Keeping Your House Clean Puts Asthma Sufferers at Risk

You may recall the blog item I posted last week about some of the unhealthy and downright dangerous things parents do to protect their asthmatic kids from potential irritants.

Another study featured in the British Medical Association's journal Thorax underscored that concern, but from a different angle. Researchers found exposure to fumes emitted by cleaning products in the home could cause asthma in children. When children were exposed to higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), they were four times more likely to suffer from asthma than children who weren't.

Typically, VOCs are found in:

  • Solvents
  • Paints
  • Floor adhesives
  • Cleaning products
  • Polishes
  • Room fresheners
  • Fitted carpets

Scientists studied 88 children who were treated for asthma at the emergency department of the Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth, Australia. They found VOC concentrations were higher in homes where people smoked indoors, as well as homes that had been recently painted or had new carpets.

However, they did not have enough data to conclude whether the use of household products such as cleaning products, paints and hobby supplies were to blame.

Australian Broadcasting Co. News Online August 26, 2004

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