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Cleaning Products Can Harm Your Children

I've posted studies that describe how children in the womb can be so badly harmed when mothers are exposed to deadly substances like mercury and sugar, not to mention after they're born. You can add cleaning products, ranging from bleach and carpet cleaners to paint strippers, to that list. Exposure to such products has been linked to persistent wheezing in young children.

A survey of some 14,000 children from the time they were born found those born into the 10 percent of families who used those products the most were twice as likely to suffer from wheezing as those who used them the least.

The five most common household cleaning products pregnant women were found to use:

  • Disinfectants (87 percent)
  • Bleach (85 percent)
  • Aerosol sprays (72 percent)
  • Air fresheners (68 percent)
  • Window cleaners (61 percent)

Scientists also found the more frequently chemicals were used, the higher the risk young children would have persistent wheezing. And that link remained constant, even after other factors -- parental smoking, damp housing and a family history of asthma -- were taken into account.

BBC News December 23, 2004

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