Smoking is believed to be the main cause of lung cancer. However, other products can affect the respiratory system. A new study conducted by a team of Norwegian researchers reveals that cleaning products chemicals are as dangerous as smoking.
The cleaning products contain dozens of chemicals which can be inhaled. According to the study’s authors, these chemicals irritate the mucosa of the respiratory tract and lungs.
The study was conducted to find what effects do the cleaning products chemicals have on the long-run. The scientists have already found out for some years now the magnitude of the negative impact of the cleaning products chemicals on the respiratory system in asthma patients.
However, there hasn’t been a study to show the effects of the chemicals on healthy subjects, on the long-run.
“While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well documented, we lack knowledge of the long-term impact,” admitted the study’s senior author, Cecile Svanes.
More than 6,200 women and men participated in this study
The researchers followed more than 6,200 women and men for over 20 years. The subjects had to respond to surveys regarding how much they use cleaning products, and how often.
The results were shocking.
The women who used cleaning products at least once a week presented a more damaged respiratory system in comparison to the male subjects. The scientists compared the use of cleaning products for a 20 years period with smoking 20 cigarettes per day for 20 years.
For that reason, the British Lung Foundation recommends cleaning products labeled as “Non-Allergic” because they contain less harmful chemicals.
The study didn’t have a well-formed control group as just a few participants did not use cleaning products but scientists consider the results strong enough to raise some alarms signals.
Study’s authors concluded that, in the long-run, cleaning products chemicals cause irreversible damage to the lungs and asked people to limit the use of such products.