New research published in the American Journal for Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine has found that women exposed to cleaning products were damaging their lungs as if they were smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Men, however, did not face the same consequences.
The study, conducted by the University of Bergen in Norway, monitored 6000 adults over 20 years. Notably, results found that women who cleaned regularly showed reduced lung function over time. . Females who inhaled the chemicals while tidying up faced a 43 per cent increase in the risk of asthma over 20 years.
Interestingly, men equally exposed to cleaning products did not suffer the same fate, not reporting decreases in their lung function.
"When you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe the news is not so surprising after all," explains lead author of the study, professor Oistein Staves.
"In the long run, cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs."
Experts suggest that women are simply more prone to the effects of chemicals. In future, they recommend using liquid cleaners instead of sprays and keeping your home well ventilated.