Study: Health Effects of Cleaning and Asthma Among Women

In a study published in the January issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, researchers compared the health effects of cleaning among asthmatic and nonasthmatic women who are the primary cleaners in their homes. A 12-week study was used to assess the effects of cleaning on peak expiratory flow rates and upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms in women with and without asthma. The results showed that no effect was observed on peak expiratory flow rates after cleaning between those with asthma and those without asthma. Upper respiratory tract symptoms increased after cleaning for both groups and the change in the number of lower respiratory tract symptoms was statistically significant for those with asthma compared to those without. The authors concluded that cleaning activities are associated with increased lower respiratory tract symptoms in asthmatic patients and that women with asthma should be cautioned about the potential respiratory health effects of cleaning.

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