Norway followed more than 6,200 people for over two decades. They found women who cleaned at least once a week had their lung function decline quicker than those who didn’t clean. And women working as cleaners had an even faster decline, with researchers comparing their exposure to smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for twenty years.
How are the cleaning products affecting the lungs?
Researchers think that the small particles in cleaning products irritate the mucous membranes in the airways which leads to long-term damage. Which is not good because we need proper lung function to pump oxygen into the blood and get carbon monoxide out. Poor lung function could be a sign of lung disease or the possible development of it.
What can we use instead of cleaning products – or are any of them safe to use?
It’s really important to choose cleaning products carefully because federal regulation of the chemicals in them is fairly poor. So my prescriptions:
- Try to avoid spray cleaning products. Or spray the product onto a cloth so you don’t breathe in the chemicals as easily.
- Solid and liquid cleaners may be the safer option to use. Be sure to read the label and follow all safety advice.
- Or skip the chemicals and use lukewarm water and a microfiber cloth. An abrasive sponge is also another effective cleaning alternative.
- Keep your home well ventilated. Open a window if you can while cleaning.
Unfortunately, we can’t avoid cleaning our homes, it’s a necessity that needs to be done, but we certainly can take preventative steps to keep our lungs healthy.