Everyday cleaning sprays can be as harmful for a woman as smoking 20 cigarettes a day.
Research in Norway found lung capacity dropped 4.3ml a year faster in women who cleaned at home – it fell 7.1ml a year faster for those who worked as cleaners. Asthma also became more prevalent.
However, the study showed men didn’t suffer in similar ways.
Prof Dr Cecile Svanes of the University of Bergen said, according to the BBC:
Cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs.
A second study published at the American Association for the Advancement of Science discovered 50 per cent of ‘volatile organic compounds’ in the Los Angeles air came from products like paint, pesticides, bleach and perfumes.
Oistein Svanes, who worked on the study said:
The take-home message is, in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs.
These chemicals are usually unnecessary; microfiber cloths and water are more than enough for most purposes.
Sarah MacFadyen, from the British Lung Foundation said:
Breathing in any kind of air pollution can have an impact on our health, especially for those living with a lung condition.
This study further confirms air pollution can come from a range of sources, including from paints, adhesives and cleaning products we use indoors.
Ensuring we keep our homes well ventilated, using liquid cleaners instead of sprays and checking that our cookers and heaters are in good working order will help protect us and prevent everyday products impacting on our lungs.