Cleaning Could Impact Respiratory Health

Faster decline in women responsible for cleaning at home, occupational cleaners, but not for men
Faster decline in women responsible for cleaning at home, occupational cleaners, but not for men

HealthDay News — Accelerated lung function decline is seen in women responsible for cleaning at home or working in occupational cleaning, according to a study published online February 16 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Øistein Svanes, MD, from the University of Bergen in Norway, and colleagues examined the long-term effects of occupational cleaning and cleaning at home on lung function in a multicenter population-based cohort. Data were included for 6,230 participants with at least 1lung function measurement from 22 study centers. 

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The researchers found that forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) declined more rapidly in women responsible for cleaning at home and occupational cleaners compared to women not engaged in cleaning (ΔFEV1 = −22.1 and −22.4 versus −18.5 ml/year). Results were similar for forced vital capacity (FVC) (ΔFVC = −13.1 and −15.9 versus −8.8 ml/year). Accelerated FEV1 decline was seen in association with both cleaning sprays and other cleaning agents. There was no significant correlation for cleaning with lung function decline in men or with chronic airway obstruction.

"Women cleaning at home or working as occupational cleaners had accelerated decline in lung function, suggesting that exposures related to cleaning activities may constitute a risk to long-term respiratory health," the authors write.

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