If you’ve ever used bleach or other commercial cleaning products, you’re probably very aware of the toxic smell they fill your home with. According to a new study, using bleach and other common household disinfectants increases the risk of developing fatal lung disease.
The study was led by Dr. Orianna Dumas from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. Scientists followed over 55,000 nurses in the United Sates for a period of eight years.
As part of the study, researchers looked at nurses who had to disinfect instruments and wards as part of their job. They measured exposure to specific disinfectants that are often used in cleaning floors, furniture and other household items, including bleach, hydrogen peroxide and alcohol.
The researchers found that all of the disinfectants were “associated with an increased risk of COPD of between 24-32%.” Dr. Dumas explained, “We found that nurses who use disinfectants to clean surfaces on a regular basis – at least once a week – had a 22% increased risk of developing COPD.”
The study showed that 37% of nurses used disinfectants to clean surfaces on a weekly basis. During the study, 663 of the nurses who participated were diagnosed with COPD. Dr. Dumas said, “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.”
What Is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD, is an umbrella term that is used to describe progressive lung diseases, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory asthma and some forms of bronchiectasis. It affects around 30 million people in the United States. Signs and symptoms of COPD include:
- Increased breathlessness
- Frequent coughing
- Tightness in the chest
Dr. Dumas said, “Our findings provide further evidence of the effects of exposure to disinfectants on respiratory problems, and highlight the urgency of integrating occupational health considerations into guidelines for cleaning and disinfection in healthcare settings such as hospitals.”
To protect yourself from these harsh toxic chemicals at home, consider switching to natural, organic cleaning products. You’ll reduce the number of toxins you and your family are exposed to, and you’ll end up with safer, more eco-friendly products!