According to new research concerning the use of different cleaning products and their effect on the human body, it had become evident that exposure to some products, like bleach, can significantly increase the risk of having fatal lung problems.
Disinfectants are common cleaning supplies that can be found in nearly every household. However, recent studies carried out by Harvard University and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) suggest that even by using those disinfectants just once a week, a person could severely increase their chance of developing the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Dr. Orianne Dumas, a researcher at Inserm, commented on their breakthrough research, saying:
“To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to report a link between disinfectants and COPD among healthcare workers, and to investigate specific chemicals that may underlie this association.”
This is the first time that cleaning products have been linked to COPD (a term referring to conditions defined by heightening breathlessness). Previously, such supplies were only linked to asthma. COPD affects about 1.2 million people in the UK yearly, with an astounding sum of 30,000 dying from its inhalation annually.
“We need to investigate the impact on COPD of lifetime occupational exposure to chemicals and clarify the role of each specific disinfectant,” said Dr. Dumas. “Two recent studies in European populations showed that working as a cleaner was associated with a higher risk of COPD.”
The data that was gathered tested findings from over 55,000 female nurses in America, all of which enrolled in the US Nurses’ Health Study II. The study began in 1989, but researchers found it more efficient to focus on nurses who were still working in healthcare up until 2009 and had no history of COPD.
During that selected period, 663 nurses were diagnosed with COPD, after being exposed to a considerable amount of bleach, hydrogen peroxide and alcohol, according to tests.
Dr. Dumas’s team found that each nurse had a raised risk of COPD of 24-32% because of their exposure to such substances.