What are the Long-Term Effects of Using Cleaning Products?
Many studies have shown the short-term effects on lung function; however, the long term effects on lung function have not been studied—-until now.
Cleaning products expose the lungs to harmful chemical agents that irritate and inflame the inside lining of the lung, leading to decreased air flow movement, increased risk of asthmatic symptoms, and decreased lung function. In addition, exposure to cleaning chemicals is correlated with inflammatory responses negative cardiac markers. These harmful health effects are well known and reported on in the research literature. Now, we have long range data on the long term effects of using cleaning products on a very large sample population; Over 6,000 people followed over a period of 20 years.
Researchers at Norway’s University of Bergen tracked 6,235 people over 20 years, and recently reported their results in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
What did they find?
1. The decrease in lung function among women who use cleaning products regularly is essentially equivalent to the lung function decline in individuals who smoke 20 cigarettes per day. Wow!
2. Compared to women not engaged in cleaning, the amount of air a person can forcibly exhale in one second (FEV1), declined 3.6 milliliters (ml)/year faster in women who cleaned at home and 3.9 ml/year faster in women who worked as cleaners. In addition, the total amount of air a person can forcibly exhale, Forced vital capacity (FVC), declined 4.3 ml/year faster in women who cleaned at home and 7.1 ml/year faster in women who worked as cleaners.
3. The women who used the products regularly had 40% increase in the rate of asthma.
4. Men did not show this same negative decline; however, they attribute this to three factors: inadequate number of males enrolled in the study who were professional cleaners; men who are industrial workers and who are exposed to harmful chemicals in the workplace were included in the reference group; and, men are known to have lungs that are more resistant to decline induced by exposure to such things as tobacco smoke and wood dust. One other hypothesis is that there is a differential effect on endocrine disruption between the sexes that plays a role in lung capacity.
One of the authors of the study concluded: ”The take home message of this study is that in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs”
This research shows that even low level, periodic exposure to cleaning agents containing harmful chemicals like ammonia and bleach can lead to significant lung capacity decline and increased risk for asthma. For safety purposes, one should assume that the increased inflammation in the body leads to other health conditions as well.
This is why it’s paramount to use cleaners that don’t use harmful chemicals such as ammonia and bleach in their makeup, and that include natural products that have positive health effects to boot. Thieves cleaner anyone?
A link to the Study is provided below.
Svanes, O., Bertelsen, R.J., Lygre, S.H.L., Carsin, A.E., Anto, J.M., Forsberg, B., Garcia-Garcia, J.M., Gullon, J.A., Heinrich, J., Holm, M. and Kogevinas, M., Cleaning at home and at work in relation to lung function decline and airway obstruction.
For information on Thieves Household Cleaner:
The Essential Oily Boss
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Young Living products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.