Asthma is a breathing disorder with many causes and no cure. Fortunately, asthma can be controlled through treatment and prevention. Cleaning your home is one of the best ways to control asthma triggers such as dust mites, mold and pet dander. However, in some cases, the chemicals used in cleaning products may themselves cause asthma.
People that clean frequently may also develop sensitivity to certain chemicals. One study published by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine reported that janitorial workers have twice the rate of occupational asthma than other workers. Certain chemicals are associated with asthma attacks. If you suffer from asthma, knowing your triggers and recognizing your symptoms are important elements of your treatment plan.
Chemicals are Associated with Inducing Asthma Attacks
Chemicals that release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may have adverse health effects, including asthma. Some household products that release VOCs and may cause asthma attacks include:
- aerosol sprays
- air fresheners
- automotive products
- cleansers and disinfectants
- dry-cleaned clothing
- hobby supplies
- moth repellents
- paint strippers
- stored fuels
- wood preservatives.
Some chemicals and cleaning ingredients known to trigger asthma include:
- Ammonium quaternary compounds – found in some disinfectant sprays and toilet cleaners.
- Monoethanolamine (MEA) – found in some laundry detergents, all-purpose cleaners and floor cleaners.
- Phthalates – fragrance in glass cleaners, deodorizers, laundry detergents and fabric softeners.
For your safety, follow product instructions carefully and use products in a well ventilated area. Safely discard unneeded chemicals.
Why You Need Asthma-Friendly Cleaning Products
The United Kingdom published a study in the journal Thorax stating that frequent use of household products was associated with persistent wheezing among pre-school age children. Other studies suggest that cleaning products not only impact asthma symptoms but also increase the likelihood of an asthma attack for those who are sensitive to particular chemicals.
If you are allergic to certain chemicals, allergy-friendly and allergy-safe cleaning products can make cleaning much more tolerable. Some products may claim to be allergy friendly, but really are not. Carefully evaluate products that allege to be allergy friendly. If you purchase a product online, read reviews. Look for an endorsement from the Asthma